Monthly Archives: April 2017

Portrait of Tienaye

Tienaye was born in San Diego, California, USA, but had been living in North Edwards, California when we met. Prior to that, she lived all over the country in places such as Georgia, Washington, Oregon and New York. She traveled so much because her parents liked to travel. She loved that lifestyle and her favorite place to live was in Seattle, Washington because “it rains there’s so much” and she loved the rain.

Tienaye was home-schooled, and then majored in English at Antelope Valley College. She wanted to be a poet and posted her poetry on her private Instagram account.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Miranda

I met Miranda while she was trying on hats. She was adorable, so I asked if I could make her portrait. She was very gracious and patient as I positioned her under a light, and very perky as I interviewed her.

Miranda was a student at Paraclete High School in Palmdale, California, USA. She was a senior who played defender on her soccer team (non-American  football).

Miranda was the vice president of her school, a student ambassador, and was a member of drama club and Key Club. She belonged to a campus ministry that “put on various religious events.”

Miranda mentioned her work with SADD, Students Against Destructive Decisions, in which participants sponsored “different events that help students be aware of different decisions and just be smart.”

Miranda was born and raised in Lancaster, California, USA, and she hoped to attend a university somewhere in Arizona or either California State University, Northridge or College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, if she stayed in California. She wanted to major in psychology. Based on her activities, Miranda seemed very adept at inter-personal relationships and pursuits, so that was probably an excellent choice.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of George

After retiring from his contracting business in Lancaster, California, USA, George lived in Tehachapi, California, USA. His contracting work involved the installation of underground pipeline, mostly for municipalities, but also for developers who built tract developments. Generally, George had eight to ten people working for him, but, one time, doing work at West Winds in Antelope Valley, he had 42 employees working for him.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Marge

I met Marge while we were getting our hair done. Marge, an incredibly sweet and warm human being,  was 87 years old and originally from Calumet, Michigan, USA.

Marge had been married twice. She met her first husband in Detroit, Michigan, USA when she was waitressing. She described his occupation as one who “bought and sold various items” At some point, her first husband decided to move to Los Angeles area because his parents were there.

Consequently, Marge moved to Antelope Valley 50 years prior to our meeting. In California, her first husband bought and sold government surplus items. Her second husband worked for Lockheed Martin and was also a veteran of the United States armed forces.

Marge had six children from her first marriage.  With the second, she had three step- children. Marge had so many grandchildren, she couldn’t say the number. She said she also had great grandchildren and that number was either 6 or 7.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Kendall

Kendall was a professional track and field athlete, sponsored by  Adidas, originally from Detroit, Michigan, USA. When I met her, she said it was her second year based out of California. Her first year, she practiced out of San Diego, California, USA and then the next year, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Kendall was enjoying the beautiful morning at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruins blue track and was about to get together with her teammates to practice and to prepare for the Texas relays. In this portrait, she was stretching up and getting in the zone.

Kendall was a graduate of the University of Texas, and also had a modeling career. I wish I could have gotten to know her better, but I appreciate the time she gave me during her warm-ups.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Posted on:

T is for TRUST

Also posted on:

Wordless Wednesday
Happy Birthday to an OLD friend!!

Portrait of Ann-1

I met Ann when I went to make pictures of poppies (see below), and she happened to come to the same location, at the same time, to do the same thing. However, she probably made much better pictures than I made because, as a landscape photographer, she made photographs to successfully sell at an event in Carlsbad, California, USA. She also had a much better camera.

Ann was a retired school principal from West Wind Elementary School in the Lancaster School District. She was an elementary school principal for 15 years, and prior to that, she was a teacher for 15 years. She graduated from Antelope Valley High School and San Diego State University.

At the time of this posting, Ann lived in San Diego, California, USA, but she was born and raised in Lake Hughes, California, USA. She made pictures of the poppies almost every year and came up from San Diego this year just to enjoy the magnificent harvest.

Ann’s lovely landscape photography may be seen on her website Photo’s by Ann.

Famous Poppies of Antelope Valley, California, USA

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

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P is for PLUS

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Wordless Wednesday
April showers bring May flowers…

Portrait of Ryuzen

I met Ryuzen at the Koyasan Buddhist Temple, located in Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles, California, USA. Ryuzen arrived at the Temple in 2012. He noted that the founder of his Temple came to Los Angeles with a group of immigrants in 1912.

Ryuzen grew up on Kyushu Island, Japan in a town near the main city of Fukuoka. Next, he went to Kyoto for university, and after graduating, Ryuzen went to priest school at the headquarters of Shingon-shu Buddhism, a denomination founded by Kukai, at Koyasan, a small mountain town located in northern Wakayama Prefecture.

In Koyasan, many temples stood and one of the temples was where Ryuzen practiced and studied for a year to be a priest. After graduating, headquarters granted Ryuzen the right to be a priest and represent his nomination anywhere, worldwide.

Ryuzen did not come to the United States until after he first graduated from Doshisha University, in Kyoto and then from priest school at Koyasan. A priest in the United States had introduced Ryuzen to the Koyasan Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles. Not only did he find it a suitable place to stay and practice, but he knew this was an excellent place to improve his English.

Posted on

O is for observations about the ABC W alphabet

Also posted on:

Wordless Wednesday
Bring on the cards and flowers…

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Jane

Jane was a dental hygienist who worked at Valleywide Dental in Palmdale, California, USA. She worked there for nine years, which was her entire dental hygienist career.

Jane was a single mom with a 17 year old daughter who was graduating from high school and trying to be accepted into college in Colorado.

Jane participated avidly in Fitness activities and smiles like that all the time.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Chau

Chau and her family were refugees who fled Vietnam by boat in 1980. Chau came to the United States at four and one half years old, but not after a very harrowing series of events.

Chau was three and a half years old when her family left Vietnam and then landed on a little island where, and after two weeks, they were about to starve to death. Her mother sold her wedding ring for rice so they could survive. Then the Red Cross picked them up and brought them to the Philippines, where they lived for a year-and-a-half.

When Chau’s family first arrived in the United States, they stayed in San Francisco. After getting sponsored, they moved to Los Angeles, where Chau did most of her growing up.

Chau went to Loyola Marymount University where she studied electrical engineering. She worked a short time in this field, for a tech company, and afterwards realized she was not interested in being an engineer, and did not follow through with a career.

Five years prior to this posting, Chau was in a severe car accident, and at first, could not walk. With permanent paralysis looming, she saw an acupuncturist/herbalist, Dr. Lim, and a chiropractor, who enabled her to walk. Her muscles had to relearn everything and it took a long time to get back these skills. Although somewhat weakened and requiring a motorized chair to get around, she was happy she could walk at all.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Zelda

Zelda entered the fashion field because she always had “a good sense of style,” and everyone told her she was “talented and able to facially project emotion.” Along with her positive attitude and excellent stamina, she was flexible, adaptable, versatile, efficient, hard-working, and capable of wearing all types of clothing. Zelda was born to model clothes.

Zelda hoped to work in a fashion firm, in which she could utilize her modeling skills to become a perfect link between brands and their clients. Zelda had a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design and Merchandising and also supplemented her training with the a floor room training course. Zelda would have liked to have been a runway model, but admitted that the odds were against that.

For further experience in the field, Zelda worked in retail women’s clothing where she had experience creating seasonal displays, including dressing and arranging manikins, and handling customer complaints.

Posted on:

Z is for Zero Hour

Also posted on:

Wordless Wednesday
Happy noisy birthday, America!

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin ©2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.