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Chasing Rainbows

When times were tough, I would chase rainbows, traveling nearly 1,000 miles round trip for a chance to make some money. Winter is always tough when you make your living working outdoors and moving to California didn't change a thing. When I moved there, I thought I would work year round because of the mild weather, but no such luck. Art shows ended right after Christmas and didn't begin in earnest until late April. But every February, over the President's Day Weekend, there was an art festival in Laguna Beach about 30 miles south of LA.

I did this show out of pure desperation for three or four consecutive years and never made more than a few hundred dollars but I always held out hope because of the upscale, affluent reputation of the community. My third time there, we had heavy rain on Saturday morning and the show was called off for the day. I found a supermarket parking lot and fell asleep to the sound of rain on the roof....

When I awoke, I saw a magnificent rainbow displaying itself over the ocean. My first instinct was to shoot it immediately, but on further thought, I said to myself, "I need something to go with it". I set out heading south on US 1 in search of … something!

Near San Clemente, I saw a sign pointing in-land that read "Camp J. H. Pendleton USMC Training Center". I turned left and raced up the road hoping my rainbow would wait. Rounding a curve, I saw what I was looking for, something out of the ordinary.

Whether it's gym sneakers or army boots, when they hang over a wire it signifies a right of passage: a graduation ceremony of sorts. I figured this marine must have wished his "ruby slippers" would take him back to Kansas more than once during his ordeal.


"This Must be Kansas"


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