Posted by: William | December 1, 2007

The Rare Mating Habits of the Western Common Seagull

            When I was about ten-ish my family took an eight week cross country vacation in an RV. It was exciting for me, but somewhat devastating for my oldest sister who just so happened to turn eighteen while we were on the road. I have what feels like a bottomless goodie bag of exciting, funny or humiliating stories from that trip. I’m not going to tell any of them right now. There is an insignificant story, however, sparked by the surfacing of a roll of film that I would like to share.

             You see, because of my father’s job, he wasn’t able to join us for the first half of the trip. That meant it was just my mother, two sisters and me on the road for about a month before he showed up. My dad is a planner he’s the kind of guy who spends fifteen or twenty minutes planning out his rout to the grocery store. So keeping this in mind, he knew we would want to take pictures of all the things the trip would bring us to (not to mention spending a ridiculous amount of money on it; he wanted proof it ever happened). So, in all of the planning, a small detail was to keep the RV stocked with about two and a half tons of disposable cameras so that at any moment, we wouldn’t have to reach more than three feet to put our hand on one.

            For me, who grew up around my dad always taking pictures, it was like the heavens shown open and revealed my destiny. I woke up, accidentally, very early on one of the first few days of our trip. I believe we were in the Carolinas somewhere, probably at a RV park, or maybe just bumming hospitality off a liquor store or something. Outside it was gray and rainy and probably pretty cold. There were seagulls all over the place on the beach nearby. My ten year old delusion was, “this is my chance! National Geographic, here I come!” I supposed I would capture, perhaps, the rare mating habits of the western common seagull, never before seen by human eyes. Yes, and right here in the parking lot; and of course, all with this fantastic disposable Kodak camera.

A few weeks later, when a batch of cameras was dropped off to be developed (we always ordered doubles), my mother was handed a stack of about sixty-four mystery photographs of seagulls and the flagrantly boring Carolina coast at 6:30 am. A self portrait of myself in the stack eventually gave me away.

So the point? The point was really to give a back story and reason for sharing these, the first ever (known) photographs taken by me:

Sorry they couldn’t be bigger; but you get the idea.



  1. I have what feels like a bottomless goodie bag of exciting, funny or humiliating stories from that trip. I’m not going to tell any of them right now.

    Why would I bother to continue reading??? Wait, why did I bother to continue reading … all the way to the end?? What’s wrong with me?

    I take pictures like this all the time. I probably need counseling. Do they have counselors at liquor stores?

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