Moving and starting anew was too familiar by the time I landed in Midland, Michigan. But the summer nights and a long-distance relationship left me more lonely, confused than ever as I tried to figure out my post-graduate life. I found myself leaving my home and taking late-night walks around my neighborhood with my camera. Or meeting people in neighboring towns. Or approaching scenes differently if I were on assignment.
After a hose fight with friends, Krisin Holmes and Sheria Oswald, in front of their Midland home, Kayla Gould and Jason Gould, kiss before heading inside to dry off. "We're out enjoying the day," Kayla said while trying to avoid being sprayed by a hose held by Holmes. Recently engaged, Jason and Kayla said they enjoy spending time relaxing in the grassy lot next to their house.
M-20 hip hop group recording.
Lisa Lauer, a fourth grade teacher at Mills Elementary School, hugs Shelley Rabadue, a parent and PTO volunteer with two children, one in kindergarten and one in third grade at Mills, while friend and Mills parent and PTO volunteer, Jill Higgins, stands by. The three broke down after seeing a map of the proposed district changes with Mills and Eastlawn Elementary closed. "We're a big family there," said Lauer. "I'm the low man there and I've been there 10 years," she said.
Midland's Anthony Johnson sits in a classroom at H.H. Dow High School with the rest of the basketball team during halftime against the Mount Pleasant Oilers. Midland went into the half in the lead, but ended up losing to Mount Pleasant.
Mark Dickerson carries his son Matthew, 6, while chasing around his daughter Caitlyn, 3, and Mark, 7, at their Midland home while the kids had a snow day from school. Two years ago, Matthew was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy during a routine visit to the doctor. "All of a sudden he just gets really weak," Danelle Dickerson said of her son Matthew, who now has to be carried up and down stairs. The last two or three months the Dickerson's have noticed a decline in Matthew's balance and inability to do things his 19 month old brother can. "He has to concentrate just to stand up," Danelle said. "His feelings get hurt as much as I think his body gets hurt."
An emotionally and physically exhausted Carrie and Doug Wilcox, break down at the Red Cross office while waiting for Mary Koskela, emergency services director, to return to resume paper work. The Wilcox's went to the Midland Red Cross for basic essentials after their Porter township home was destroyed by fire Monday night, leaving the family of five with little more than the clothes on their backs.
Doug Wilcox stands next to what remains of his home, a house which once belonged to his wife Carrie Wilcox's grandmother. Her grandmother had first moved into the home when she was 14 years old and it had been in the family ever since. The five member family was displaced from their home Monday night after a creosote build up from their wood stove caught fire. The home is considered a total loss, with not much more than a charred staircase left standing. The family is staying with Carrie's mother, Mary Wale, who is their neighbor.
J Woo, also known as Johnnie Cook III, performs in an automotive garage in Mount Pleasant, Mich., to a crowd of fifty people. Among J Woo were other hip hop performers who collaborate not only on albums, but to find venues where they can perform. Eric, who goes by the name E-Dub of M-20, says finding a place to perform is tough in central Michigan because of the image that people in the rural community associate with hip hop.
Central Michigan University party.
Richard L. Switzer Jr. sits in his living room shortly after arriving back to his home after five days in the hospital following a hunting accident. Climbing down from his tree stand about a quarter mile behind his home, his .30-.30, lever-action rifle he has owned for around six years, slid from a propped position in his stand and hit the ground butt first, 15 feet below. The impact caused the gun to fire, sending a bullet through his left wrist as he held onto the ladder. He underwent three surgeries in the past five days and doctors told him there could be a total of six altogether. He begins physical therapy but it is uncertain how much use he will have of his hand.