Sun Daisy and Moon Rose, their story condensed

39 of my 43 years have been blessed with a one of a kind forever sort of friendship.  I moved into this little condominium complex when I was just 4.  We were unloading our furniture when a little girl with the biggest most expressive brown eyes ran up to me and said “I haven’t seen you in such a long day!”  She apparently had been waiting for me to show up.  And this is why mama Georgia believes we were friends in another life. The little girl’s name was Ronda Lee…no H in this Ronda!

little usI had to hold the kitty cause according to me…she didn’t know how to properly do it

Ronda and Tracie basically grew up together and basically know about everything there is to know about each other, its border line scary.  They can just look at each other and know what the other one is thinking. Really it’s true!

streetOh and the stories there are so many stories about these two.  So many I can’t possibly list them all here or it would be a mini novel.  I wish I could tell you all the details of how Tracie saved Ronda’s life one day as they sat up on the trunk portion of the big convertible drinking their Icee’s and enjoying the wind on their faces when Ronda nearly fell off the back of the car, so Tracie naturally pulled her to safety…only their cherry red Icee’s ended up all over the back seat of the pretty white car and it wasn’t so much about the heroic act as it was about the mess they made in the back seat.  They were always in trouble for something, like the time they broke the glass music box and snuck it to Mama Georgia’s house so they could have her glue it back together so Mama Linda wouldn’t “know any better”  or the time they were eating those suckers they weren’t supposed to have when Tracie’s cap broke off and Ronda thought Elmer’s glue would do the trick, or the time they decided they had had enough and packed the red wagon to run away but only made it to the swimming pool at the complex before deciding to return home, or the time Ronda cleaned up the oil spot on the garage floor with mama Linda’s new designer white jeans.  Yep. Those are just a few of the things that went on in those days. rtIn those days it was okay to send your little people off to school, to walk through the vacant field and climb under the fence to get to class, or take the alternate longer route that passed a 7-11 where the little redhead and girl with the brown eyes would peel old already chewed gum off the sidewalk and chew gravel filled gum on their way to school. Or the arguments the girls would get into with boys like Tony Baloney and Brad who insisted babies come out of their mom’s vaginas while Ronda and Tracie were insistent that girls pooped babies out.  Like what do boys know anyways!

red blackRonda and Tracie didn’t really like their given names so Tracie insisted that Ronda call her Rose and so Ronda decided on Daisy for herself.  These same girls had a heated argument from across the street from each other (Daisy lived on one side of the street while Rose lived on the other) Oh Rose was so mad, she had to call Miss Daisy anything but Ronda or Daisy, so she shouted something like “I hate you Pee Pee Head!”  Miss Rose started that fight but Miss Daisy won the fight when her comeback was “I hate you Poo Poo head!”  This stopped Rose in her tracks, she couldn’t think of one more word worse than that!

outside hangingLater on when these two little girls grew up they still stayed friends, even when Daisy’s parents moved her all the way to San Diego where Rose had to take the train to visits during the summer months or Daisy’s Dad would pick her up on his way home from his job so the two girls could spend some time together. Ronda’s dad always referred to them as the beatnik and hippie.   And even later when Daisy moved in with her grandparents on Rose’s side of town where they were thrilled to be so close again.

renneAnd even later than that when they decided they should be roommates and live in the same complex Daisy’s Italian grandparents managed.  Where Grandma Della would sneak in and leave them homemade pizza on their kitchen counter to make sure they were being fed.  And just like when they were little and would watch Lavern and Shirley and Ronda would say, “I’m Shirley and you’re Lavern” and Tracie would say “okay, I’m alright with that” and when they lived together…Ronda was Shirley and Tracie was Lavern and Tracie was more than okay with it but Ronda had a lot of picking up to do for the both of them.

mobileThese two knew each other so well yet they were kind of different.  Ronda decided that she was the sun and Tracie was the moon because that’s how different they were from each other.  Ronda was full of sunshine while Tracie was a little more gloomy.  Ronda wrote poems about happy things while Tracie wrote poems about sad things. Ronda loved her Moody Blues, Grateful Dead and John Denver while Tracie loved Led Zeppelin,  the Cure and  John Lennon but they both agreed fully on the Doors of course. Sometimes they would sit for hours on end at the tops of parking structures reading philosophy and talking about life’s purpose making short films (lost films) Ronda loved to sing and dance, while Tracie liked to take it all in.

pizza makingThere is so much more to say about these two but it’s already far too long for most people to want to keep reading.  They are grown-ups now, they both are still very different and at the same time very much alike.  Somewhere along the way Ronda taught Tracie to not be so gloomy and even though she is the moon, she is a big bright full moon now!  One thing that hasn’t change that will never change is the love they have for on another.  There is nothing quite like it.

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He gives personal blessings because he LOVES us that much!

It was 1987, I was 16 going on 17 and I selected photography as my elective with yearbook staff as my 2nd elective.  My favorite class without a doubt was photo and being able to crack open the film canister , develop it and make prints in the darkroom was seriously magical.  My photo teacher was Mr. Benke and to this day he still works at the high school I graduated from moving up to Director of Admissions. I’m willing to bet he misses teaching photography.   I graduated from a private school, I wish my kids could have attended also but although I graduated from a well-respected school, I never went to college and basically can’t afford the tuition for any of my kids. I like that old song, “Even though we don’t got money, I’m so in love with you, honey…”  I remember very well Mr. Benke telling me, “it doesn’t matter the quality of photo equipment, if you have an eye that’s what makes a great photograph”  or something to that effect.   I think it was one of the best pieces of advice I have received when it comes to photography.

I did a lot of things in 1987 I worked my first job at my parents yogurt shop along side two of my best friends whom I still hang out with and I drove a 1965  Mustang to my first job almost every day after school.  My first love was Rich West and he also happened to be our first dollar we made at our little 1950’s inspired yogurt shop, Blondies.

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Shauna, Lisa and Me

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Me and my red Mustang, her name was Jasmine

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My first love Rich and my husband today!!!  Dreams do come true!

 I carried my camera with me most places, a 35mm FR Yashica that my grandpa gave me. I had one lens only, a 50mm. I couldn’t wait to finish a roll so I could go back to school and develop it.  One of my favorite spots to shoot was my hometown of Fullerton and especially the train station.  I would most often go alone and meet strangers occasionally and ask to take their photos,  the conversations were always interesting, I did a lot of day dreaming as I walked the sidewalks and shot little things that caught my eye.  I would sit on benches and write poetry and read philosophy with my soul friend Ronda up on the top of the parking structures among other things not worth mentioning.  But again the darkroom is a place I felt escape, peace, creation and it just felt right, like I belonged.

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 My first camera, thank you grandpa not only for the camera but for believing in my talent

photo taken in 1987

I met this stranger at the train station, I was drawn to him because of his style and sat and talked a good long while.  My speed was set a little high and the one and only shot I took looks like he was screaming at me but really he was just talking quite animated, I do remember he was very enthusiastic. 

Later when I married young and had my first little baby boy, I still had not lost my love for photography. I had by this time moved up to a Minolta 7000i still an analog camera but with fully automatic features. We lived in the historical part of uptown Whittier and just down at the end of Painter on Whittier Blvd. there was a place called the Photographers Space, run by a nice man named Mike.  I thought Mike was rather cool because he had actually seen the Doors live in concert back in the day and he let me play whatever music I wanted while I rented the darkroom space from him.  This was about 16 years ago when I used this space which was so convenient to where I lived and it was a bit of a get away.  I again found that escape, peace, a place to create and a place where I belonged.  One year I hand printed my Christmas cards, it was a photograph of our little Austin dressed as an angel. I think I made at least 30 idential prints to give away that day.   I also did some shots for a dear friend of mine, she wanted boudoir shots done and didn’t want just anybody developing them.   I even did a fun photo shoot of a friend of mine and her room mates.  I also took some photographs of my forever friend Ronda for her wedding engagement and just cause photo’s of beautiful her. All done in this wonderful space I rented by the hour.  I always, always wanted my very own darkroom but never knew how I would have the money or place to build one.

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 Austin fell out this very window and Rich dove through it after him, fastest I have ever seen anyone move!  We were young, we learned a very valuable lesson, leave the windows down.

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The famous Christmas card, mascara included.  Sorry Aussie but you have to agree, pretty cute little guy.

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My beautiful friend Ronda, aka DaizyMoon, when smoking was cool.

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gorgeous Italian girl who I swear I have known even somehow before we were even born.

This past weekend my father-n-law just happened by a yard sale in our very neighborhood and it had two enlargers for sale.  They only wanted 25.00 a piece for them.  He knows his daughter-n-law very well and he called to see if I might be interested.  I didn’t even have 25.00 to spend on it but luckily we have a mortgage account to steal from, so I felt in this case that would be alright.  Not only did I get this enlarger but Ron, the owner of the enlarger called me back later that night because I had left my phone number and he gave me, developing trays, amber lighting, tongs, clips, film canisters, darkroom in a bag and a few other things for FREE.  So I’m going to say that the timing is perfect with my parents just giving me their old analog cameras and as I just began to shoot film again just last week.  It’s a blessing to say the least and my friend Teri said it best, our God is so personal with His blessings, so very personal.  I consider this a gift from above.  I have no choice but to build a darkroom now.  I just have to right?  Just like I have to shoot my mom’s old brownie even if I have to order the film from Israel and wait 6 weeks to get it. Life is good in the West, very, very good.

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 Not the best photograph (sorry about that) but when I looked this up online, I found it went for about 325.00 and I only paid 25.00!!! OH MY WORD! It better work. 

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 The free loot he threw in with the deal!!  Even some expired film to play with:)  Lots of photo paper too, hope that doesn’t go bad.