Taking one from the team

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Tonight is the last peaceful night the five of us will enjoy together. At least for the summer of 2007.

We’ll be together tomorrow night, but we’re most likely to come in late and go straight to bed after our trip to Malibu and LA. Tuesday night will probably be like tonight. All of us will be on our laptops. Elliott’s phone will ring and vibrate constantly. Keith will sit at the dining table surfing the vast unknown on the interWeb while Martha knits and I sit next to her on the couch playing on my computer trying to tone a summer’s worth of pictures. The missing link that will make Tuesday night different will be the empty chair by Martha’s computer. Ed’s claimed seat because it’s the only chair close enough for his borrowed Kernel computer to reach the interWeb plug-in.

Tomorrow is basically the beginning of the end, to be completely cliche. Ed has a flight out of Oxnard early Tuesday morning.

After Ed leaves we’ll probably be disoriented for a few days in trying to figure out what we want to do for the rest of our time. We had to pick between going to LA or meeting the Ventura County Star’s photo editor tomorrow. We picked LA. While I know I should be seeking opportunities and making connections, I just feel like right now, this is more important. I have my whole life ahead of me to work in journalism. It’s not often I’ll be able to take off for a summer and do what I want. That kind of freedom just doesn’t come with a photojournalism job.

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Ed is a hardworker, but he’s not all work and no play. During one of Dave’s classes he takes a break on top of a mountain of bean bags that Tucker had constructed.

We had a nice meal tonight. We threw our actual cookout for leaving last night where we invited Dave and his family, Greg and Penny (Greg’s mother). I cooked my pineapple chicken, which kind of bombed since I’m not used to charcoal. Tonight we cooked out again and through a group effort we had a great meal. I cooked BBQ chicken and steamed a few vegetables, Ed made hamburgers, Elliott fried potatoes, Penny brought desert and I grilled peaches for ice cream. Keith spent basically the whole time setting up our family portrait, which I’m sure you’ll see eventually. It was beautifully lit and well composed. The whole time we took them, we couldn’t stop laughing at each other to take a serious one. Then we kind of decided that it’s who we are. We’re a goofy group who has fun together. Why pose it as anything else?

But it will be something else after Ed leaves. Ed brings a lot to this group; his highest achievement being the title of the Patchy Beard Contest. He has yet to even trim it and it’s pretty impressive.

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Ed’s whiskers actually stick out farther than any hair on his head. Maybe he just looks up to Dave so much he wants to look like him.

Despite his hate for my driving, I’ll miss Ed, especially on the way back. Camping with him is a blast because he’s the kind of guy you want to have around. He has chopped every log we’ve burned because he likes to do it. He was the architect behind every tent we put up. Every time we hiked he set the pace. Elliott says after Ed leaves he’s going to start wrestling me, which I don’t really look forward to. Ed’s ninja skills are advanced enough for him to entertain Elliott but keep him tame. I’m not sure I can step up.

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Here is one of my favorite things about Ed Matthews. He hasn’t found a ground too dirty or place to crowded to throw himself in an awkward position to make what he thinks is the best picture possible. Seen here throwing himself in front of a jumbo jet to take a picture of Air Force One. 

I’m sure one day when we’re older, more professional and established, someone will need to introduce Ed for an award he has won. I hope I’m around to be able to talk about how I’ve known the guy since his introduction to photojournalism and I can tell about him crouching in front of a herd of buffalo or how if you pull over for longer than 30 seconds he’ll be out of hearing distance from that car. He springs on opportunities to shoot pictures and isn’t afraid to get his feet wet. Or dirty. Since it doesn’t really rain out here. I could talk about how he can throw a hatchet better than anyone I’ve ever seen, or how he threw a wooden skewer into the bark of a tree.

I’m sure I could find other things to talk about. Things that would make his mother proud. But after having the entire summer’s worth of adventure together, I wouldn’t make it too far before I spilled a few good stories on him.

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If I ever do get to talk about Ed in front of a group of people, I hope I get to put a slide show together and embarrass him a bit.

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4 Responses to “Taking one from the team”

  1. Charlene Says:

    That guy’s pretty cute. Is he single?

  2. lenscapremoved Says:

    No, but you wouldn’t like him anyways. That beard is pretty gross.

  3. Christen Says:

    Keith! Come home! I miss you!

  4. To add to your cliches, it seems that your loss is my gain. I’m sorry it has to be your loss and wish that you could all come home. But I’m sure you’ll manage to have a bit more boyish fun out there in California Neverland before returning to Kentucky and the KernAl.

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