January 2011: I am preparing for my first real visit to Detroit, the city of my birth. I am a Californian, where I have been since age one when my parents packed me into a car to seek fame and fortune in LA. It is strange to be defined by something unknown but when asked if I am a "native" Californian, I answer, "No, I was born in Detroit." It seems time to investigate what that means. So I have come "home" on my birthday to photograph Detroit.

This blog is part of an accompanying journal about the project.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Last Shuttle Launch

Photo Courtesy of NASA
I grew up in the era of space launch, an achievement and industry that also fed my Southern California existence.

My childhood on the westside of Los Angeles, while now known for it's high-priced living, was that of living among the engineers and scientists working at Douglas, Rand, Lockheed and the myriad of aerospace and flight industries who populated the Southern California landscape. One of my parent's best friends was the inventor of the atomic clock and evenings spent in his presence were always memorable, one time sitting with him on the bench of a Hammond Company organ, shipped to him by Hammond to just "tinker" around.

Los Angeles was then dependant on just two main industries: aerospace and movies. They both offered employment to thousands/millions(?) of residents and brought others to this land. With the loss of aerospace, other business fills part of the gap but it continues to be an adjustment, not dissimilar to that with which my other hometown, Detroit, has struggled in order to evolve from its one-industry mode to an attractive destination for business and jobs.

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