The Digital Journalist

Blythe, California, 1999



America is a place that I'm a part of - that's part of me. Even as I lived abroad for much of my adult life, I always had the comfort of knowing my America was home, waiting for me. My childhood, my teenage years, my early twenties were still there and I could return anytime. This helped me to live in London and Paris for so many years. I wasn't leaving anything behind; I still had it anytime I wanted to go there. The year 2000 was so far in the future as to be a subject of fiction - a different dimension. And yet, one day, of course, I went home and it had changed - slowly but methodically. I can no longer recognize the cars, the old neighborhoods still look the same but the kids are no longer the same. The streets are the same but the buildings are different. Of course this is everyone's destiny - and no, you can't ever go home again but you can discover these things again if you look, as I did, elsewhere. I find the places and people I remember everywhere. It doesn't matter that they are not the very same - the sense of familiarity is there. The kids are the same, but I'm not longer one of them. At 46 years old I'm still a kid. I still feel the same, but my friends are older now, no longer willing to or free to feel the same as we once did - the excitement seems gone for them in many ways but not for me. You see, I never grew up and never accepted the idea that I was no longer a kid. Being a photographer is a great privilege and I am always conscious of this. I still feel the excitement of holding a camera, searching for pictures, driving up a street for the first time in a town I've never been to and, if I'm tuned in, seeing the pictures everywhere. Seeing the people having a barbeque, seeing the cat in the window, seeing the 1949 Studebaker by the side of the road. The houses look familiar but I've never seen them before. The Five and Dime store is so familiar that I'm sure I remember where to find the pens and paper. The lady behind the cash register looks the same but she's not. I come out and think about jumping on my Schwinn racer but it's my Chevy truck that awaits me.


Visit Jeff Dunas' website

Send us your Comments
Join our Mailing List
© The Digital Journalist