Insightful conversation between the two photographers
Just published in Paper Journal.
“Physically, behaviourally we can see the connection between our brothers and sisters and ourselves. We have shared important family history and stories which are present in multiple forms of truth. It is that which binds us together. It’s the searching out, the documenting of a family both special and invisible, that stays with me most when I look at these beautiful photographs.
There is something so quietly purposeful about all of Glen’s work. In these portraits of his extended family there is certainly loss, an unavoidable hardness in many of his family’s lives. Figures are suspended in time, life, ambition. The images feel delicate and tragic at times, comfortable and nourishing the next”.
Burnt Oranges. Valley Center, Ca.
Winds from the desert would sweep through several times a year. In the summer months, warm temperatures would accompany the winds and, inevitably, a fire would break out. Dry brush (due to the lack of rain) would go first, making the rest of what was in its way an easy target.
A few months before this particular visit, one of the worst fires in years had made its way to my cousin Marlene’s property, which was surrounded by citrus groves. The fire was taking out nearby homes and all that was in its path.
People were doing what they could to save what was theirs by turning their sprinkler systems on, and even standing on the roofs of their houses with hoses to soak any possible blaze below them.
The fire made its way through the back of Marlene and Gary’s house, taking out the orange grove that was just a stone’s throw away.
When I walked through the area, the trees were blackened and bare skeletons. Their fruit had fallen and appeared to be forming their own colonies to protect themselves from the heat. There were only a few signs of new life peering through the burnt grass.
Tricia in the Same Jacuzzi (1). Vista, Ca.
My dad was so in love with Tricia when she was a little girl. He always held a place in his heart for her, and he often talked about how special she was.
When Tricia was 13 months old, her father, (my brother Frank) and his wife Lisa were home with their three kids on what seemed like a normal day.
Lisa was baking an apple pie, and Frank was doing things around the house and had just finished treating the Jacuzzi with a dose of chemicals. Tricia had been given a piece of apple to eat and was wandering around as 13 month olds do.
A short time later, Lisa noticed she hadn’t seen Tricia and called out to Frank, assuming that he was watching her. They both then started walking through the house looking for Tricia when Lisa noticed a small piece of apple near the steps leading up to the Jacuzzi: they climbed up the stairs and saw Tricia lying lifeless at the bottom.
Lisa jumped in and pulled her from the water. Frank had taken a scubadiving course not long before this happened and part of that course consisted of CPR training, which he immediately administered while on the phone with the emergency services.
Tricia didn’t regain consciousness, and was flown by helicopter to a Children’s Hospital where a team of doctors attempted to bring her back to life.
Lisa remembers a doctor coming out of the room where they were working on Tricia and explaining that it didn’t look promising and that she was in a coma. If they were able to bring her back, more than likely she would have brain damage and extreme lung damage due to the chemicals she had ingested.
Lisa stayed with her, and Frank took their other two children home.
Lisa later told me Frank sat near where they found Tricia and made a deal with God. He had been having his own personal struggles and said he would change his ways if he could have his daughter back. He would be a better dad and husband. He would be a better person.
Tricia remained in a coma for three weeks. Lisa explained that each morning they would arrive at the hospital to visit her the doctors would explain the various problems Tricia had experienced the night before. On the last day, Lisa had stepped outside of Tricia’s room when the nurse came after her, explaining that Tricia had awoken and was asking for her mommy.
From the minute Tricia woke up, she had no signs of any brain nor lung damage and lives a completely normal life today. My brother has been a changed man ever since.
These images were taken of Tricia at her parents’ house in the same jacuzzi in which she nearly drowned when she was 13 months old.