From Another Place Entirely

Traveling and writing a blog sometimes allows you to connect with people in unexpected ways.

One after another, through our travels and my writing and this blog, we continue to connect with people with whom we otherwise would not. I never know when the next encounter is coming. Sometimes I never even meet the person.

In July 2013, I took a picture of Del Viento in Alaska. Shortly afterward, Karen Larson, founder and editor of Good Old Boat magazine, bought my picture for the September 2014 cover. Then something else happened to the photo, something much cooler.

A couple weeks ago, I received here in Mexico a holiday card-sized envelope from Good Old Boat. I opened it up. A note from Karen fell out.

"Michael—you just had to have this…painted by one of our subscribers who is incarcerated."

I removed the carefully packed painting from the envelope and my jaw dropped open. Before me, on cardstock that measures about 8-inches by 5-inches, was a stunning, extremely detailed watercolor rendering of the photo. I was touched and amazed to receive this image of our boat and family in a magical Alaskan anchorage, from my eye to my camera to a magazine and into a prison where it was rendered and then emerged as a work of art from behind those walls to finally reach our boat near the bottom of the Baja peninsula.

According to a story Karen wrote about the artist even before the photo was published, he is a former U.S. Coast Guardsman who began painting in prison, using the covers of the Good Old Boat issues he received in his subscription. He sends her paintings each month as he works through back issues.

I got his contact info and sent a thank you note.

In our twenties, we traded our boat for a house and our freedom for careers. In our thirties, we lived the American dream. In our forties, we woke and traded our house for a boat and our careers for freedom. And here we are. Click here to read more from the Log of Del Viento.

Del Viento on the cover of Good Old Boat magazine.
The watercolor of Del Viento anchored in Alaska.