Monthly Archives: July 2017

Portrait of Katrina


I met Katarina at the tennis center where her daughter was participating in a summer tennis program. I was fascinated with the pregnant Katarina who worked for the International Olympic Committee and prepared opening ceremonies for the  Olympic Games, Pan American Games and other ceremonies worldwide.

Katarina’s English was excellent because of school, work and travel.  Katarina Studied in Sweden and then in Russia. She spoke five different languages: Russian, Swedish, French, English and German.

Katarina was originally from St. Petersburg, Russia but then “lived in Moscow for quite a few years. ” She was visiting Beverly Hills, California, USA and loved Los Angeles, California, USA. She enjoyed being in LA and wished “the best of luck to anyone who is in Los Angeles which includes people who live there or people who came to travel…and…have a great summer.”

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

Portrait of Michael-2


Michael was a licensed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) parachute rigger who inspected and repacked emergency bailout parachutes for pilots, predominantly aerobatic pilots who flew “in very austere conditions and used them in an emergency in case their airplane failed and they needed to save their lives.” Michael provided services through his company TransWorld Aero.

Michael participated in this business for about fifteen years. He initiated his parachute career in the Air Force where he learned this trade. He was a parachute rigger for a team of parachutists who “went out and saved lives for a living and the parachutes were a way for them to get to work, so I worked in servicing the equipment for them.” His parachutes, during his military career, were on the backs of those jumping out of mostly C-130s. Sometimes helicopters as well.

Michael was involved with parachuting for twenty years and made his first parachute drop on his 30th birthday. After he “hit the ground,” he discovered that he wanted to find a means by which he could continue a lifelong involvement. His father was partially his inspiration to start his business in that he told him to “find something you love to do and use that to make a living.”

Michael “really enjoyed” what he did in his very successful business in Rosamond, California, USA.

Michael inspecting the inside of a parachute

Michael preparing to fold a parachute

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

Portrait of Dave-2


Dave was from just north of Houston, Texas, USA and played bass for Sundance Head, which he had been doing for a little over 6 years.

Dave had played bass for at least 25 years and didn’t play any other instruments, nor did he sing. Dave thought maybe he should be singing.

His band generally played original music with a bluesy, country sound, with a bit of soul . His favorite song was Darling Don’t Go because “it was a really strong song.”

I’m generally not into country music, but I have to admit, that their sound was really good.

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

Portrait of Elana


Elena lived in Santa Barbara, California, USA. She was an assistant interior designer who worked for Hélène Aumont, the interior designer.

Elena’s favorite volleyball position was opposite. She played volleyball since high school, having played for Ventura High School for two years. She stopped to participate in running.

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

Portrait of Jon-2


I met Jon at Bennett’s Honey Farm where he was participating in the annual Honey Harvest Festival in Fillmore, California, USA. Jon was a tile contractor for Stoneware Tiles in Northridge, California, USA. He did beekeeping as a hobby. Jon grew up in San Fernando Valley, California and remained there his whole life.

Jon had 25 hives; two in his his backyard, five in Agua Dulce, two in a lavender farm in Grapevine, ten in an avocado field in Somis and 5 in Fillmore. He was re-queening the Fillmore hives because they were Africanized.

Needless to say, Jon did a lot of driving to take care of the bees. He originally thought it would be a great retirement activity but quickly learned it was to take much of his time. Jon planed to reduce his colonies by selling them.

We spoke about ways to reduce colonies and Jon said that another way to reduce the colony is when a colony dies. “There is a lot of that going on these days” because of GMO’s. Jon lost 20% of his colonies last year and some people he knew lost up to 80% of their colonies

We also talked about how to increase colonies numbers. “In Spring you can take a strong colony and make four or five out of them. What you sacrifice is you won’t make honey. But you will make more colonies.”

It’s a way to plan for the future. It’s how people replenish their colonies.

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

Portrait of Robert-2


Robert was originally from El Paso, Texas, USA. He joined the military because he wanted the training and experience necessary to become a police officer and was a member of of security services for the United States Air Force. Robert’s favorite work assignment was Patrol.

Robert aspired to join the K-9 unit. He said, “that would be great.” He wasn’t sure what his chances were to be selected for the K-9 unit but he realized that to get there, you had to be a certain rank,  have a good amount of community service under your belt and be as good as you could possibly be at your job. He was working hard at all those things.

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

Portrait of Jacklyn


Jaclyn loved Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, parables, balloons, bracelets and jewelry. She was a “Class A girl while being also a tomboy who was very tough with her brother.”

At the time of the interview, Jaclyn had just turned three and had a brother who was seven. She thought she was six when she played with her Big Brother and according to her mother, tended “to keep her older brother under par.”

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

Portrait of Sir Henry Torrey, Privateer


Sir Henry was a pirate for ten years and worked for the Department of Nottingham Festival in Simi Valley, California, USA. He also worked for  Pirates For Hire as their marketing manager. He “went to events, passed out flyers and had a great time.” He regularly attended events such as the Ventura Pirate Festival at Ventura Harbor .

Sir Henry said that Facebook “is a really good media for pirates. I have over 3000 pirate friends from Florida to Europe and all over the world. And we all have a blast.”

Sir Henry Torrey’s Flintlock 

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

Portrait of Lydia


When I met Lydia, she had been working at the gift shop of The Maritime Museum in Santa Barbara, California, USA. for three years .

Lydia was originally from Santa Barbara. She went first to City College of Santa Barbara, and then went to UC Santa Barbara to major in history of art and architecture.

Lydia really enjoyed the interdisciplinary side of the history of art architecture and the anthropological aspects of the discipline, that is, how people lived in different points of History.

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

 

Portrait of Brooklyn


Brooklyn was originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We met on the beach in Santa Barbara, California, USA. At the time of this interview, Brooklyn resided in Santa Barbara, where he was a yoga instructor and said it was a pretty busy life in Santa Barbara.

Brooklyn was also a network engineer who worked with “Routers and switches.” He asserted that almost everyone in Santa Barbara were engineers. “Even the homeless guys here are engineers. How else can you afford to live in Santa Barbara?”

Brooklyn loved weed but noted,  “I could live without it or I could live with it.”

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