Manzanar haunts my memories. I don't remember when I first heard about the WW2 Internment camps. Growing up in Los Angeles -- from the Valley and mid-city to Manhattan Beach and the South Bay -- it astonished me that such a thing could have occurred here, only a few decades earlier. I read Farewell to Manzanar in my Race & Racism class at Columbia about 6 years ago.

A few years ago, coming back from a camping trip in Bishop, I saw the sign for Manzanar and insisted we stop. The environment is both beautiful and desolate. I had occasion to revisit the photographs today for potential design project.

I remember cursing myself because I'd run out of juice on my digital camera. All I had available was a cheapie point & shoot loaded with my beloved C-41 color process B&W film. It was a blessing in disguise -- the sepia, grays and hints of green are perfect (alas, the colors I'm seeing while posting this are not coming out in the published photos).

The day's final surprise came a few hours down the road back to CalArts. It was my second sighting of the Wienermobile. The first time was a few years earlier in Times Square, when I had no camera at all. How fitting that I had a second chance, with only a few shots left on the little P&S that could. In California, as in NYC, life can go from somber to surreal in mere moments.

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