I was out one day by wherever it is I was and shooting photos of the ‘this stuff’ and ‘that stuff’ out there and here comes this near-perfect little Volkswagen beetle. This car is just humming along, then all of a sudden it pulls over and this old guy asks where he can get some old-fashioned film developed. “Is there any place that still does that?” It took me a second (I’ve been shooting digital since the mid-90s) then I said “Walgreens” and that was kind of an ‘Aha’ moment.
So we start talking and I find out this guy was an engineer on the aqueduct and he would survey elevations along the channel because the ground moves nearly continually out there in the far western part of the Mojave. It doesn’t move much but if the water in the aqueduct breaches the side it could get nasty and catastrophic and such. This was so engineers could regulate the flow and all that.
We talk more. After a bit longer I find out this guy is Hugh Hefner’s first cousin. I think that is so cool and I mention the Baseball Hall of Famer Bob “Rapid Robert” Feller is my grandfather’s first cousin. That’s the best I got. He said he does not own a television. I ask if he reads a lot, is a writer or artist or how he stays occupied? He answered me with, “my equations.” How cool is that? So what he likes to do to relax is to try to work out cold fusion. I told him I like to take pictures and tell stupid jokes. And that is the day I met Hugh Hefner’s Cousin