Final Chapter

In the Fall of 2011, we started this little blog with the goal of sharing what photography has meant to me as I battle chronic pain associated with a failed back and psoriatic arthritis that has camped out in as many as 43 of my joints.PhotoremedyBlogBkgrndPhoto

I wanted to share that the creative pleasure, and frequent thrill, associated with photography and photo-based digital arts has been a near inconceivable tool for helping me to move my mind and focus away from the pain. My overriding goal has been for photoremedy.me to help those in comparable circumstances. Who doesn’t want to help others climbing similar mountains?

Hero Duck 3fapj (1 of 1)Along my blogging way, I have found that I also enjoy sharing my art with others.

Unfortunately, 2015 was a rough year for my pain levels and the medical procedures and testing have temporarily wore me down a bit. Compounding this, I’ve found that typing and editing posts like this are particularly brutal for my cervical and lumbar areas. As a result, I’m changing things up. I’m going to keep taking and developing (what I hope are) interesting photos, but this will be –for now– the final official chapter for photoremedy.me. As this effort winds down, I’m happy to report that a new pursuit begins.Home Page Photoj

My Grandpa Dude will be an electronic gallery of sorts for both my new and classic photography-based art efforts. I’m not planning on doing any of the writing that has caused me –and probably more than a few photoremedy.me readers– excessive pain. It’s simply designed to be a creative outlet, while serving as an example of where the pursuit of photoremedy might lead others. Where does the name come from? Check out my full explanation at http://mygrandpadude.com/about. Here’s a short bit of it:About photo

While My Grandpa Dude will consume more of my time, I plan on working with WordPress to hopefully change the current photoremedy.me site from one that begins with the “Blog Background and Initial Post” and follows with posts in the order they were created. I hope to make it read more like a book, while continuing to make it a resource for people looking for new ways to win their own battles with health challenges. And, hopefully, it will help communicate (in a small way) that people can gain new abilities as previous attributes fade away.

Photoremedy.me has been incredibly enjoyable for me. Thank you to all of my awesome family Greg1jmembers who have helped bring life to this blog and thank you to all who have encouraged me in my blogging and even suggested I had something valuable to share. God bless you; I hope to see you regularly on MyGrandpaDude.com!

– Greg (a.k.a. Grandpa Dude)

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Great Tavern Food

Last June, we featured the rapidly growing, cool-country vacation and retirement centers of Pine and Strawberry in north-central Arizona. Mary and I enjoyed the heat-beating benefits of the historic region so much that we’ve already found our way back there this year for a little more photoremedy and food.

Pine, Arizona

Pine, Arizona

Our recent visit provided us with the added benefit of allowing us to catch up with our old friend, Maher Hazine.

Maher Hazine

Maher Hazine

We’ve known Maher, and his wife Kim, since we all began attending the same Anthem-area church many years ago. Both Maher and Kim were tireless volunteers, with Maher frequently seen flipping burgers or dogs at many church festivals and feasts. At the time, we did not know just how much he loved feeding people good food in a friendly environment. Today, the Hazines are the proprietors of Sidewinders Tavern and Grill in Pine.

Sidewinders - Pine, Arizona

Sidewinders – Pine, Arizona

It’s an awesome fit. Great food and friends is just another reason for us to keep returning to Pine, Arizona.

Sidewinders - Pine, Arizona

Sidewinders – Pine, Arizona

Sidewinders - Pine, Arizona

Sidewinders – Pine, Arizona

Hippies – Now and Then

Last summer, Mary and I stumbled upon a “Hippie Vehicle” that stimulated a lot of response here on Photoremedy.

Two Hippies Beach House - 501 East Camelback Rd., Phoenix

Two Hippies Beach House – 501 East Camelback Rd., Phoenix

I’m happy to report that, courtesy of Main Street in Camp Verde, Arizona, this year we have found what appears to be the four wheeled forefather of the great American Hippie Bus.

Main Street - Camp Verde, AZ

Main Street – Camp Verde, AZ

This should dispel the notion that any one decade or generation has a corner on producing colorful, unforgettable times. What can you do to make other people smile or to ensure your generation is memorable? Let’s commit to making this the best, most momentous summer of our lives – one that history will never forget!

Oak Alley Plantation

Oak Alley Plantation - Vacherie, Louisiana

Oak Alley Plantation – Vacherie, Louisiana

Known as the “Grande Dame of the Great River Road,” the Oak Alley Plantation is one of the most iconic representations of its type in the American South. Famous for a memorable Antebellum Mansion and a canopied path created by a more than 800 meter long double row of live oak trees, Oak Alley has been featured in movies and television shows ranging from Knight Rider and Primary Colors to the Young and the Restless and Django Unchained. Mary went on the OA guided indoor tour, while I grabbed my camera and enjoyed the beautiful outdoor weather and blissful photoremedy on the grounds of this spectacular National Historic Landmark. Highlights included:

Spectacular Mansion ViewsOak Alley 1j

Somber Slave Quarter Shots (also featured in our February 8, 2015 post)

 Unique Trees and Vegetation

Hometown Cajun  Food (B & C Seafood)

Riverside Market and Cajun Seafood - Vacherie, Louisiana

Riverside Market and Cajun Seafood – Vacherie, Louisiana

I later learned that Oak Alley is known for its famous mint juleps. I’m not sure how we missed that, but it’s good to know we now have another reason to return to Louisiana!

New Orleans French Quarter: The Incomplete Edition

This promises to be one of the most incomplete New Orleans French Quarter–also known as the Vieux Carré–photo essays ever constructed.French Quarter Guitar 1j

There’s nothing here about Bourbon Street at night. Because Mary and I didn’t walk around with eyes glued to a map or with ears focused on a live tourist guide, I have no idea if the photos below are officially from the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, Royal Street, the French Market, or Downtown New Orleans.

Despite all of the deficiencies mentioned above, I adore visiting New Orleans and I loved working on this post. New Orleans is, after all, more than just one of the most unique North American Cities. It’s one of the world’s most intriguing, diverse destinations. From spicy and spiritual to Cajun and Creole, New Orleans is both historic and contemporary.St. Peter 1j

Masquerade mask b&w j

Lithuanian-American writer Ruta Sepetys offers one of the best short explanations of what makes the Big Easy so interesting. “Its cultural diversity is woven into the food, the music, the architecture – even the local superstitions, Sepetys has been quoted as saying. “It’s a sensory experience on all levels and there’s a story lurking around every corner.”

Mary and I stopped long enough to capture images of each other while near the French Market. It is important to note that the photo of Mary did not need much “touch up.” The picture of me, however, took a long time to develop. We snapped the photos just after having the famous chicory coffee and powdered sugar covered beignets at Café du Monde. To no surprise to those who know me, it took a very long time to electronically remove the “more than significant’ amount of powdered sugar that covered my black jacket. Yes, the beignets were wonderful; we were in such a hurry to devour them that I forgot to take any Café du Monde photos.

I guess that means we will have to go back!

🙂

Back to School

Saint Augustine of Hippo, who has proven to be a fountain of knowledge that has watered seeds of wisdom for so many since the fourth century, is best known for his Christian and theological teachings.  He also proved prophetic when it comes to travel.

Augustine has been quoted as saying, “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”  In my book, this doesn’t mean you have to be a world traveler; there are often gems we have overlooked in our own communities or regions. A couple of weeks ago, Mary and I added some pages to our travel book with a day trip to the Arizona neighboring mountain communities of Pine and Strawberry. Not only did we beat the heat, but we savored a great home style meal at Pine’s Randall House and snuck in bit of photoremedy.

Since we were not in a hurry, we also made a side trip to the historic Strawberry School. This diminutive log building is known as the oldest standing school in Arizona. It only operated as an “educational institution” between 1884 and 1916. School House Exterior jAfter largely sitting idle for more than a half-century, local residents restored the school and it was formally dedicated as a Historical Monument in 1981. Thanks to a great group of volunteers, the Fossil Creek Road structure allows visitors a nostalgic opportunity to momentarily return to the days that preceded the education related technological advancements featured today.

I’ve driven past the Strawberry School turn off dozens of times, but I’m extremely thankful Mary and I finally slowed down and took such a glorious step back in time. Next time you find yourself being overly entertained by technology or even bored, make time to write a few new pages in your book – whether this requires traveling half a world away or right outside your door.