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STEPHANIE AND WOODSTOCK

In high school, I had a good friend Stephanie. We both went through our "hippie" phase, which had nothing to do with being an actual hippie, but really just idolizing the general and romanic pathos of freedom and self-expression. We listened to a lot of classic music, raiding our parents record collections for The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Kat Stevens, and such. We became vegetarians because we didn't know what else to protest, and we basically started growing our hair long and not wearing makeup. I threw away my razor. We were pretty original, we thought. We read lots of Tom Robins and Jack Kerouac and poems by ee cummings, which isn't really hippie, but seemed to fit.

Stephanie had found this pair of really cool leather boots. She started wearing them to school everyday. I was taking photography classes then, and I thought it'd be fun to have her be my model. We'd just watched the documentary on Woodstock and so it seemed fun to try some nudes.

We took her car, a 14-year-old Camery, which was not very hippie, either, and drove out to Sauvie's Island, where there is a beach. Going in September, in the middle of the weekday, meant we had the whole area to ourselves. It's like a 45 minute drive, and even then you hike to it and so, it's cool. The day was crisp, but brilliantly sunny, the way Fall can be in Oregon.

Looking at the photo now, it seems like a silly pose, like we're really trying too hard to recreate an image as we've seen somewhere else and isn't really original. But that's not important. We're older now and looking back, I can't believe how fearless we were and so fast to just hop in a car and drive out to take a nude photo. In that sense, we really were rebelling and being ourselves, and that energy, and spontaneity, and that freedom, I miss.

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