Meet John (great name by the way).
For a decade I have been staying at the iconic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane as I travel with the LMU basketball team. And each year a wonderful man has welcomed us in his classic top hat and red uniform. So I decided to grab the camera and see if I could get to know him. And he took me on a great adventure.
Davenport Hotel Doorman John, his 64th year with the hotel. Began in 1953.
He has been working at the Davenport for 64 years. Yes. 64. Since 1953. He started as a graveyard bell hop (his favorite role by the way). He has done everything at the hotel. He worked the casino that use to be there. He was part of a group of people that cared for the historic building while it was closed from the mid-1980s until it reopened in 2001. He organized weddings. Coordinated special events. And now, serving as the most welcoming doorman.
He has met Burt Reynolds, Steve McQueen and Betty White, to name just a few. He loves his hat. He couldn’t think of doing anything else. It gets him out of the house. Oh, he’s 84.
He clearly is the face of this historic hotel as countless guests greeted him by name, fellow co-workers said hellos through hugs, and guests knew they were welcomed. He works four days a week, Thursday through Sunday from 7:30 to 3:30 pm. So if you want to feel welcomed, maybe get a good hug, then you know where to go.
It is people that make life the big adventure it is. I am so glad I got to get to know him through my lens and hear his story. Check out this Davenport Icon.
The year of 2016 was the year of the camera for me. Those who have known me the longest know Dad threw an old Pentax in my had at around six years of age. So I have had a camera in my hand for quite some time. It put me through school. It defined college and high school. It took a hiatus as my career headed to the world of college bowl games and sunny Miami. But it never left.
The last five years the camera has come back. In a big way and it has become a part of my professional journey, for sure. But it grew to be a part of my every day, defining my adventures. I took more images this past calendar year than any before and as I looked back at what I captured – I have been truly blessed.
From a road trip where the fisheye remained on the dashboard, to thousands of images from the basketball arenas around the country, the camera was at my side. The blue angels never disappoint. Mother nature, truly one of my favorite subjects. The simplicity and peace of the first-ever 14er to the family trek to Miramar.
2016 Miramar Air Show U.S. Navy Blue Angels
So many have joined me on this journey with the camera and what a fun ride this year was. I tried to find some of my favorites in MY BEST OF 2016. I am sure I left some out. In fact I know I did… but it is on to 2017. I can’t wait.
AN SID LIFE Photo Gallery
Since I entered college more than 24 years ago, I wanted to work in the industry known as Sports Information. It is not for the faint of heart. Last to leave. First to arrive. Days off – when? But it is what I was born to do and I have been blessed to be in a profession that has taken me around the world, allowed me to see some of the greatest sporting events of today and not to mention the people.
However, the holiday season is the most challenging, especially working in the world of NCAA college basketball. You take holiday breaks when you can and they are rarely on the actual day itself. And this year is no different. I squeezed in a trip back home to Colorado before Thanksgiving, celebrating Turkey Day with my Colorado family the day before Thanksgiving (see the gallery THANKFUL FOR HOME), traveling home to Los Angeles on Thanksgiving day for a triple-header that Friday.
And then this past week… During Finals Week I traveled to the Florida Gulf Coast to visit my Florida family, spending some amazing time on the Panama City Beaches. Returned home to Los Angeles on Friday for a doubleheader of hoops that saw a buzzer-beater and an overtime classic. And then back on the road the next day to take on Colorado State on Monday. The benefit, back home for a quickie to deliver presents and a chance to see my home in a blanket of snow. So to recap. Thursday, Dec. 15 on the beaches of Florida and 72 degrees. Friday, Dec. 16 back in Los Angeles for two inches of rain and about 65 degrees. Doubleheader basketball on Saturday. On a plane Sunday to Colorado where it was 7 degrees when we landed. That is an SID life.
Check-out what my lens caught this past week in AN SID LIFE.
Since leaving Colorado after college, every trip home has included a trek up to Estes Park. This year’s was even more special as my Mom wanted to go even higher. Fresh with her new senior pass to all national parks (just $10 and its good for the rest of her life, best DEAL EVER!), we headed up Trail Ridge Road. It has been many decades since I have traveled that majestic road. The images my camera caught don’t do it justice. What a wonderful day. Thanks Mom. Check out the full gallery here.
A trip home to the front range of Colorado has become a tradition, and the beautiful state I so love did not disappoint. From a bike ride on the Coal Creek and Rock Creek trails in Lafayette and Broomfield, a visit to the cemetery and an evening of fireworks, July 4 at home was once again a memorable one. Enjoy a little slice of my home in this PHOTO GALLERY.
Making the trip of Los Angeles back home to Colorado, decided to keep the fisheye lens and camera handy. Mother nature and some of the most beautiful scenery did not disappoint. From the abandoned water park to overcast skies to a downpour into the tunnels, it was another great 1,100 miles. It was capped to one of my favorite places, Waneka Lake. Truly blessed. View the entire gallery HERE.
This is my second trip to Spain and second to Barcelona. The return trip is helping solidify Barcelona as one of my favorite cities. There is so much going on in relation to the city it is hard to put into words. A mighty chorus of different languages, lifestyles and colors mix together to bring a perfect harmony to life. Chaotic, but perfect. It is quite beautiful. These photos don’t even begin to do justice to the sites that can be seen in just a one hour walk with a camera. Whether a phone or a professional camera, there is no end to the images that can be found. And after 9 pm, that’s when it gets even better. I’ll have to try to capture that on film before I leave. Until then, a quick look at what I saw in Beautiful Barcelona.
I am making my third international trip with a basketball team, returning to Madrid and Barcelona Spain for a two week period. Had the opportunity to break away with a 1957 alum whose family inspires so many around them. Irish through-and-through, it was an honor to spend the day with him and a pair of co-workers in beautiful Toledo, Spain. Check-out my flickr account for the all the images, but here are some of my favorites for a day in Toledo.