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Portrait of Tyler


Tyler was a member of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) team at Desert High School on Edwards Air Force Base. She had been involved in this program for two years and was a staff sergeant.

She participated because, “ROTC has really dedicated me into really being helpful to people and I’m also going into the military After High School.” She specifically wanted to go into the Infantry in the United State Army.

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

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Portrait of Amanda-2


Amanda was originally from Summerville South Carolina, USA. Her husband was stationed at Edwards Air Force Base and she had moved to Antelope Valley straight out of high school.

Amanda made baby clothes and cloth diapers and sold them through GrayScaleThreads. She started this company because she very interested in Star Wars and Harry Potter and there were no options for baby clothes for those items.

I had a very dynamic argument as to who was a bigger Star Wars fan. I explained to her that I stood online first day first show for Return of the Jedi when I was pregnant in 1983. Amanda, on the other hand, rebutted with the fact that when she was eight and a half months pregnant, she went to see The Force Awaken with her husband the day it came out.

Amanda added that she did not go to the bathroom one time she and sat through the entire thing, “It was awesome totally worth it,” she said.

So was Return of the Jedi, but I did go to the bathroom. She won.

Bantha poodoo.

 

Two Star Was themed little sacks

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

Portrait of Todd


I heard Todd and his band play at the 4th of July event at Edwards Air Force Base. I didn’t know who they were, but thought to myself that they really played some good Beatles. After, their performance, Todd let me interview him, and I found out that he was part of The Cast of Beatlemania. Evidently, the band was kind enough to come and play for free for the military troops at Edwards Air Force Base as they celebrated our Independence Day.

Beatlemania is a professional group that plays Beatles songs for over two hours in a performance spanning their history together. The concept has been around since 1980. I saw Beatlemania in Seattle, Washington, USA in the mid-1990’s. It is a fantastically fun experience. I highly recommend it if you have the opportunity (not necessarily in Seattle.)

When I met Todd, he had been playing Paul McCartney in the The Los Angeles Cast of Beatlemania for about eight years. He got started because somebody saw him play with another group at another event and told him “we think you’d be able to do it.” They had him play Paul because he looked like Paul and was a bass player. He always loved the Beatles.

The first time Todd heard the Beatles was when he was little, but he didn’t remember exactly when. I told Todd that I remembered the first time I heard the Beatles; it was when they were on The Ed Sullivan Show and I was very, very little. Todd said “that’s a good one to remember.”

This was shot in 100% natural lighting conditions, during sunset, no reflectors. I added the sky in Photoshop, though, for dramatic effect.

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Round 21 – B for Beasties

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Wordless Wednesday
Back from my family “vacation”…

 

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

Portrait of Col Clarke


In this portrait, Col. Anne L. Clark, PhD Electrical and Computer Engineering, stood before a mock-up of a current U.S. rocket engine, on display at the Air Force Research Laboratory, during the Rocket Lab’s Family Day, an event that brought employees, alumni and their families together to join in a variety of activities, demonstrations and displays as part of the rocket lab’s 65th anniversary.

In August 2016, Colonel Clark assumed command of AFRL’s Detachment 7, known for the past 65 years as “the rocket lab” and “the rock.” This 65-square mile research laboratory sits on Leuhman Ridge east of Rodgers Dry Lakebed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, USA. Prior to her current position, Colonel Clark served as the Military Assistant to the Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force , Washington, D.C.

For more about Colonel Clark’s impressive career and academic credentials, see her LinkedIn profile.

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C is for cupcakes

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Wordless Wednesday
To a super special somebody…

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

Portrait of Gary-2


Gary was a retired Toyota car parts salesman who owned a 1957 Cushman scooter, Eagle, all stock with a sidecar. It was originally his father’s and he inherited it. His father had it about eight years after purchasing it because when he was younger, he had one.

His father worked at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, located at Edwards Air Force Base for 51 years. When his father died,  Gary got a tattoo engraved, with the NASA meatball theme,  but instead of saying “NASA” it said “DAD” (see below).

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sonnet 24


Cloud Formations

Pilots are inexorably tied to weather. Under certain conditions, it would be certainly hazardous to fly. One day, when I was working at Edwards, one of my pilots was standing and staring at the weather. I stopped to watch him. It was so organic. His entire being was going up there, and he wanted to understand it, that day, to it’s fullest. The weather report would not be enough. Like a businessman reading the file on a prospective client, like an HR person reading about a prospective hiree, a farmer looking to see if it’s time to plant and of course, a sailor wondering where the prevailing winds will take him.

Sonnet XXIV

Just remember, if you crash because of weather, your funeral will be held on a sunny day. – Layton A. Bennett 

You stood there and gauged the patterns of air,
the clouds and the turbulence. Yet, the wind,
not robust enough to tousle your hair,
was able to make clarity rescind.
To and fro your eyes scanned the perilous
landscape. In your mind, a scenario
evolved, with way too many mischievous
heroics to feed your growing ego.
Then you pitched up into the nasty sky
as if you were controlling the weather.
Regardless of the conditions up high,
you would return on wing without feather.
Thus, as each day goes by in your young life,
you reappear to your offsprings and wife.

*****************************

I am responding to the prompt, “Write about a memorable encounter relating to work .”

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POETICS: Workin’ For It

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Photo credit:  Bat-Ami Gordin  © 2012 all rights reserved, credit if you use it, please.