Too bad I just can’t sit still. Nobody likes more than do I to relax and party and play games and just enjoy life. No matter where I am in the world, images of my cats sitting on the front porch will pop in my head while I am walking down the Champs-Élysées. I have on several occasions literally turned my car around on the way to the airport and just gone back home and “called in sick” so to speak. Yup, I am a homebody. I never did like the idea of leaving wherever I was at the time. So if home, I hate to leave, and if anywhere else , I hate to leave there too.
A dichotomy? Not really. I tend to make a “home” and a “family” wherever I am. My mother, pictured above in my 1958 family album, always told me that I would always be late coming home as a kid and never never come back even now from wherever when I say I will. Something always keeps me. Yet to be home is my favorite thing. So no wonder I confuse everyone, including myself, when I come up with some idea that is going to take me away. Now is such a time.
For sure the presses only stopped about 4 months ago on my (based on a true story) and anyone in their right mind would be running around doing promo stuff for their recent book. Yet once I am finished with the creative part of anything, I quickly yearn for the next. Need my fix. Just one more time. Please let me have just one more time.
So off we go. Yes “we”. The family that is with me now on my front porch at home. Not my blood family as above, but an integral part of my extended family which includes half the readers here on Burn, my Magnum colleagues, NatGeo friends, my ex wife, ex girlfriends, workshop students, a whole bunch of people I met in a wide variety of ways and of course my loving and super patient blood family. Whew! Yea, it really does get out of hand. Not my fault. My mother in the photograph above, now almost 93, just this week fixed lunch at her home in Colorado for her dentist and his assistants. So, it runs in the family.
In three weeks Candy Pilar Godoy and Lawrence Sumulong and Mr. Tony “Skater” and Panos Skoulidas and I will leave New York City in a 23 foot camper van and in the traditional American way, head west. To Los Angeles. A 4-6week odyssey. Exact route unknown. Exact schedule non-existent. Number of folks who follow either here on Burn or down the highway literally is a number to be guessed. We got the van. I am in the mood. I have a team. So, isn’t that enough to go in search of more for my Off For A Family Drive book to be?
How can I get anything done if I have an entire entourage? Easy. The group with me IS my family. IS my subject. Yes I will be shooting various types of families all across the country for the book and possible film yet having many around me in this case will only help my work. Be a part of the work. Candy for example was my digi assistant in Rio for the online saga we did there and ended up as a muse and cover of the book. So she is on her second project inside a year. Lawrence , twice my student at workshops, is now assisting me in getting my archive up to date for Magnum. Mr. Skater is a pro skateboarder and art dealer and my bodyguard sometimes in Rio and well, just a great old buddy. Panos Skoulidas I met here as a commentator for Burn and is the most unlikely person and yet the most likely person to somehow end up on a cross country jaunt that will have us end up at Venice Beach where his essay still rules.
I always liked those movies where two characters wanted to rob a bank and they needed three more to help with the heist. So they had to go find the others. Each one had a speciality. This is THAT kind of movie. An unlikely cast of characters, yet good vibes all around. And it is ONLY good vibes which provide any kind of environment where I can do my thing. The only thing I really know how to do.
Has the plot been written? What do you think? Will others join? What do you think?
So I am off on this road trip to photograph and interview American families. All kinds. If a group of any kind “thinks” they are a family, then I think they are a family. Do you know a family that’s interesting? Has a story to tell? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For sure Off For A Family Drive will be a moveable feast. It was the first time when I was 14 and shot the original album with my used Leica IIIF as a Christmas gift for my grandparents. It will be this time as well. To close the circle . To open the door.
Join us here on Burn. We promise to give you a great ride.