It's the journey, not the destination Mel Curtis's thoughts on a life in the world of photography

At 17


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At 22


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At 32


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At 40


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At 50


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At 60


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At 65


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New York Loft



Did I scare you off? Or do you just not like to write? Talking on the phone is fun, a lost art even, but I really like to write sometimes. Especially when I don’t feel like talking.

I took Carter to the ER yesterday as he was complaining of severe headaches. He is in ICU right now and in the hospital for the next 3 or 4 days. I won’t bore with the details, I don’t think it is life threatening. But then, at 86 everything is life threatening. It has always been weird to be in the house alone. We have always shared it. It is way too big for 2  people, must less one.

I ponder what life is alone. It has been a long time since I was alone. I know it is not a bad thing, lots of folks lead single lives. Some of my happiest days are when I lived alone in my little co op down the street. It was a great period of growth and the first home I ever owned. Here’s a pic from just before I moved to this house.

It wasn’t very big, but it was open and I always imagined it was what a New York loft felt like.  It was on the second floor and over looked Cowen Park. I traveled a lot then and could pack my bags, lock the door and head out for weeks at a time, knowing that when I returned, everything was just where I had left it.


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Thank you to everyone who reached out to me to say happy birthday. It was great to hear from you all. My 65th birthday started out in eastern Washington in the little town of Wenatchee. I was there on a photo assignment for the University of Washington. Wenatchee is a pleasant little town in the heart of a region that is one of the largest producers of apples (and other fruits) in the world. The town is thriving with a main street full of mom and pop shops and hip restaurants. I found a nice little cafe too and had an over priced iced latte. When the job was finished, my client and I took the back road home up route 2 through Cashmere and Leavenworth. Leavenworth is this funny little fake Bavarian town that is a mecca for tourists. I wanted to to grab a bratwurst, but my client refused to stop. But the ride along the 2 lane road up to and over Steven’s Pass was a very pleasant way to spend the day. When we left Wenatchee there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the temperature was in the 80’s. At the summit of the pass, the clouds took over and the temperature was in the 60’s, welcoming us back to western Washington. Hitting the afternoon rush hour traffic of Seattle let me know I was light years away from that little town on the Columbia River. It was great birthday.

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One Step at a Time


Yes the journey is magical and fun and liberating. But I do wonder sometimes if all I am doing is adding more stuff to the planet? Does it have some value or just so much visual garbage? I already have 3 projects waiting in the wings and here I contemplate a 4th? A 4th project for which I have no skill to produce? And I would be physically making something, something that, like it or not, takes up space and has a cost of materials associated with it. At least my other 3 projects are only living on my computer and not consuming anything. I know that is not the way to think, and I never used to. But you have seen my basement with all the boxes and drawers full of “art”. Plus I had always promised myself when I got older that I would circle back and look at all those negs on my shelves and see what little gems I missed and scan them and bring them to life. I suppose my dilemma is a good one, as I at least feel full of creative energy and the desire to make art work. But so much to do and so little time. I think my first step with making a collage is to see how to do it and what is involved with the process. One step at time, right?


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