Out Of The Gate


Out of the Gate

As I race toward 40, here is the plan. Stay in motion. Stay in the air. Live deliberately. Drink consciously. Eat compassionately. Love deeply. Explore.

So in that spirit it’s finally time to break the seal on this adventure. I’m actually in the air as I type. Somewhere north of Florida. I’m just coming off a weekend with my brother near St.Augustine. We had such a good time and I was glad to have been there, but in the back of my mind, I was nervous. Nervous about getting out of the gate and getting this adventure underway. I land at LGA at 5:30 this afternoon and will be in a mad scramble to get home, swap dirty clothes for clean, and race off to Newark. After these last few weeks of sorting through pics, making travel plans and getting some work shifts covered in the city, it looks like I’m taking the 8:50 red-eye to London tonight. I’d hoped to make it for the Manchester flight at 7:30 instead, but that is looking less and less likely. The incomparable MPM is attending that flight and there’s nothing like being plied with sparkling wine by a best friend all the way to Europe. But alas, London seems to be my path. There I’m picking up a rental car and heading north, if possible, as far as Keswick. Hopefully staying on the right side of the road. And of course by “right” I mean left. I’ll have to move quickly as I’m meant to be on an early flight out of London Wednesday morning and I have several places to find and pictures to take. My prize for this trip? These images.

These pictures being the first Xs on my treasure map. Part of me wishes I could post all 600 images I’m dealing with here in order to better share the scope of possibilities that sometimes overwhelms me. What to see? Where to go? And when? Now for this first trip, I decided on somewhere “close”. While I did need to get out of the gate, I didn’t necessarily need to find myself lost and alone somewhere in central China in search of an ancient temple. So England it is. At least they speak my language. Well, most of the time.

Now I must admit there are some of these 600 pics that I could never recreate. Not for lack of interest or will, but rather for lack of information. You see, while on many occasions my Nanny took notes – either directly on a slide or sometimes on an attached caption list – often times I was left with nothing but the image itself. Now occasionally I would have an almost indecipherable scrawl on a box describing a general theme for the slides held within. And by general I mean sometimes as open as “1977″.



So somewhere on the planet in the year 1977, these pictures were taken. That narrows it down. While in these instances I did have some mild success with Google Images, I primarily relied on my Nanny and Papa’s propensity to photograph signs. Monuments. Statues with an inscription. Zoom became my best friend.

For example, these images from when Nanny and Papa were clearly spies in the eastern bloc somewhere…


Perhaps Balkans?










was local to this…

Communist symbols


which zoomed in revealed this…

Russian inscription


which thanks to the magic of Google, became this…

Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 6.31.47 PM



which finally lead me here…

Steps in Odessa, Ukraine

Steps in Odessa, Ukraine


Odessa in the Ukraine. What did we do before the internet? I mean just this one image would have required 17 trips to the library to thumb through encyclopedias and card catalogues. Take that Dewey Decimal System!

So here we go. I’m off to England. Wish me luck.


Journey Home

Or…Journey to the Woods.

Post Categories: Uncategorized


  • Shannon Bumpas says:

    Chris!! I’m so in love with these pictures!! I get chills reading this and seeing the awesome pics of nanny and papa! Good luck on the leg. Talk to you when you get back! I love you!

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