november 11, 2018

posted in: music, photography | 0

“Train your mind to see the good in every situation.” ~ Unknown


Marilyn hugs


Two weeks ago today Tanya Comingdeer and Marilyn Craig were enjoying a second day of music and fellowship at the 2-Pony Ranch. These women worked their butts off to make that weekend happen. They cooked, they cleaned, they tugged and pushed and pulled and carried and worked up a sweat to make sure everyone had the things they needed. I think I’ve said before, on that Sunday, I had one of my classic nasty migraines that kept me in bed most of the day though I did make myself get up and go out for most of the music. As the sun began to set I returned to my convalescent room and drifted off. At some point I either dreamed or heard a real voice outside my door say something like, “Okay, girlfriends, the place is clean.” I awoke Monday morning to find that, indeed, the place had been cleaned and then realized the voice had probably been real. Angie said Marilyn and Tanya had done the work. If that’s not incredible love and devotion I don’t know what is. I am so, so, so, so, so fortunate to know these women and count them among my friends, and I’m eternally grateful they look after Angie and each other.


Tanya smiles

november 7, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.” ~ Dennis Prager


three amigos


Scott Bartholomew, Steve Kirkpatrick, and Jim McCollom are three of my favorite people in all the world. They each possess a unique sense of humor, their own brand of storytelling, but you put them together and snorting will happen even for people who don’t normally laugh until they snort. Animated is a good word for them. They’re also loving, kind, sweet, thoughtful, and generous. Lordy, we’ve had some hilarious antics over the years. I wouldn’t take anything for them.


jokes a’plenty

november 4, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Ideally, one would live as if one were going to die the next day. I mean, if you were going to die the next day it would be well worth sitting and watching the sun set, or rise. It might not be worth doing a huge laundry.” ~ May Sarton


all in the family


I don’t know why I love this picture so much, but I sure do. Maybe it’s the generations. Maybe it’s that the women – Robin Jackson and her mother Sonja Herron Keck – are looking one direction as the men – Sonja’s man, Wayne Gourley, and her great-grandson (Robin’s grandson) Ace – look another. Or maybe it’s that they’re eating (Sonja’s an incredible cook), they’re listening to music, and they’re together. This was Ace’s first 2-Pony Fall Ball. He took to it like a champ and never once shied away from my camera. I even got good shots of his elusive Mema, Sonja, and she’s a tough one to nail down. Meanwhile, Robin Jackson deserves a medal, for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was the Fall Ball. She, Marilyn Crain, and Tanya Comingdeer put the party together and took it apart. I love her dearly and I was thrilled to see most of her family on hand to celebrate friendship and music. I’m eternally grateful for all of them.

october 31, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“I hope there are days when your coffee tastes like magic, your playlist makes you dance, strangers make you smile, and the night sky touches your soul. I hope there are days when you fall in love with being alive.” ~ Brooke Hampton




The most beautiful part of a sunset may not always be the sunset itself but the glorious colors cast to the east. The 2-Pony Ranch is beautiful all the time and I find it especially beautiful bathed in long shadows of golden light. Plus, long shadows are slimming and I’m all for that.



october 30, 2018

posted in: photography | 1

“Limit your “always” and your “nevers.” ~ Amy Poehler


night 1


I’ve been enamored of night photography for some time now, but living in a city with a lot of light pollution doesn’t lend itself to much experimentation. I was itching to give it a go at the 2-Pony Ranch, and last night, I finally did. There are some significant kinks to work out yet, but I’m happy to start where I am. Nothing can capture the reality of what it’s like to look up into that flawless Oklahoma sky, but I’m willing to try. Plus, nothing in the world smells like Oklahoma at night. The scent of fresh wood on the breeze is unreal. I never fail to leave Oklahoma with a full heart, and now I can’t wait to return for more night photo practice.


night 2

october 29, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“People who wonder whether the glass is half full or half empty are missing the point.
The glass is refillable.” ~ Unknown


outstanding in the field


The last two days have been filled with music and food and a host of friends old and new. Today, Angie and I spent a long overdue whole day of quality time together. Our extended morning with coffee and bagels set the stage for a beautiful day capped by a gorgeous Oklahoma sunset. I don’t get sunsets like this in the Lexington suburb, which just makes it that much sweeter when I get to see one. The truth is that every sunset, no matter how much or little of you see of it, is a blessing. I love my people and I love Oklahoma sunsets.


sunset managers


june 15, 2016

posted in: photography | 0

“When your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you.” ~ Ajahn Chah


old times (snapseed)
old times (snapseed)

Strolling through Kroger I came across this display. I was transported to the 2 Pony Ranch Fourth of July Party 1996 edition. That may be the year of the biggest water gun fight in 2 Pony history. Jim McCollum, Brett “EZ” Miller, Bruce McCain, Scott Bartholomew, Duane Adams, Mindy Cardenas, Regina Barnett, Tammy Jo O’Neil, and I had quite the battle that summer (I have pictures of that fight but no scanner, sadly). If memory serves, Scott showed up with the first model of these Stream Machines. They were called Super Soakers (there might still be a model by that name, I don’t know). I believe that was the same year Jim brought the voice activated headset water gun. Screaming at the top of one’s lungs, as both Jim and I did throughout the weekend, shot only a limpid stream at a defender. It was no match for the Super Soaker, but it provided endless entertainment. The temps in Oklahoma right now are triple digit. Perfect weather for a herd of friends, a pool full of water, and an enormous Super Soaker fight. Ah, what a refreshing life. Such great memories.

may 22, 2016

posted in: photography | 0

“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton


into the West
into the West


I made my way from Ellen Fagala in Little Rock to Angie Bliss Fanning at the 2 Pony Ranch in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. It was my first look at the ranch without the iconic red house. It was a bit jarring, but I was expecting that. Near the golden hour, Ang and I hopped in the golf cart and made a pass around the Ranch where the pasture land is being prepped for hay harvest. Earlier in the day I’d taken out the garbage, and immediately found myself staring at the grassless square where the old house sat. I retraced the lines of the old sidewalk; imagined the bay window, it’s underpinning provided a makeshift dog house for Foster, Sadie’s baby-daddy; the now fully visible Sycamore tree, it’s limbs once low enough to touch Angie’s upper bedroom deck. My eyes welled with tears. In that empty square I replayed significant events of my life. I didn’t battle tears of sadness, but I smiled through tears of a most sincere gratitude. I wouldn’t trade a second of my life for the joy I’ve found at the 2 Pony Ranch.


shadow of former selves
shadow of former selves


1 2 3