kirby b. johnson photojournal

Morning Chores

Posted in minnesota state fair by kirbybjohnson on July 25, 2009

msf_pitchforksPeople, who each year enjoy attending the Minnesota State Fair, fondly speak of their favorite things about the Fair. Familiar themes relating to adorable baby animals, foods-on-a-stick or the best place to park the car are exchanged in earnest as opening day approaches. Families hold many traditions dear and close when attending the Fair. “I have to stop and get some Swedish Egg Coffee – – first thing…”, “Let’s go on the Sky-Ride…”, “We have to go see the baby pigs…”

Morning chores at the “Great Minnesota Get Together” probably do not generate the same type of anticipatory tension as the first bite of a Pronto Pup, the happy result of a Spin-O-Paint or trying to win a stuffed animal for your girlfriend. The prospect of getting lost doesn’t make for an exciting afternoon either: “If we get separated, we’ll meet at the bottom of the Grandstand ramp…”

The 2009 Minnesota State Fair runs for twelve days beginning Thursday, August 27th. The gates open at 6:00 AM.

Marty’s Drum

Posted in portrait by kirbybjohnson on July 16, 2009

Marty_3Marty is an individual who listens to no one – – unless they have something to say. For nearly 35 years, I’ve had the good fortune of knowing that the drummed cadence that sounds in Marty’s head is heard only by him. It’s quite possible that if others were within earshot of his drummer, they wouldn’t be able to keep in step. That’s just fine with me. I’m perfectly content to let my good friend Marty lead the way – – I’ll listen for the drum.

Brethren; 15th Air Force, Foggia Italy

Posted in portrait by kirbybjohnson on July 11, 2009

bob & bob

Two men: who grew up up in homes less than 15 miles from one another, who collected soda bottles to be able to go to the movies, who both raised families like you watched on Father Knows Best, who witnessed the milestones, joys and disappointments in their children’s lives, who laughed at Jack Benny and Mork & Mindy, who both remember the ’37 Ford Coupe their neighbor kept on his driveway, who both drove ‘K’ cars in the 1980’s…

These two men had to grow up fast while resolutely serving their country. These two men, who still live less than 15 miles from one another, met for the very first time in May of this year during a display of vintage WWII aircraft at Jane’s Field, Blaine Minnesota. Bob Clemens (L) and Bob Zenz (r) both served in the 15th Army Air Force based in Foggia Italy during World War II. A combined total of 88 missions flown (50 Clemens – – 38 Zenz) these two men routinely downplay their contributions and sacrifices they’ve made for their country.

The circumstances that allowed me to witness these two men becoming acquainted are measureless. These two men provided me an experience that will impact me forever.