Posts Tagged ‘vietnam_memorial’

A Memory in Chalk

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Many years ago Jay and I stopped by the monthly meeting of PARR – the Potomac Area Road Riders.  We were avid riders and figured it might be fun and interesting to meet other similarly addicted fellows.

Alas.  After 15 minutes of talking about hot dogs for some upcoming event – how the hell do you talk about hot dogs for 15 minutes?! – Jay and I looked at each other, faintly shook our heads, and quietly sidled on out of there.

Those were definitely not our sort of motorcycle people.

I have forsworn organized motorcycle “clubs” ever since.

At least until now.

A few weeks ago I joined the local Fairfax HOG chapter.  And a few days later I took part in my first HOG ride – one out to Antietam battlefield.  I was very impressed both by how that ride was managed and the generally high competence I observed in the riders.

A couple evenings ago I stopped by for the monthly chapter meeting at Patriot HD.  Everyone was very friendly.  And although there was a brief discussion about all the upcoming events, there wasn’t a single mention of hot dogs!

As you might imagine, being the closest major Harley dealer to Washington, D.C., means that Patriot HD is significantly involved in the annual Rolling Thunder extravaganza.  There was a lot of discussion about that.

I won’t be partaking in any of that, of course.  I’ll be heading westward instead with my Chicken Run buddies for our annual Memorial Day weekend trip into West Virginia.

But in keeping with the theme of Rolling Thunder, here’s one more image from my visit to the Vietnam Memorial a couple weeks ago.


a memory in chalk

How I Came to This

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

The idea of a blog is not recent.  Nor did it start with me.  Nearly a decade ago I came across a really interesting photography site –  Dave is a street photographer who lives in New York city.  I found his site fascinating not just because of the excellent photography – which it is – but also because he maintained a daily, online journal which presented his thinking around a whole range of mostly-photography-related issues.  Dave had been working in IT, making good money, and then did what most of us only fantasize about – he ditched all that to follow his art.  His online journal (the word ‘blog’ had yet to be conceived) provided a remarkable insight into everything – his struggles (many), the cameras, film, and developers he used, his first forays into digital (and then back to film, and then back to digital), his evolution from the wet darkroom to digital printing, and basically the whole struggling-artist thing.  His honest commentary was a rare glimpse into something special.

As good as his photography is (Dave is the only photographer I’ve ever purchased a print from), it was that online journal of his that kept people coming back to his website (Dave migrated to a blog a few years back – you can find it at:  And so when I ended up between jobs myself after the dot-com bust in 2001, I decided to take Dave’s cue and maintain an online journal of my own – one dedicated to motorcycles.  Alas, although I had registered a domain ( and secured a hosting provider, I never got around to actually building the site.  The “online” journal I maintained for nearly two years remained locked in a Word file on my computer, never published.

It would be five years before I’d finally get around to setting up that website.  And “The Motorcycle Diaries”, as I came to call that memoir I created back in 2001-2003, never made it.

In the meantime, the world of blogging exploded.  Everyone does it now.  Including, apparently, me.

As I mentioned yesterday, this will be something of a work in progress.  But the one thing I’ve long noticed about my website is that whereas it’s fine for the major stuff I do – going on a trip and taking a bunch of pictures that I later want to put up in a web gallery, or sitting down and writing an essay on something – there’s not been a good way to present the smaller, one-off, casual, more frequent, ad hoc kind of stuff.  I’m expecting this blog might provide a venue for that kind of thing.

As an example, last weekend I went downtown to take some pictures.  The one I most liked made it in my PAW (Picture of the Week –  But there was another image I liked, as well.  Only I didn’t have any really appropriate place to post it.

Now I do.

Boys at the Wall

Boys at the Wall