by Shelley Fowler

Last week I attempted to tease you all with tidbits about an upcoming event – a photo exhibition entitled “Chasing the Light in Cimarron County” – that has me all excited and full of anticipation.

This week I have decided to dispense with all teasing, and instead share with you the story of how it came to be.

Last September I accidentally bumped into a stranger who has since become my best friend and true soul mate. His name is Marvin and he lives in Amarillo, Texas.

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We share many interests and have much in common, such as our enjoyment of exploring the natural world that sometimes goes unnoticed.

I might add that we are also opposites in some ways. Marvin is very savvy and comfortable in the world of computers. I, on the other hand, am an admitted “techno-phobe”, which isn’t a word you’ll find in any dictionary! I am quite sure I have given him a few gray hairs this past year with all my questions concerning the language and usage of a desktop and laptop!

But one thing we are equally passionate about is photography!

Marvin has loved, studied and pursued the subject since he was a youngster. Through the years he has established himself as a professional with his artistry and ‘eye’, both in still life photography and videography.

I came to the subject from a different angle and at a later date. It was when I realized I couldn’t take stained glass supplies, paint, brushes and canvas on the road with me, and I was in need of an outlet for my creative juices. I had snapped shots for years, but hadn’t actively or seriously pursued photography until Marvin came into the picture. On his advice I purchased a Nikon D40, and since then I have been capturing slivers of time with my lens wherever I go and my creative juices have been rejuvenated!

So, you can say that Marvin introduced me to quality photography and I introduced him to Cimarron County. With cameras in hand, we have explored its diverse terrain and unique beauty. We have climbed Black Mesa and sat on a ledge overlooking the valley below us. We have walked amongst the ruins of a few old homesteads and along the still visible ruts of a piece of the Santa Fe Trail. We have mingled with herds of cattle and gazed at herds of antelope. We’ve sat in the shade of ancient elms and cottonwoods, taking in the visions of massive, white clouds skittering across a dark blue background of sky. We’ve changed a ruined tire on a windblown dirt road while beads of sweat ran down our necks and just after we spied a magnificent barn owl swooping through the trees. We’ve found relics of old cars and trucks, and more than a few windmills. We have traveled in all directions and through all the towns of the county.

And as we explored and photographed moments in time along the roads, ruts and pastures of the county, we decided we wanted to share them with you all! Thus, we created an exhibit entitled “Chasing the Light in Cimarron County” which will run from August 30th through the month of September at the Cimarron Heritage Center.

And what I’m most excited about, along with the fact that prints of our photographs will be on display and for sale, is that should you stop by the museum the afternoon of August 30th (from 1 to 4) you can meet a true artist and great photographer called Dusty Reins..who happens to also be named Marvin, my best friend and true soul mate!

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