Monthly Archives: May 2016

Serve #15 – Don V.

Serve15_v2

Serve #15

Serve #15 has a small town Americana feel to it. It starts with the long time tradition of the Memorial Day Parade in my hometown of Rockford, MN.  The parade is woven into the fabric of local families, myself included.  This little small-town-parade has the high school marching band, fire trucks, and last but not least, kids carrying flowers and flags bringing up the rear of this meaningful yearly tradition. Stopping on the bridge overlooking the Crow River the band plays a hymn and the children throw their flowers in the river to honor those lost at sea.  It doesn’t just end there.  The parade continues a short, winding path through the streets, followed by the parade watchers, and up to the local cemetery that overlooks the tranquil countryside split by the Crow River. Once all assemble within the boundaries of Elmwood Cemetery, the Lions begin the yearly commemoration by asking the band to perform a couple musical pieces, then one of the Lions reads the names of those that have served and are buried under the headstones that dot the hillside cemetery.

     This year though was a different one.  One of the longstanding local guys by the name of Don V. was not present on his normal corner spot.  He has proudly sat at the corner of Bridge St. and Lieder St. for many years with a Korean Vet hat sitting on his head, waving to other locals and the children all while holding a small flag on a stick.  This year I found him sitting in the cemetery waiting for the crowd to assemble. There is a pride in this man that runs deep.  Maybe it is the farming blood that courses through his veins, or the service he gave to his country as a truck driver in the U.S. Army in the war in Korea, maybe it is being the only living charter member of the Rockford Lions, or maybe it was his years serving as a leader in the local  4H group that was in Rockford, or on the Wright County Fair board. Don served in so many ways that it was really hard to talk about just one.  I asked him why he served, he said, “Because.”  What wonderfully complex and yet simplistic response.  Meeting great people like him causes me to realize that we need to have a vision for the future, to change our communities by being more like this wonderful 84 year old man.

Thank you Don for serving your country,  your family, and the Rockford area.

 

Best wishes,

Shawn Nielsen
Mobile. 612.750.2593
Studio. 763.498.7375
Email: shawn@nielsen-studios.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nielsenstudios1
Web: http://nielsen-studios.com
Blog: https://nielsenstudios.wordpress.com/
“Tell Your Story”

Advertisements

50mm Green

Sometimes it is wonderful to grab a camera, take a deep breath or two and view nature through a 50mm lens.  Loving the country life!

50mm_GreenFern50mm_GreenNettleBeetle50mm_GreenSumac50mm_GreenNettles

Serve #14 – Crystal & Anna.

 

 

Serve14_Final

Serve #14

Serve #14 is about another goat. This one’s name is Crystal, and she’s the 11 year-old goat my oldest daughter, Anna Rose, raised and worked with throughout her 4H years. This pair made many trips to the Wright County fair, in Howard Lake, MN – nine to be exact. Crystal competed eleven times at the Minnesota State fair in 4H (6), or open class dairy goat shows. I’ve watched my daughter wear her whites and proudly show this regal old doe with determination (when she won senior showmanship), but also with a grace that has grown through the years as she’s become a woman ready to take on the world. The animals young people show, and grow up with, are true gifts in life. They are a means to help young people look beyond themselves, to care for something else. Each turning page in life means something new is around the corner. The next page for Anna is a wedding ceremony set for May 21st.  It’s a big day for all of us. The changes ahead are many, and yet to be written. The memories of watching Crystal and Anna grow together are cherished entries into the journal of life. When I asked Anna what Crystal meant to her at the end of our time taking the photos, she said with flowing tears, “Crystal is all of the memories and adventures at the fairs, it’s all been her.”

AnnaCrystal2016_0026

I am blessed to call this young woman my daughter, and am excited to see how she and her husband will change this world.

 

Best wishes,

Shawn Nielsen
Mobile. 612.750.2593
Studio. 763.498.7375
Email: shawn@nielsen-studios.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nielsenstudios1
Web: http://nielsen-studios.com
Blog: https://nielsenstudios.wordpress.com/
“Tell Your Story”

%d bloggers like this: