Square Magazine has been one of my favorite photography magazines for several years and I am honored to have my Gas Station Coffee series featured in the latest issue, available to view here. If you aren’t yet familiar with Square, I recommend taking a look at past issues.
Thank you! -SB
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From Gas Station Coffee series
It’s too early. Or too late. The only place open is this gas station and I need some coffee. And this berry danish wrapped in cellophane.
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Tualco Valley, Washington
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I am very excited to launch a new project, An American Story and am thrilled that the kind folks at The American Guide are helping to promote it. An American Story is a new blog that tells the story of everyday Americans through the common thread of America’s favorite vehicle, the pickup truck. This project will depend on contributions from readers, sharing their personal stories and photos. Combining photography and writing has interested me for a long time and I’m excited to share a bit of my own writing but more importantly, hear your stories and see your pictures. Please take a look and share a story and/or spread the word. Thank you! -Steven Brooks
An American Story:
Since pickup trucks first rolled off assembly lines in the 1920s, industrious, hardworking Americans have recognized that, with a truck, they could do even more. During the last nearly 100 years, the pickup truck has become a symbol of American pride and ambition, capturing our hearts and imaginations. The evidence is everywhere. From Hank Williams to Glen Campbell to Taylor Swift, pickups are a longtime staple of country music. As the lyrics tell us, pickups are a faithful friend, a lover’s bed, and the target of a lover’s scorn. They are also a place to bond and build memories. Football-loving Americans are inundated with “Built Ford Tough,” “Chevy Runs Deep,” and “Guts, Glory, Ram,” emanating from their TV screens every fall and winter. Images of rugged men in blue jeans and boots, a long day’s work then off to the river for fishing—cue the Bob Seger, the big dog, sunset, dust kicking up from the road… it tugs at our macho, American heartstrings. Pickups are etched into our American psyche. It’s no wonder they have been the bestselling vehicles in the country for over 30 years. A pickup says, “I can do that.” Then it says, “I did that.” A pickup wears its dirt and scars like a badge. It tells our story.
I currently own my second pickup and it’s my daily driver. To kick off An American Story, I’ll share a story of my own:
I have a grown son who’s out on his own now. We didn’t always see eye to eye. We still don’t, really, but we get together every couple weeks anyway. We grab burritos or Cuban sandwiches and head to the water’s edge. I back my pickup truck into a parking spot and we climb into the back. In the open air, we sit and watch the gulls and boats, eat our food and make small talk. Invariably, we talk about music: how country music from the 50s and 60s was among the best American music ever recorded, and new country is the worst. Or maybe I go on about why Black Whales are the best band to come out of Seattle in a long time, and he tells me that when he listens to Sickbed Blues, by Skip James, he feels it in his stomach, and I know exactly what he means. We feed our leftovers to the seagulls and crows—tossing scraps into the air from the back of the truck—and I know we’re gonna be alright, he and I. We’re gonna be just fine.
What’s YOUR story? Please share your American story involving a pickup truck, whether or not you still own the truck or ever did. One or two paragraphs about how a pickup has impacted your life. Even simple anecdotes are welcome. Need help putting your story into words? No problem! Scribble out the gist and I’ll edit it for the site. If you know somebody else who might have something to share, please spread the word. It does not have to involve an American pickup. (I own a Toyota pickup and my story is no less American.) If you have a couple photos, please include them. We’d all love to see the trucks, but faces are nice too. Submit at An American Story. Thank you!
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Morning in Joshua Tree National Park, California
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Morongo Basin, California
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RURAL LIFE - OUR FIRST ZINE
The…Guide is the product of many hands and minds working joyously, without hope of individual reward or recognition, to accomplish something of which by and large they are proud, and diffidently offering it to the public of travelers and scholars and general readers.
—Oregon, End of the Trail (WPA, 1940)
Folks, here in our hot little hands, we have a hard copy of our very first American Guide zine. Sounds of excessive glee are echoing through the stately halls of AG HQ.
Rural Life is the unbelievably fantastic product of curator and writer Brett Klein, designer Tammy Mercure and the photographic delights of Guides EE Berger, James Bernal, Mitch Borden, Aaron Canipe, Dan Caruso, Michael Cevoli, Matt Curtis, Breonne DeDecker, Elicia Epstein, Christian Hendricks, Ben Hinceman, Roger May, Noelle McCleaf, Peter Spear, Rob Walters, and Tara Wray.
Wouldn’t you like to own one of these beauties? This full-color publication can be yours for the price of $15 + (very cheap) shipping. All profits go to supporting the amazing hard work of the photographers and creators whose words and images are featured.
We diffidently offer it to you, the public of travelers and scholars and general readers.
Get one today! Purchase on MagCloud here.
P.S. This is probably one of the most exciting days ever. We are crazy, crazy proud.
The American Guide is one of my favorite stops on Tumblr. If you aren’t yet following, you should be. Congrats to all involved in the first zine! I can’t wait to see it on my nightstand.
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