Archive for August, 2012

Get ’em while they’re hot!

August 29, 2012 Leave a comment

I now have posters available through Zazzle!  You can access my Zazzle Store directly here:  Or you can begin on my website here:

These posters are optimized for printing at 24×36 (portrait layout) or 24×24 (landscape layout) at full resolution 300dpi.  Please keep in mind that if you order a larger size, image quality may suffer.

Here There Be Dragons ready-made poster in 24×36 available at


Portrait by Anonymous

August 21, 2012 3 comments


 Portraits by Anonymous

Our third day in Yellowstone Park.  Started out as glorious and then, as we approached Old Faithful, rain dumped out of a seemingly clear sky.  I don’t know how this happens up there in Montana, but magic must be involved.   Del found a parking space that was quite close to the beautiful historic Inn.   This is a miraculous feat in high summer, but my husband was known for doing the impossible, impossibly often.   We all ran for it.  Dad, mom, and twin girls, our hair and clothes soaked through even in the short sprint.

Inside, we watched the geyser for the second time this year, do what it is known for world wide.  Does it spout so high you can’t see the top?  Uh, no, actually.  It is a modest height, impressive but not overwhelming.   Does it roar and growl and rumble the ground before it spouts?   It is quiet and orderly, in fact.   Old Faithful starts low and then builds quickly to full height, then moves back down the scale until it disappears.   Why does such a predictable and orderly geyser garner such a rapt and adoring audience?   Because it is predictable.   The times of eruptions are posted inside the massive, historic lodge and tourists can stroll and eat and shop at the gift shop without any real fear of missing the spectacle.   Other geysers in Yellowstone can be much higher, screamingly loud and sulphur smelling, threatening in their sudden blasts and reach, and can shoot out at any moment.    They wow you!   They scare you into shouting, cowering and running.  But, you have to catch them doing their act and therein lies the problem.   Old Faithful is faithful and never disappoints its fans.

I love Yellowstone National Park.  I grew up in Idaho Falls, Idaho which is now less than 2 hours from there, but in the sixties it took longer.   Old two lane roads,  farmers pulling out on tractors and backing traffic at 10 mph until they reached their next field to mow,  old Fords and Chevys chugging along, their fat bodies resembling colorful beetles, all contributed to the slow caravan of Park worshippers.    Going to Yellowstone  as a child seemed more of a trip to me than it does now and I live in Southern Oregon.   But, oh is it worth the trip – from anywhere!  Nothing is like Yellowstone Park.  I won’t describe the beauty and the majesty because even a huge coffee table picture book like I have in my living room, does not prepare you for the solace, the spectacle,  and the grandeur.   Go see it.

Del also grew up in Idaho and was no stranger to Yellowstone.   We were  equally vested in our twin girls experiencing this bedrock of our own childhoods.  We warned them ahead of time that Yellowstone Park was not Disneyland.   It was an experience of the soul.  And, even though they were only 14  when we visited first, and we had taken them to many places in Europe, South America and even China, their hearts were nurtured there.  Yellowstone spoke to our offspring and why wouldn’t it?

As we watched the geyser out the grand picture window, rain trickled into my ears from the short minutes we had spent in the downpour.  “It is still raining, honey, maybe we need to get a rain slicker or something from the gift shop.  I think they are fairly cheap.”

Del nodded.  “Sure.   Get something for you and the girls.  I will be fine.”   That was so like him.   His white t-shirt would be damp for hours, but he would not even notice.   So, when the geyser finished its performance, the girls happily  strolled with me to the gift shop, and found what  looked like glorified trash bags that fit over our heads.   They were dazzling white,  and had a black etching of the geyser on the front.  At $2, I thought they were charming.  We put them on as we exited the lodge and kept the pouring rain mostly off as we navigated almost blind from the deluge to our car.

By the time we got to the Falls at Canyon, the day had brightened and warmed up, but the girls and I kept our slickers on just in case.   Del’s t-shirt had almost dried out.   After “daddy” deftly negotiated yet another unlikely parking space, we eagerly hiked down to get a closer look at the exploding water off the Yellowstone River.   A mountain range on one side and the water on the other formed such a perfect view that Del got out his seldom used camera.  We were always so engaged that we forgot to take photos and photography was nobody’s forte in our family.  A group of people walked by – three or four – and Del instinctively targeted the man of the family.   He said “Hey sir, would you mind taking a picture of me and my family?”  This sort of thing usually embarrasses me.  I am quite private and do not like bothering people on their holiday.   But, Del always offered to take other’s pictures and I had to admit that a shot of all of us together is a nice thing to have.   Del backed us all up to the rail with our backs to the mountain range, grabbed us all in close.   Our hastily recruited photographer  smiled at us and then said, “Smile.”  He clicked and checked the shot, asked us to pose for another, and said, “There!”  He handed Del the camera.   We were off to finish the hike.

The girls had their 15th birthday on that trip.   Our  twins’ birthday always started as just a small celebration, but got out of control.  I mean, hey, twin girls for heaven’s sake and completely identical and gorgeous to boot.  So, the trip was all part of that celebration of lives so precious they took our breath away every time we looked at them.  August 24th, for us, was the day to celebrate over all others.

It was September 24th when Del did not come home to dinner.   I had it on the table as usual.   He was a dentist and his office was close to home.   Sometimes he had a procedure go longer and he was late, so I didn’t worry too much for the first hour.   The girls and I ate without him and preserved the part of the dinner we knew he enjoyed the most.   When too much time had passed, we went looking for him.   I won’t relate the rest.  It was the day the girls lost their dad and the love of my life was gone forever.

After the funeral, a friend recommended some grief counseling.   Donna, our counselor, asked me if we would spread Del’s ashes.  I said we would later, so we discussed where to spread them.  Yellowstone Park was agreed on as the ONLY place we could consider letting him go.    We knew he would like to be part of that land.  I guess just to further convince ourselves, I told  Donna about our trip and realized I had some pictures I hadn’t yet processed.

When I picked up the photos – processed old style because we hadn’t discovered digital yet, the shot of our family at Canyon Falls was breathtaking.   Backed by the mountains and lit by the brilliant sky, we are all four there, dressed in white – the girls and I in the slickers and Del in his bright white t-shirt.   The whole family looked like angels, but Del was the only one who had made it so far.   With Donna’s encouragement, I took it to a photographer who made the little photo into a 16 X 24” portrait.    It hangs on our wall to this day as our last family portrait.  Nobody – even a professional – could have taken a better shot.

And, the crazy thing is that it is a stranger who took this.  I don’t remember his face, I never knew his name.   But, he gave me the best gift for healing our grief that ever could be imagined.

This summer my twins will turn 20.   They are both working at Canyon Village in Yellowstone Park.  To them, it feels like heaven.   Their dad is always there in every blade of grass or breeze that blows.  And, through the kindness of a stranger, I wait for them here in Oregon, with the Yellowstone scene and our smiling faces always above my dining table and in my heart.

Portrait of the Artist

August 19, 2012 Leave a comment

We spent the morning up on the McKenzie River Trail making some photographs and having a nice picnic.  DJ snapped a couple of pictures of me at work with her point-and-shoot. Here I am photographing the dragon’s head with my 75 year-old camera and lens.

This is a Pacemaker Crown Graphic ( made in 1947.  I have the original sales receipt from a store in Chicago.  It was purchased by a veteran upon returning from the war and used part-time over the years to shoot weddings.  When he died, he willed it to his grandson who left it in the attic for years before selling it to me.  It came complete with two flash attachments, two porta lenses (used to make a standard lens into a mild telephoto for portraits) four film pack adapters, old Kodak film and even a bunch of Sylvania bulbs.  All of it was still in the leatherette case.  The lens is a Wollensak 135mm Optar – sharp and contrasty.  The shutter is a Graphex shutter and has performed accurately for me over the past five years.

The Graflex is a great way to get started in large format photography if you’re on a budget.  It lacks many of the movements traditional field or technical cameras have but it’s rugged and easy to use.  I use my jacket or vest for a dark cloth to save weight.  I use my Nikon D200 as a light meter and to get instant results with a histogram.

I use Velvia 50 slide film which comes in individual sheets and must be loaded into double-sided film holders in total darkness.  For that, I use a light-weight, portable film changing bag.  I load the holders at home in advance and carry them into the field in a ziplock bag.  I store all my film and processed plates in the refrigerator in ziplock bags with companion moisture absorbent packets.

Usually, when I’m out in the field with this camera, people ask me about it.  One of the most common questions they ask is, “Why would you use such an old, manually intensive camera?”  The answer is, it makes better photographs than my digital.  It makes better photographs than your digital, too.  There are several reasons for this.  One, it requires that you take your time and think things through.  Believe it or not, this results in better images.  Photography is all about seeing.  Large format cameras require so much time and effort to set up and use, they result in the development of a work methodology that produces a higher kill ratio.  In other words, I may come back from a full day in the mountains with only one or two plates, but odds are at least one of them will be quality.  That’s a 50 percent or higher rate of quality production.  Compare that to my digital where it’s common to fill up a card with hundreds of images and only have one or two truly good ones.

Second, the plates I do produce are richer, sharper, more colorful and better composed than those I produce with my handheld digital.  This is because the camera itself forces me to go through the motions of composition, making those small changes that, in the end, result in the difference between making photographs and taking pictures.

Third, large format lenses are better, even old ones like mine, and therefore produce better results.

This is not to say that you can’t take a great photo with a digital or other handheld camera.  You can.  But if you want the best quality image you can produce, only a large format camera will do.  This is why these large cameras are still made and used by landscape, architecture and product photographers.  For more information on large format photography, visit these websites.  I suggest starting with Ken Rockwell’s site.  Everyone has an opinion on Ken, my opinion is he’s honest, direct and easy to understand.×5.htm

Why the Gym Raises My Blood Pressure (and not in a good way)

August 15, 2012 1 comment

Monday morning I pull on my exercise clothes, newly laundered, and righteously set out for a scant 10-minute drive to the nearby 24-hour gym. My family joined this a couple years ago due to convenience and availability of hours. The inconveniences are its smallish size and senior dominated membership.  Also, men are allowed.

Now, before anybody gets offended here thinking this is a senior or man bash, just hold on. I equally offend everyone if you read with an open mind. Why is it that I go off to the gym always planning on a successful and healthful workout and come back riddled with resentment? Let me walk you through it.

First up: I enter the gym and find that all of the treadmills are occupied. They are being trod by a legion of overweight females of various ages at roughly 1 mph. Some of them are reading while they stroll, others talking on the phone and one watching Kathy Lee Gifford. They are exercising their minds and their social skills, but their bodies not so much. Never mind. Running the treadmill isn’t really all that good for feet and knees, so I pass them by peacefully and claim one of the two stairmasters.

My stairmaster is the older one with duct tape, but I am content. However, on the new one next to me is a largish man sweating profusely, red faced and heaving in a way to suggest that he is already over his threshold. As I step on to my stairs, I see him reach out and turn his setting higher. I am alarmed. He shouldn’t be doing this. I know CPR but never want to use it. I turn my face away, refusing to be codependent. His health is his business. He starts to grunt at intervals. Uffggh!  Rruurreeeh! A stench surrounds me, sticking to my damp skin like smog.   He reeks. It isn’t a good sweat-stink, more like bad hygiene combined with heart medications.  I try to ignore it, but fail.
Nauseated, I quit the stairmaster and look for a more isolated machine.

In the corner, I locate the only thigh exerciser at my gym. Perfect! It is well away from the stench of the stairmaster.   Before I can get there, a very tall and broad senior woman lumbers over and heavily drops onto my machine.  Well, she is welcome. It certainly is the right of every female to avail themselves of this particularly female oriented equipment. She drapes her saggy rear over the seat and begins – STRETCHING?   She stretches flabby arms, torso side to side, bending from waist, neck, hands behind head, legs out, legs in.  Endless.  I am livid. She never once uses the machine for what it is designed for – a lady’s THIGHS.  I want to go over and remind her that stretches can be done anywhere, but this machine is unique to a purpose. Could she possibly stretch on a bench, I would ask her?  I look at her glassy stare, her mouth drawn into a scowl. Or, maybe I will just let her alone, I think.

Shut out of everything I love, I make a frantic beeline for the “pusher.”  This is the one where you plant your feet against a movable weight and push out. It burns your ass in a frightfully lovely way. I can always just feel my ass tightening and getting cute again. I set my weights and begin pushing. Out of the corner of my eye, I see him. He is the creepy old guy who comes to the gym to scope out females.  He is sitting on a machine that affords him a good view of the “female” type machines and pretends as if he is lifting weights, but I know that look. He is ogling. It is not always the same man.  In fact, it has never been the same man.  It is the just the man today who ogles. I ignore him, but he moves to the machine right beside me. I have burned my ass enough, I think. I am not intimidated by this triple necked skeez with greasy hair and elephant knees. Not a bit. I just am ready to move on.

I glance longingly across the room at my favorite unit.  It is one where you sit upright, and then push down on weights with your whole upper body, bending slightly forward. You feel the tightening of your midriff. My midriff!  Lost cause, but this machine always gives me hope. It is currently occupied by a beautifully groomed senior woman in full makeup and concrete silver hair (sorry seniors, just being honest) who is completely absorbed in the engaging act of picking at her manicured nails!  I stand and watch for a minute. Then two. Yup! She is very much focused on her cuticles and nothing more. I decide to get aggressive.  There is only ONE of these machines and will NOT be sacrificed to a nail picker. I move forward, and fix her with a disapproving stare. At some point, she picks up the irritation vibes I am shooting toward her, gives me an apologetic smile, and begins to actually exercise. Well, fine.

I am feeling really frustrated as I do a larger view of what is really available. I look at the flat bench, the one I need to do my sit ups and leg raises. I really need this, as my hips cannot seem to take a mat. On it is a 20-something man lifting weights. Why he needs to lift weights sitting on my bench is a question mark. He has a hoodie over his head even though it is 102 degrees outside these days and the gym’s air conditioner is having a hard time keeping up. He is sweating profusely even in the crack of his ass, this leaking out onto my bench and forming a shiny cesspool. I decide he can have it.

My energy level has declined significantly by now. I am feeling a bit discouraged. I check out the thigh machine again. Stretcher lady is gone, but a middle aged MAN has taken her place. REALLY?!!  Oh, come on!  Men have no interest in their thighs. We all know this. Don’t these men know a lady’s machine when they see one? I mean, I don’t go in their “weight cave” and dominate the pulley machine.  Shit no.  A female could be lynched for that.   Disgusting man!  I consider walking over and ogling him, just for spite.

One of the meandering treadmillers has gone home, bless her gum-popping soul.  I take her place. I turn it up to 10, and begin a run. I am so irritated by now that I stumble. Bad idea plus, embarrassing.   I turn it down pretending nonchalance.  I feel the strain in my knees and lower back now and berate myself.

Shamed, I go sit on a stationary bike in the bike rack (or Siberia as it seems to be). Bikes that go nowhere are always empty except for kids whose moms have taken them to the gym so mom can exercise without hiring a babysitter, which is against the rules. You can usually find a Barbie doll or two sitting in the bookrack.

Now my workout is so disjointed and unfocused that it is less than worthless. I begin stroking the useless pedals and then see a familiar face come in the door.  It is the “Kerm, the annoying self-promoting personal trainer, the guy that is always going to “help” you do your workout out of kindness and then corner you to arrange a few
sessions.  Oh, damn! I refuse to look at him. Too late, his shoes are beside my bike.

“Hey, Kaye! How’s your workout coming?”  I lie.  I tell him how much progress I am making and how much better I feel. In the process of lying, I realize how much I probably really NEED a personal trainer.  But, I will never tell him that.

I will only watch stealthily, my blood pressure pounding in my temples, until nail lady and stretching lady and ridiculous thigh man get OFF MY MACHINES!

Kaye Elder Proctor

More New Photos!

August 15, 2012 4 comments

I’m so happy!  I just got my new film back and my images look great!  I found this spot not far from the trail one day when I was out fishing on the McKenzie ( I caught a nice, 12-inch rainbow, by the way) and I went back last week to make this photograph.  I really love this image.  This little spot looks like it’s been transported to the present from deep time.

This image is the same root formation I photographed with my digital a couple of weeks ago.  This one was taken with my Crown Graphic 4×5 on Velvia 50 at f22.25.

I hope everyone enjoys these as much as I enjoyed making them!

The Trek

August 11, 2012 2 comments

The Trek

    On the morning of August 7, I began my yearly trek to the holy place where I meet my maker. Having overloaded my Ford Taurus with the necessary equipment and supplies, I hit the road, breathing a sigh of relief as I passed the sign indicating I was leaving city limits and the trappings of civilization. I was on my way at last, headed for “God’s Country” (or Goddess), and my eagerly awaited communion with the Creator.

    Proceeding east along highway 126, I began the process of de-stressing. By the time I reached the tiny community of Vida, I found that I could actually breathe through my nose again, which rarely happens for me in town. I knew I was on the right track and better things were in store during the coming week. This might not seem like much to some, but for the person who feels like he tries to breathe with cotton balls shoved up his nose most of the time, it is huge.

    As I turned from 126 on to Aufderheid Forest Drive, my sense of exhilaration grew stronger. Dead ahead and just a mere twenty miles up the road was my destination, Frissell Crossing Campground. I have driven this stretch of road so many times over the years that I think I could probably do it while I sleep. But for the sake of expediency, I chose to keep my eyes open and take in some of its beauty as I drove. As an aside, it seems that the place got its name from the fact that over a century ago an old sheep herder by the name of Frissell, forded the South Fork of the McKenzie at this very spot.

    I soon struck camp. All was in order and it was time to let my hair down and my beard grow. I sat with my back to an enormous fir tree, letting the rushing whitewater stream take with it all the worries and cares and stress of my everyday existence, feeling them wash away with the flow of the pristine waters. I pictured these burdens flowing downstream, eventually to end up where the river meets the sea. The purification process had begun, and with it the much needed healing of body, mind and spirit.

    By late evening the other members of the expedition had all arrived and made camp. So here I was, in the midst of such natural beauty, among family and friends. By this time some of the “curmudgeon’ I have been blessed with had gone downstream as well and I was ready to welcome all with open arms. No man is an island, not even Mr. Curmudgeon with a capital K. Part of the magic of this wonderful place lies in the fact that I have around me those that I care for the most; my 82 year old father, my grown children and their children.

    The time had come to undertake a ritual that needed to be done without the distractions of others. I began my yearly solo hike on the Ollallie Trail into the Three Sisters Wilderness to a small stream known as Bull Creek. Here I sat on a moss covered boulder and opened my spirit to those of the trees, the water, the sky and the rocks. I heard their voices and let them hear mine. I felt my connection to the Earth Mother and my responsibility to live in harmony with the spirits of all things. I don’t know how long I sat there in silence, absorbing the truths of my own lifestyle and its impact on Mother Earth. I was one the universe..

    I spent a wonderful four days in paradise, but all good things must end. Begrudgingly, I made the return trip to reality, or the Twilight Zone, as I prefer to call it. Even now, the experience is just a memory; one among many such memories accumulated over the years. And true to form, some of the curmudgeon wafted out of the river somewhere around Leaburg, attaching itself firmly to my psyche. I shall endeavor to keep it under control. But even now I look forward to another visit to my favorite haunt before summers end and a refresher course from the earth. Unless I completely miss my guess, those around me will be thankful for a second retreat, even if they are unable to accompany me.

Fear Itself

August 7, 2012 Leave a comment

“Fear can do many strange things. Even though water run low, their mouths caked and their bellies burnt dry, not one soul put a foot outside. No one had that much courage. For they feared the peasants and their world outside. So they played it safe and didn’t move. And one by one, they perished and died.” From “The Black Plague.”

    It was a warm spring evening in the sleepy little town of Eureka, California. As fortune would have it, the sky was cloudless; a not too common occurrence for this coastal town at any time of year. Family, friends and neighbors were gathered in the grassy field near our homes. We were there to observe the passing through the night skies of something called Sputnik.

    It was the year 1958, and I, being all of eight years old, had no notion of what this Sputnik was. The significance of the event was foreign to me. My young mind was preoccupied with notions of playing baseball for the New York Yankees, and of course, my budding crush on Diane Smith. Tonight, however, all took a backseat to the much ballyhooed transit through the heavens of something called Sputnik. This was front page news in the local rag, the Humboldt Standard. To be precise, this was actually Sputnik II, or “Muttnik”, so named because of its canine passenger named Laika.

    Time seemed to come to a halt and the minutes dragged interminably along. As the last vestiges of daylight faded into darkness, the conversation of those around me became dark and ominous. I heard about “Russians” for the first time and learned that they were responsible for this Sputnik thing. This was all their doing, and somehow it portended great evil for we who were gathered that night. I was truly afraid because around me were afraid. These were the very ones I looked to for protection from things that go bump in the night. If they were fearful, I knew I should be fearful too.

“There it is” came the cry. I didn’t want to look, choosing to hide my eyes from this terrible manifestation in the firmament. “If I don’t look, it can’t hurt me.” I was terrified. And yet, the irresistible urge to have a peek at this evil Sputnik overcame my dread. I looked in the direction my father was pointing. At first I didn’t see what the others were gazing at. All I could discern was stars, a bazillion stars.

“Where is it”? “What am I looking for”? I looked to Dad for directions. He pointed at the sky in the general direction of west. Then I saw it. A tiny pinprick of light was the only thing moving among the stars. This was Sputnik the terrible, Sputnik the harbinger of the apocalypse that was certain to follow.

Despite the prognostications of the adults gathered there, the world did not come to its cataclysmic demise that evening. The new dawn broke, and with it the realization that I would have to endure another day of the drudgery known as school. I can’t recall that I ever cared much for school. Point of fact is, I can’t remember ever not hating every minute of it. But all things considered, I guess it was preferable to whatever doom Sputnik was to have unleashed. And Diane was still my girlfriend. I knew this to be so because she told me of her affection for me when we kissed for the first (and last) time. Diane’s parents soon moved to another city far away. The love of my life was gone forever.

The years went by, slowly and inexorably, as they always do in the eyes of a child. Eventually however, the days at Worthington Elementary School were over and I was a seventh grader at Eureka Junior High. The first week was a rather interesting one and I quickly found myself at odds with the powers that be. All seventh grade newcomers were ushered into the gymnasium and shown films depicting the power of a nuclear bomb. After observing the devastation, we received much needed information on how to save ourselves in the event of an atomic attack.

“When you see the bright flash of light in the sky, a flash as brilliant as the sun, hide under your desks.” I couldn’t resist. Up went my hand.

“Did you just see what just happened to that air base and the small town around it? It is gone. It’s not there anymore. It’s just gone. So is everyone who took shelter under their desks.”

Thus began the first of many trips to the vice principals office. Mrs. Davis had a face that would curd milk and a sense of humor to match her countenance. She was quite angry with me, but more than that, she was genuinely afraid. I learned more about the “Communists” and their plans for our obliteration. They were everywhere. There was one behind every tree and they were out to get us. Just like the Russians who did that awful Sputnik thing. It wasn’t long after this initial “office visit” that I learned that the Russians were the Communists.

I didn’t understand what a communist was or better yet, what communism was. No one could tell me. Even my parents had no clear notion of whom, or what a communist was. They just knew that Russians were communists. That was bad because our government leaders told them it was bad. Without knowing why I believed them, I did nonetheless.

Then came October of 1962 and the Cuban Missile Crisis. For the first time, I was really afraid. At the tender age of thirteen, I wasn’t ready to die just yet. But I could sense that this was very real and along with everyone else, I held my breath, waiting for the bomb to drop. On Saturday night, the air raid sirens went off in town, and even though my family lived several miles outside the City, I reverently placed my head between my knees and said good-bye to my gluteus maximus.

Much to my relief, the night skies never lit up and it turned out to be a five alarm fire that caused the sirens to scare the hell out of all of us. It seems a drunk driver went headlong into a gas station, causing a huge fireball and the burning of quite a large block of town. I awoke Sunday morning to the news that cooler heads had prevailed and the immediate crisis was over. This was indeed welcome news to somewhat who thought we were all goners. It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned just how close we were to the unthinkable.

Many years have gone by and much water has passed beneath the bridge of my life. The cold war is a thing of the past. The evil “Iron Curtain” has collapsed and the foe has been vanquished. But some things remain, seeming eternal. We have a new “ism” to contend with, one that we are being led to believe is infinitely more evil that the old. Terrorists have replaced Communists as the enemy of the day. Just as in Orwell’s novel “1984”, the face of the enemy is ever changing, depending on political and economic expediencies. Today’s ally will be tomorrow’s foe. We continue to live in fear of each other and even ourselves. Fearful people are easier people to control.

    In conclusion, I hearken to the words of one of our greatest Presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt. During one of his famous Fireside Chats, he told America that “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Indeed, fear can do many strange things. Let us hope that as citizens of Planet Earth, we will awaken to a new age, a true age of reason. I, for one, choose not to let live in constant dread of unseen enemies, whether real or imaginary. My prayers are that the world will do the same.

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