This is where I grew up.
Highway 377; the old burnt-out stone buildings; a church at every corner; Garcia's and Aloha Donuts and Boatman's Barbecue and that's the extent of the restaurant game in town; kids running through the neighborhoods during 7th period and the Friday night lights over Rattler Stadium.
And of course the gas stations.
I was a frequent customer at Tommy's and Meyer's in my day and I enjoyed Tommy's $.69 fountain drinks and Meyer's selection of fried foods. But there was this little broken down, busted out (out of)service station in the middle of town that I had always known was there but never bothered to look at. Just an island of old pumps and a building with faded paint and as many broken windows as not. But when Josh's mother asked me to do her son's senior portraits, all of a sudden that old gas station was the only thing I saw as I drove into town that day.
And that's the thing that's so hard and also so beautiful about coming home: it becomes so familiar to you that you can't even see it anymore. Until you get away for awhile.
And that's what Josh here's planning to do. After he graduates he's going to take a year or so to spend some time in Spain at the same church I volunteered at 2 years ago. It's hard to be that far away from home for the first time, but I think Josh will be alright: He's an eager boy, a fast friend and a hard worker.
Anyway I hope in the years to come that these photos fill him and his family and any Tolarite who happens across them with as much nostalgia as they have with me.
If you're looking to have you or your child's senior pictures done in the next couple of months don't hesitate to reach out, I'd be happy to work with you!