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To some men it is the mountains, to some men the sea, to others the open plain...  To me it was the road that called my name.  Bothered by a restless spirit from an early age, I always found that I was most comfortable lost, alone in my thoughts wandering the open fields of San Carlos.  Back then the hills had not been fully built out so there was lots of large open spaces to roam through...  And roam I did, through green and golden fields of grass up to my knees and higher, constantly on the look-out for interesting bugs, lizards or snakes that I might want to catch.  The hours would pass as I would watch the shadows of the trees dance on the blades of grass as they rustled in the summer breezes.  I think it was there that I started to pick up the craft of photography.  I can recall frequently stopping in my tracks to admire what I would deem as a "good picture" in the "camera of my mind".  I would stare for hours at the view of the San Francisco Bay and watch the boats sail by in the distance.  I could see the big air planes drop into their landing patterns as they made their final approach to SFO.  It always seemed to get late too early and the sun would start to set so I would head home, but always with the thought of coming back just as soon as I could.

I finally got old enough to ride my bike to school and the horizon of my world expanded considerably.  I now had permission to go downtown to Laurel Street with my friends.  We would buy packs of baseball cards with stale hard chewing gum inside at Woolworth's and ice cream at Peggy Lee's.  We would hang out at the bowling ally and play pinball for hours until we ran out of quarters.  If we got hungry we would head to MBJ Ranch Room for pizza or Lyon's for a burger.  We would steal cigarettes out of open parked cars and smoke them in the ally before we snuck into the movie theater for the matinee.  We knew every back street, short cut, twist and turn of the city.  And if anyone ever decided to chase us, we could usually lose them in a heart beat, even the cops...

Even with the new found excitement of downtown, I would frequently return to the open fields in the hills of San Carlos to collect and sort my thoughts, or heal the wounds of a young tender heart.  The comfort of quiet reflection, a soft breeze and the warm sun would keep me company.  This was a place where a young man could develop deep thoughts and big dreams and wild-eyed plans to live them out.  A place where the foundation for a future could really be carved out and established.  I spent hours sitting on the rail fence of the faculty parking lot of San Carlos High School staring at my beloved San Francisco Bay.

When I turned sixteen and got my car, there was no staying at home for me.  How do you expect to keep a boy away from his Camaro?  The San Francisco Peninsula was now my "open field" and I wanted to know every inch of it, especially the exciting parts, like where the girls were...  It didn't take me long to find El Camino Real in the city of San Mateo, the local cruise spot back in the day.  An unassuming, six lane piece of asphalt less than two miles long that served as the primary artery through the city's shopping district by day, on weekend nights transformed itself into a teenaged wonderland teaming with activity and echoing with the sounds of youthful revelry.  This was a place of fast cars, tough guys and beautiful young women.  And all the trouble a young sixteen year old year old boy could hope to find.  A place long on youthful testosterone and short on common sense.  A place where the soundtrack was thick with heavy metal from bands like AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Aerosmith and Van Halen, and were frequently accompanied by the sounds of breaking bottles, slamming doors, revving engines, squealing tires and police sirens.  A place where drugs and alcohol were hard to avoid and the smell of marijuana, cheap beer and even cheaper perfume filled the air.  A place where you didn't have to worry about finding women, because there were pretty girls with dangerous curves around every corner.  A place where boys swaggered and girls swayed, and everybody checked their look in the rear view mirror.  A place where loud, colorful, shiny machines with names like Challenger, Charger, 'Cuda, Nova and Chevelle were piloted by brash, brazen young men who prowled the streets in search of prey.  A place where your "metal" could be tested at any time and you had better be up for the challenge, because bragging rights were on the line.  A place where all it took was a look, a nod and couple of open lanes in front of you, to find yourself in the heat a drag race.  A place where muscle cars "jumped off the line" and "roared" down the street in an endless parade of "street challenges".  A place where fights would break out, the cops would be called and everyone would scatter before the handcuffs came out.  A place that was a rebellious adolescent's utopia and a place where I felt at home.

But even with my new found home away from home, I still made time for the open highway.  Many times I would just take off, loose myself, disappear and melt into the landscape.  I would take solitary drives on 280 out toward Crystal Springs then over 92 to Highway 1, where I first fell in love with my fair lady, The Pacific Coast Highway.  I would find long stretches of coast line and take her up well over the speed limit so I could let my baby breathe and really stretch her legs.  I would wind through the back roads of Portoal Valley, La Handa and Woodside looking for nothing but never finding it.  I would cruise Skyline Boulevard and feel like a king because I was the only one on the road.  And in my mind clouded with the arrogance of youth, The Peninsula was my kingdom and I her self appointed Prince, and heir to the throne of the Golden State.  Ahhh...  The sweet aroma of the arrogance of youth...

Its been lots of miles and many years have passed since my days of street racing on El Camino Real and long lazy drives across the back roads of The Peninsula...  But the road still calls my name, and cursed with a restless spirit that refuses to die, I always seem to answer.  I guess that why when I found myself at "the cross roads of life", I decided to get in my car and drive...  It's just my nature, its just what I do...

The road can be a very lonely place, especially when you find yourself as a stranger in a strange town.  And in my line of work, that is me quite often.  Now don't get me wrong, I know how to make a friend while sitting on a bar-stool and chatting over cold beer.  And if I'm in the mood, I can usually find a game of pool or darts, or if I'm really lucky pinball.  And I even know where Trouble lives, just in case I need to find her.  But the loneliness of the road is a loneliness that I often seek.  It allows me to fade back into my very comfortable and favorite role as an observer and truly "watch life".  You would be surprised at how often you will find me up late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, pacing the dark streets of a quiet town, observing the signs of life around me.  And it is not unusual to see me up before dawn sitting alone with my camera in the local coffee shop "waiting for the light to get right".  Polite chat with hotel staff and and banter with my breakfast waitress are usually the extent of my morning discourse.  Rarely does anyone ever stop to talk.

Even under the best of circumstances, in between shoots and girls and the next town up the road, I still find myself with chunks of time on my hands so I look to find interesting ways to kill them.  My favorite weapons of choice are my camera and my pen in which I have spent years in the practice of wielding.  I shoot the things that please me, mostly candid shots of day to day life, or something that strikes me as particularly unique, beautiful or interesting like the sun glistening in the morning dew or that leaf with an interesting twist or a bird grooming his feathers.  And I write about my life and my feelings and experiences through poetry, short stories and verse, most of which I keep to myself or at most share with close friends.  I reflect quietly on my past experiences, plan my future while trying hard not to miss the beauty of the moment or the gift of the present.  But my restlessness pushes me on...

It is amazing how quickly I can wear out my own welcome, push myself back out the door and onto the road.  There is just something about it that calls to me.  I love being on the highway with my arm out the window, the wind in my hair with the hum of a 350 ringing in my ears...  There is nothing like it...  And there is nothing like doing it alone...  Allowed to be completely lost and consumed in my own thoughts, I pick at the recesses of my mind as the miles roll by.  I wrestle with a world that now refuses to see me as I really am, a cocky eternal teenager, navigating my orange and black chariot of chrome and steel, powered by horses numbered in the hundreds, across my Golden State.  I laugh at my own hypocrisy, cringe at my own piety and shed tears over lost opportunities and the girls in my life that got away.  And I run my finger over the scars of a heart that has been too often broken and that is still tender in certain places.  It's amazing how good of company I am, especially when I've got a full tank of gas, a few hours of daylight and an open road in front of me...

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:iconlegendarymotivation:
LegendaryMotivation Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013
hello friend,
you have some amazing photos . we would like to invite you in our motivational community. you can find the links below.

Please Join our family here:
Web: www.legendarymotivation.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/legendarymoti…
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:icontheorygarcia:
TheoryGarcia Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013
happy birthday
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:icongopch:
GOPCH Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013
Thank you
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:icontheorygarcia:
TheoryGarcia Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013
your welcome.
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:iconkostas64:
kostas64 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013
 happy birthday.
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:icongopch:
GOPCH Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013
Thank you
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:iconchclaudino:
chclaudino Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Happy birthday and much sucess to you! :party: :cake:
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:icongopch:
GOPCH Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013
Thank you
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:iconalexduvar:
AlexduVar Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013
Hello. I wish you a happy birthday.

:airborne: :cake: :party:
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:icongopch:
GOPCH Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013
Thank you
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