My friend Liv offered me this book ages ago, and I loved it. I love the breathtaking photographs of wilderness, abandoned barns, city skylines, sunsets. And people. Sonja Bullaty and Angelo Lomeo capture stories through the lens and every page contains history. People’s histories intertwined with capital-H History.
I hadn’t turned the pages of this little treasure in a very -very- long time. To be honest, I hadn’t thought about that book in a while. And last week, I’m having dinner with my —how do I formulate that, hem, I’m as good at labeling as Nick Miller is so…— with my lover, who is a photographer and just got back from the East Coast, and he mentions this book. And I almost spit out my Chardonnay, because I immediately remembered the Fall Foliage in Vermont, the Saxophone Player in New-Orleans, Louisiana, the Brownstone Stoop “Little Italy” c. 1950 in New York, New York and the Black Bear in Mt. Le Comte,Tennessee. We talked about this for hours, and it was really exciting because, even if I’m far from being an expert at photography, I love it. I love looking at pictures, taking them in and imagining the story they tell. And Alex is an expert and I love hearing him talk about it, about his trips, about his dream to publish a book of the (gorgeous) pictures he took all around his native Australia. It was a wonderful night, there was a lot of photography talk, a lot of Chardonnay drunk, and subsequently a lot of none of your business stuff.
When I came back home in the morning, I had to find it and travel across America with Bullaty and Lomeo’s photographs and writer and poet Robin Magowan’s beautiful words. And like every time, I turn America, America’s pages, I found myself humming Woody Guthrie’s “This land is your land, this land is my land/ From California, to the New York Island/ From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters/ This land was made for you and me”.