Hello hello hello, Denver, and welcome back. It’s time for another visually-stimulating weekly recap of your grand times and adventures. You were a pleasure to watch this week Denver, really.
The biggest stories for Denverite photography this week centered around immigration, both documented and not, but there were some sweet sights all around. Let’s get started shall we? I’ll work backward from yesterday.
While the Rockies were not victorious against Arizona on Friday night, it turned out one group of fans were the standout winners of the evening. Christian and I went to meet Erik West and his family inside the Peanut Allergy Friendly Night box suite, who were able to enjoy the game from a safe zone for fans like him who have life-threatening reactions to peanuts. Maybe just buy them some Cracker Jacks.
Yesterday was also Cinco De Mayo, and while I saw at least one poor-taste sombrero on the streets I also found an interesting pocket of documents and memorabilia in the Denver Public Library’s Western History Collection. The Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Papers are a trove of information about the Chicano leader’s controversial legacy fighting for an end to police brutality and the rights of people of color. There were a handful of cool old political buttons in there, but I thought here I might feature this take on the FBI’s logo, seen from the perspective of Chicano activists.
On Wednesday we dug into the massive piles of dirt that are picked up each year by city street sweepers. Did you know they collect as large an area of Coors Field nine feet deep each year? Denver Public Works estimates show levels of nasty stuff like lead and even a dash of mercury in what they sweep each year.
Wednesday was also a day of portraiture. One is by Evergreen Newspapers’ Chancey Bush, who met a nonagenarian WWII veteran who shared his story as he apparently basked in lovely light.
And then this guy, Tom Parson, the visionary printmaker behind what he hopes will become Englewood’s world-class letterpress museum and workshop. Here he is on Thursday inside one of his vessels that contains some of his many, many, many artifacts and pieces of equipment from printmaking history.
We also published a story that day that Andy has been working on for a while. In his look at how the city’s flood predictions have divided Elyria Swansea he met Leo Bransetter, who owns a garage on Brighton.
On Wednesday we followed up with Ingrid Encalada Latorre, the mother of two who has been living in sanctuary to avoid deportation for nearly six months. She left this week to go to court where she hoped to deal with an unusually-complicated legal process as she fights to stay in Colorado.
There supporting her at the Jefferson County courthouse was Arturo Hernandez Garcia, who spent nine months in sanctuary before being allowed to leave in 2015. He was picked up again to be deported last week, but was allowed a temporary stay.
Also this week in windowed portraits of people involved in important, nationally-relevant stories was the following shot by Daniel Brenner for the Denver Post. Brenner photographed Colorado House Majority Whip Rep. Brittany Pettersen and her mother, Stacy. The Pettersens have put their family’s struggles with substance abuse into the public eye as the state struggles as Brittany attempts to pass legislation to address the problem. I believe he shot it last week, but it was posted to Instagram on Monday.
Addiction has always been a personal topic to me, but it takes special courage to confront issues in the spotlight. I’m in awe how Representative Brittany Pettersen and her mother Stacy are sharing their story in hopes to help others. Stacy has abused pain pills for 29 years, overdosed on heroin, and was recently admitted to a hospital after relapsing. Brittany is introducing legislation to combat opioid abuse and create funding for substance-abuse treatment. They have a truly endearing relationship. When I showed up to photograph the two, they helped each other with their makeup and told me about the injured bird they’re nursing back to health in the garage. This portrait was one of the last shots I took. Read more at the @denverpost
Also on Monday we released a story about O.B. Fon, the Metro Area’s own table tennis guru who trekked from Ecuador to the U.S. last year in search of asylum. He is now a live-in volunteer at a hospitality house that provides a warm bed for immigrants freshly-released from a private immigration prison in Aurora. Here, he helps people nearly every week day to move on to the next step in their journey. Jaspreet, in the lead photo, was one of them. Here are some more:
OK now maybe something lighter? How about a rainbow this week? Did you see it?
Also in the department of things that are objectively pretty was a Tuesday trip to The Corner Office after they revamped their space and menu. Ashley took one for the team to bring you a peek into the kitchen.
And now for the weekend. I was out of town but I heard you got some snow, Denver. It was apparently a pretty good time for Broncos draft pick DeMarcus Walker, who photojournalist Gabriel Christus reports saw flurries for the first time on Sunday.
There you have it, Denver. Your struggles, your triumphs, your well-placed light and shadow. Keep doing your thing, we’ll be there to keep track.