My parents have always loved to travel. My father routinely crossed the United States by car in the 1950s. When he was 17 and 18, he and 3 friends took two long journeys all around the country from his home in Los Angeles. Upon marrying my mother, he took her on a similar voyage of discovery when my mom crossed the Rockies and then saw the Atlantic Ocean and Seaboard for the first time.
Fortunately, they added me to the manifest list. I visited Hawaii long before I could remember it, and in 1972 we all made our first adventure across the Atlantic to England and the Netherlands. Being nearly five, I still remember many parts of the trip like seeing the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and being fitted for wooden shoes in Holland. That May vacation launched my love of seeing the world.
And my parents were (and still are) super smart. My historian mom knew I could only handle so many museums and historic houses. And while we went to lots of zoos and parks to keep me contented, she ensured I had a camera in my hands. Film was not rationed, and I took picture after picture. Very few of them were good. But it was fun and made those dusty places my dusty places. When we returned home, together built photo albums and scrapbooks. Better cameras followed as I got older and less likely to drop them. I enrolled in photography classes at summer camp and in high school, learning how to develop my own negatives and prints. Translating those lessons into action, I took photographs for my high school newspaper and yearbook. In college, I enrolled in a whole course on strobe photography taught by Dr. Harold Edgerton and his graduate students. Doc, as we called him, invented strobe photography capturing bullets in mid-air and milk drop crowns in mid plop. In the class, I focused on tennis balls striking rackets. We also got to take our own photographs of bullets (under supervision of course).