In September 2019, I went to Boonville, MI to participate in the Missouri Photo Workshop of Photojournalism.
I had never had any prior experience in photojournalism.

The assignment was to spend the first few days of the week looking for a story among the citizens of Boonville.
We had to wander around, introducing ourselves to the locals, explaining our task, hopefully finding someone willing to share their story, and possibly stumbling on a good one to be documented.

For me, this posed a challenge on multiple levels. I struggled quite a lot, to the point I was about to give up.
Eventually, a kind fellow from the workshop shared his contacts, as he already had a few options.

I’m glad he did, as I then met two wonderful people: Katy & Michael, a lovely couple ready to share their story.

While searching for a story

While I was searching for a story, I met Sam and Debbie. Sam had recently broken his leg.

I remember I needed a vehicle to move around more easily, Sam let me drive his pickup truck without hesitation.
When I saw Debbie on the last day at the exhibition, she hugged me, and it felt as if a friend I had known my entire life had met me that day after a long time.

They are another fond memory I took with me from the Boonville experience.

Michael & Katy

Michael and Katy Kelly won an auction for a historical brick house on a hill. Now, they are determined to save its historic character, investing their energy to restore the house by hand. But the job is demanding. They are now a year into the job with no end in sight.

The particular value of the house is the history, which traces back through layers of Boonville’s history. In the late 1800s, the house was built to serve as a home for boys. In the late 1960s it became home to the warden of a nearby correctional center

Michael, Katy

Thanks for your kindness and friendship. Thanks for opening your door to perfect strangers, like myself and my wife. We’ll never forget you guys.