Sunday, February 26, 2012


"My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue . . ."

You may have clicked on the title of this blog post out of curiosity but, if you can sing along with the opening line above, I can identify you as a teenager from the 1970s -- like me. Carole King's album "Tapestry" permeated my teen years and I'm fairly certain today that I could put it on and know every lyric and take every breath with Carole. I believe that all of us who came of age "post-Elvis" have songs or albums (yes, I'm old and say "albums" rather than "CDs") that rocket us back to a place in our personal histories. And, isn't that just the greatest way to remember and look back though periods of your life -- through music?

"Tapestry" was MY album all through high school. I KNEW Carole King wrote those songs just for me. Of course, I ended up at Meredith College where every other 18-year old girl brought her copy of the album but it was till MINE. I love that, even today, I can hear songs from certain albums and immediately go back in my mind to the campus at Meredith. Back when I was a student, we hadn't heard anything about sunscreen or skin cancer so many of the girls waited for the first sign of spring and the first rays of sun so they could start on their summer tans. The four oldest dorms surrounded a quad where bathing suit-clad girls would sizzle like rotisserie chicken as soon as the weather allowed. And, since the dorms were not air conditioned and the windows were always open, we would put our stereo speakers in the dorm windows and blast the music out so it could be enjoyed while we baked. I can tell you the years that certain albums were released because I can remember walking back to the dorm hearing them playing. Freshman year was the Beach Boys "Endless Summer", sophomore year was Boz Scagg's "Silk Degrees", and my junior/senior year was "Rumours" by Fleetwood Mac.

I needed to ramble and talk about music for a few minutes because I was thrown back in the past by a phone call I had from a woman near Ahoskie who wanted me to come to her house and take a photo of a "tapestry." I was intrigued, of course, and delighted to drive over and find this wall-size hanging of needlepoint panels that this woman's aunt had done of their family history. It was being passed down in the family from the Ahoskie home where it had lived for many years to another member of the family many states away and my photo was to be a remembrance for its current owner. The historian, the photographer, the "needlepointer" and the Carole King fan in me all combined to make this a completely enjoyable job. By the way, I have a take a moment here to savor another wonderful memory. I learned to needlepoint when I was about 12 years old at Camp Rainbow in the NC mountains and coincidentally my teacher/counselor was the talented Cheryl Martin from Conway.

So, the tapestry has traveled from his old home to its new one and the photos I took remain in Ahoskie. It also comes to mind what is always wonderful about being a photographer in a small town. You can specialize if you're a photographer in a city somewhere. You can choose to do only weddings or babies or fashion or commercial. In a rural area and around the small towns of NC and VA where I work, it's a surprise every week to see what calls I'll get. Some weeks I may have lots of babies or brides to photograph or it may be a week of framing and matting followed by a wedding or a commercial shoot. It keeps me on my toes and I like it that way. Because, you see . . .

"My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue . . ."

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