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In September 2019 I went to Boonville, MI to take part in the Missouri Photo Workshop of photojournalism.
I had never had any photojournalism experience before.

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 find 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 to chose from.

I’m glad he did, as I then met two wonderful people: Katy & Michael, a truly sweet 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 is leg.

They’re both another warm memory I took with me from the Boonville experience.
I remember I needed a vehicle to move around more easily, Sam let me drive his pickup truck without hesitation.
When I saw Debbie the last day at the exhibition, she gave a hug, and it felt as if a friend I had known my entire life met me that day after a long time.

 

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 1800’s the house was built to serve as a home for boys. In the late 1960’s it became home for the warden of a nearby correctional center

Michael, Katy

Thanks for your kindness, friendship. Thanks to have opened the door of your house to perfect strangers, like myself and my wife. We’ll never forget you guys.