Category Archives: wordless wednesday

Portrait of Donna


One thing that all cultures and nations have in common is paying taxes. Today is tax day in the United States of America. In honor of tax day, the person that I shall post will be my accountant, Donna.

Donna was a person who loved “getting things in ORDER,” which she practiced since she was a child. Along with the multitudinous receipts, forms, ledgers etc involved in accounting, Donna saw the legal aspects of accounting as part of the process of getting things at ORDER, “it’s challenging to set things up so that it works out best for my clients.”

Donna studied accounting at California State University, Northridge, and was a practicing Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for 35 years. At the time of this posting, she worked out of Lancaster, California, USA. At the start of her career, Donna thought that the legal aspects of accounting were going to be black and white but she ended up finding them very grey. Of course, she perceived tax law as something that needed to be put in ORDER.

Donna is a great accountant. Recently, a new friend, who moved to this area, asked me for an accountant recommendation. When I mentioned to Donna that I knew someone who wanted to retain her, she told me she was so busy that she wasn’t taking any new clients.

If countries hired accountants of Donna’s caliber to keep their finances in ORDER, geo-political systems would be much more stable in this world. Consequently, it would be a much happier, easier and more organized place to live.

BTW, Donna is so busy, she has no website or social media links, not only because she has no time, but because she doesn’t need them.

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O is for observations about the ABC W alphabet

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Wordless Wednesday
Ahh… Ahhhh… Achoo!!

 

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

Portrait of Ann


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 Luke


I bumped into Luke at Big Lots as he was looking at small shovels. I asked him if he was going to buy one for a child. He proceeded to tell me the purpose shovels hold for him, and I was fascinated.

Luke went from town to town accumulating “a lot of stuff because it was pretty easy to do.” He would often collect too many items for one to posses during travel. He would take the things he could not take with him but wanted to keep, and he would bury them somewhere in the town he was about to leave, “You never knew when you were going to that place again.”

Luke was unemployed at the time I met him. He frequented stores like Big Lots, would research prices of certain items, then go to thrift stores and purchase the items for very cheap. Knowing the retail price, he would sell those items on Craigslist, or other free online venues, for lower than discount store prices, but for a profit relative to what he paid in the thrift store.

Originally from Sacramento, California, USA, he left Sacramento because, “I figured I needed a change in scenery.”

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L is for LAPSE OF MEMORY

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Wordless Wednesday
Happy Start of Spring!!

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

Portrait of Alexis


So far you’ve only seen me post pictures of people in their own environment or where I happen to meet them. Surprise! I can also shoot in studio.

My first studio portrait is of Alexis who loved children so much that she volunteered at the Antelope Valley Partners for Health (AVPH) and at the Child Care Resource Center (CCRC). She loved anything that had to do with children, and professionally, wanted to be a photographer of children. She also liked to take pictures of nature and landscapes.

At AVPH and CCRC, Alexis helped children find schools and mitigated cases of child abuse. She volunteered with children from the ages of 0 to 5 and helped them by talking to their parents and teaching the parents how to treat their children and how they must behave to prevent abuse. Alexis was trained at AVPH and CCRC.

Alexis was born and raised in Lancaster, California, USA and went to Quartz Hill High School. You can also find her on Instagram on @lexiie_noel.

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

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Wordless Wednesday

Portrait of Anthony


Anthony volunteered at Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary, located in Phelan, California, USA.. He came right out of high school to work there and planned to continue working with the exotic animals the rest of his life.

At the time of this posting, Anthony lived in Yucaipa, California, USA, but was originally from the Rialto-Colton, California, area. When he was 15 years old, Anthony met Joel, the founder of Forever Wild, at a reptile show;  Joel was there with one of his cats. Joel said that if Anthony wanted to come and volunteer to work with the exotic animals he could, as long as his dad signed a release of liability form. Working there so close to Joel, for so many years, made Joel like a second father to Anthony.

Joel and Anthony had a side job together, Snake Awareness for Dogs, to help generate income for both themselves and their animals. Snake training for dogs was necessary in the California desert because rattlesnakes were abundant, and people who either took their dogs to the desert to run, or just kept their dogs in their yards, faced the danger of their dogs coming in contact with poisonous rattlesnakes. Training dogs how to react and behave when they spotted the rattlesnakes was very important to protect a dog’s life. Joel and Anthony served an important function to the canine community of the Mojave Desert.

Anthony was a pleasant young man. He had so much love in his heart, it just made me feel great. He loved the animals, and it was such a joy to see how happy the animals were to see him, and come over and nuzzle all over him.

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

Anthony getting licked by a White Tiger, Kismet and rubbed on by a Bengal/Siberian mix, Sakia

Anthony getting rubbed on by a Bengal/Siberian, Taj

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Wordless Wednesday

Portrait of Joel


Years ago, Joel, along with his wife, Chemaine, were in the habit of taking in animals that needed homes. Consequently, they then founded of Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary. Located in Phelan, California, USA, it was established in 1997. Joel loved managing this establishment and everything that went along with this task. However, he noted, “it’s hard and it’s rough, and I often feel like pulling my hair out, and that’s why I have so little of it.”

Joel always had an interest in animals and he claimed, “they are my whole life.” Joel’s grandparents had a pet store where they used to sell exotic animals. They stopped selling them when they realized people were not caring for these types of animals properly.

Joel loved all the animals at Forever Wild and could not say which was his absolute favorite. He had a certain affinity for the cats, and aside from them, he had a special fondness for the new Black Bear named Honey. Honey was a year old at the time of this posting and Joel said she could potentially grow a little bigger, maybe up to 250- 300 pounds, “a pretty good size for a female.” I asked if the Black Bears were rare; and Joel said, “they are all over California; there’s a good population of Black Bears in California.”

Forever Wild did not breed any of their animals. The animals had not been DNA tested, so without knowing their genetic background, “there isn’t a benefit to breeding them to help the species out.”

Joel also believed that breeding the animals in his menagerie would be like “the pound breeding dogs.” His sanctuary was a place where animals could live out their lives. Most of these animals were not wanted by someone, were not cared for by someone, or were confiscated. They had nowhere else to go.

The animals all looked happy, until the food was on it’s way, and then of course they were very anxious to get their meals. Joel and his staff gave the big cats enrichment programs, so that they wouldn’t pace back and forth, bored and miserable. There were gigantic balls in some of the cages for the Tigers. The lion, named Wazu, was roaring the whole time I was there; he had a gorgeous loneliness with him.

I was jumping around with glee and excitement to be around these animals. The day that I was at Forever Wild, I got to hear a lion roar and tigers purr.

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

Joel with a Capuchin monkey named Baby G

Joel with a <a href="Macaw Parrot named Big Bird

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Wordless Wednesday

Portrait of Shanice


This is Shanice who was the office manager and a Certified Medical Assistant for almost ten years at Dermatology and Skin Cancer Services – LA Laser Center, in Palmdale, California, USA. She became manager about three years prior to this posting, and that was one of the most proud moments of her life.

Shanice and her husband had three children, 11, 6 and 1 years old who were all proud of what she did; her 11 year old so much so, that she wanted to become a registered nurse. However, even though her younger daughter was inspired by her mom, Shanice recalled that she always had a profound interest in the medical field and decided to pursue the career on her own.

Shanice described herself as a “laid back” person who was mostly a “homebody” who spent time either at home or at work.

Shanice Prepping to do a Medical Peel

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

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Wordless Wednesday

Portrait of Russell


Russell lived in Rosamond, California, United States, but originally was from Lancaster, California, USA. He belonged to  IRONWORKERS LOCAL #433, and in his spare time, he liked to play drums. He played bongos for Jimmy Lee Young.

I met Russell at the US Post Office and he had a great smile as he mailed letters. Watch out Kit Haringon, Russell could replace you as Jon Snow.

Russell had one sister, but they were very different; she was an RN and did not participate in music nor did she install steel beams.

You can follow Russell om Instagram.

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

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Wordless Wednesday

Portrait of Jimmy Lee



Today is the first month anniversary since I hijacked my poetry blog and turned it into a photography/portrait blog. For those of you who don’t know, I set out to post a portrait a day, for a year. I started a few minutes after midnight New Years Day, 2017 and somehow made it through the month of January.

I am proud to introduce Jimmy Lee, who described himself as “a rock and roll singer and songwriter.” He had been singing and writing for 25 years out of Rosamond, California, United States. When I was introduced to Jimmy Lee, I had no idea I was about to photograph an international celebrity who was an Award-winning musical artist, Grammy Finalist, NAMMY winner, and a spirited advocate, at the time, supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Jimmy Lee, who is both Mayan and Wayuu, stood with his fellow Indigenous Americans to stop construction of the The Dakota Access Pipeline.

In honor of this momentous anniversary (I made it though a month of portraits), and because the subject of the portrait is an advocate for a current political issue, I will also be posting a poem. And here comes the passive, miserable excuse: Because, I didn’t have that much time to compose the poem to reach this anniversary, I am writing a Villanelle. I do not consider this a very great Villanelle…but…

You can learn more about Jimmy Lee on:

Jimmy Lee Young | Maya | CD Baby Music Store

A Conversation with Mayan/Wayu Recording Artist Jimmy Lee Young

A Flood At The Protest Camp

Flooding was expected at the protest camp.
Fossil fuel usage cannot be best.
“It’s wrong”, said our native champ

who illuminated issues with an oil lamp.
A sit-in. A walkout. A revolutionary contest
flooded, unexpectedly, at the protest camp.

“Spills, leaks, ruptures!” “Find a clamp.”
“Stop the pepper spray, rubber bullet fest.”
Who was wrong? Who was the champ?

Was it cold, or hot, or dry or damp?
The demonstrators did not rest.
As flooding expectorated the protest camp,

fervor and passion upwardly did ramp:
Stripped naked; forced to starve and fast.
If all were wrong, who was the champ?

A peaceful resistor cannot be a tramp.nell
Defenders should never be oppressed.
A flood had hit the protest camp.
It’s always wrong to whip a champ.

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

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Open Link Night ~ 190

Portrait of Michaela


Michaela was an eleven year old girl who attended Golden Hills Elementary School in Tehachapi, California, United States. She loved puppies, painting and music. In fact, Michaela noted that she liked art in general.

Her favorite type of music, for listening, was County Music, but she belonged to a dance ensemble at The Dance Craze where they practiced musical theater. Michaela described this form of dance as “acting out the song.”

Michaela was very mature for her age. She understood that I wanted to find a nice background, and that the light had to be acceptable (at least.) I met Michaela at Mountain Gardens Nursery & Pet, which normally has gloriously, colorful backgrounds, but it was dreary in January, so this was the best i could do.

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

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E is for EXIT and ENTRANCE