The Interviews

It wouldn’t be a project without all the good people of America, Germany, Sweden , France, Spain, Italy and Amsterdam who agreed to sit for me. Thank you to all those who gave me a moment of their time as well as all the encouragement, enthusiasm, good vibes, shots, advice, breakfasts, wisdom, fun, stories, and welcome into their lives that was given by all.

Listen to the sound bytes and read the transcript below

DAY 1 : Bakersfield : Billie Medina : 53

“Important to me right now is my family, yes, my two boys and their future”
“Erm, going to school (laughs) “you like school” “yeh, I used to buy, now, I didn’t reach that far because of poverty”
“What to achieve in the future, mmmm, living comfortably (laughs) without bills (laughs).”

DAY 1 : Bakersfield : Anna Marie (58 ) Joshua (5) and Christopher (11)

“You can’t get lost in Bakersfield, you’ll always wind up where you started.”
“And I always think, I always say, ’thank you Jesus for another day”
“Go ahead, tell them what you wanna do when you grow up……’COP’… pre school he told his teacher he want to be a robber!!!  She hurried up and changed that, she said ’no, you want to be a cop’ , he went ‘well you don’t need no cops if you don’t have any robbers!’

DAY 1 : Bakersfield : Matt George 
DAY 1  : Bakersfield : Joyce King (11) Shot 23 Tygeria Smith (14) 

“You know what that car is, its a dodge”
“I wanna work at behaviour analysis unit FBI” 12 YEAR OLD HOSTEL GIRL

DAY 3 : Hanford : Michael Warren Lott (33) 
“Fight with my old lady until, er, um, I don’t know, one of us falls asleep, or she fuckin, I don’t know, learns her lesson, I don’t know”
“She won’t come down and open the fuckin door, (laughs) I don’t want to go to the front (laughs), I’m gonna have to go round the front right now cause she won’t open the fuckin door”
“The dope man got her for me for my birthday…….yeh, I’m gonna sock that bitch next time I see him”

DAY 3  : Hanford : Mary D Ruiz (59) The Star Restaurant

“I wanted to be an archeologist but we couldn’t afford it, so I still fantasise about that (laughs)” …..“to travel when I retire, if I have the money or a Sugar Daddy (laughs)”

DAY 3 : Hanford : Darius Durdin (24) Works at Home Depot

TALKING ABOUT TIME IN ARMY “I enjoyed it a lot, learned a lot, did a lot of travelling….Florida, New Jersey, Washington State, Ken California, Georgia, Philly, England, Canada, Germany, Qatar, maybe we should stop there”
“Yeh, love it, California is a pretty cool place.”  WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT IT? “ (Laughs), the weather, the women (laughs) theres a lot of money out here to be made, theres a lot of opportunity”
"You couldn’t pay me to go back to Florida (laughs)”
“Yeh, I gotta girl, I met here out here actually!"  CALIFORNIA GIRL? “Yeh, thats, came out here and I said I want one of these white girls from California man, (laughs), that was my dream!”
“Next thing is LA……..its LA, I have no idea, its LA, no idea!”
“Pretty much, you get one chance, you gotta make something of it!”

DAY 3 : Hanford : Christine : The Star Restaurant

“Well for breakfast its always, its always pancakes, eggs and meat, bacon sausage or ham.”
“...cause our pancakes are as big as a plate and they’re just so delicious”
“I actually hated school, so I was always, my Mom was transferring me to different schools so I could…., and I erm became a waitress when I turned 18.”
“But I go to school now, because erm, i decided it was time, I have 2 children, so I go to school for criminology……..when I grow up I want to be a probation officer!”
“I mean I love what I do, I make good decent money for what I do, its just I know that I’m not going to be able to do this when I’m 50!”
“I didn’t care, I was like I can work this forever, 'I make good money’ and NO, it doesn’t work like that, but I found out the hard way, years later.”

DAY 4 : Monterey :Ahtzyry Ramirez (19)

“I actually go to school, and I work……….yeh, college, freshmans year”.
“I’m actually looking into er, going to psychology major.  I’m actually interested in working with just little kids and helping them out a lot”.
“When I was young, I was er, like most people I wanted to be a princess or a president (laughs) or a doctor!”
"Er, hopefully with er, married with kids, I actually just want to have about 2, I actually am interested in looking to adopting kids, hopefully in the future.”

DAY 4  : Monterey : Melissa Nonella (23)

“Er, like the clamness of the beach, actually thats why I’m here, quite often it feels like (laughs) my third place.  I like the woods, I like the fact that my Grandma is here.”
“I was home schooled… was great, I loved it, yeh, I learned a lot, a lot in a different way.  I’m really thankful that I went, that I was home schooled.”
“I wanna be like my Mom, I wanna have a family, I wanna family, be able to support my family”
“I love my Mom (laughs) and she’s the best Mom.”

DAY 4 : Monterey : Wieke Betten : (30)

TALKING ABOUT HER WORK IN BIOTECH “So thats my, thats my deal in it, I really love talking about it and I erm, yeh I want to take this further but responsibly so we got to figure out together what responsible means.”
“There are many concerns.  I think the best way is to first see how people feel about it, so we need to like, listen to eachother more, see how everyone feels about it and then choose the dight direction.”
“Oh I don’t know actually, I wanted to be a proffessional sprinter, er, for one time, then a doctor for a while, now I just want to be maybe a teacher, a researcher?"

Er, somewhere beautiful, I would definitely own a dog, have a dog when i’m older…….no, it doesn’t matter, happy dog, I wanna have a happy dog, thats my dream.  For the rest, I’m already ery happy!”

DAY 6 : Yosemite : David and Sarah Britton (23) (father and Daughter)

“If I went to college I didn’t konw what I wanted to study yet and then one day I got a postcard in the mail and figured why not!”  POSTCARD FROM THE COASTGUARD
“Erm, I don’t even remember what I wanted to be, vetinarian or police officer really.”
“Ahh, boy, ten years! Um, you know I got a young boy who’s just in his er last year in high school, get him through college and then after that possibly start thinking about taking it easy.”

DAY 6  : Yosemite : Sarah Britton (23) 

“I’ve been down to Mexica, Panama, Tahiti, Guatamala, Hawai, Samoa, Australia, Malaisia, Indoniasia, Philapines, Japan, Alaska (laughs), all over!"
“Erm, probably still be in the coastguard travelling around still”

DAY 6  : Yosemite : Olivia Roberts (18)

“Erm, I’m a student at, I’ll be going to Univercity of Wisconcen Maddison in the fall so I’m excited about that”
"Eeeeeerm, out of college (laughs) hopefully with, doing something that I like and not some job that I’m just stuck at but hopefully doing something that I’d be happy with.”
“Erm, I was eight so probably boy bands and disney channel and er dumb things like that! Oh, and also like, I loved history for some reason when I was really little, but we’ll see if that becomes something.”

DAY 6 : Yosemite : Olivia Roberts (18)

"Not worrying too much about the future and just worrying about the now because I feel like the nows are whats gonna get me, thats where I need to be, so if I worry too much about the future then its almost like working backwards in a way which is not where I want to be doing.”
“….all of a sudden your’e gonna wake up and one day realise like, theres nothing next and I wasted all my time worrying, I don’t know.”

DAY 6 : Yosemite : Zach Roberts (16)

“Singing, I really enjoy singing and playing soccer, erm, yeh, just being with my friends.”
“Er, I think I’m going to be applying to be a history teacher is actually what I’m very interested in being, and at school, so I can help shape future leaders of America!”

DAY 6 : Yosemite : Tim Roberts (66)

“Erm, getting out in nature, being in the natural world, being an athlete, doing athletic things, THOSE are things that I enjoyed.”
“Oh, being with my kids. Eer, my work, I love my work, I love being a teacher.  I love coming to a place like this, its fantastic er, natural world.  My kids have never been here so they get to come here for the first time and hopefully they’ll come here again sometime.”
"Politics are important to me, so, I was thinking about that……and thats about it.”

DAY 6  : Yosemite : Luke Thistle (12)
Whats the most important thing to you now?  “Family…er,I like to rock climb with my brother er, I like to play soccer with my friends sometimes.  Oh, guitar, I like to play guitar a lot too”
”When i leave school?  I don’t know er, I mean being a soccer professional might be fun but, takes a lot of work so, maybe something in science… a doctor or some…, I don’t know”

DAY 6 : Yosemite : Cassie Thistle (29)

“Whats important to me?  Definitely family, er respect for the Earth and respect for animals for sure, I’m a big animal lover and I like working in a job that gives back to animals.”

What was important to me when I was 12 years old was going to the horse stable every day and riding the horses, and when I was his age I wanted to be a zoo keeper, thats my dream job, STILL IS!!!” (laughs)
In the future i would just like to just keep working hard, er, become more financially stable, er hopefully one day get married, maybe become a Mom and travel the world.”

DAY 6 : Yosemite : Kevin Yong (17)
“Er, for right now, I just wanna like, finish high school and hopefully get like a good career, you know , and take care of my family, you know, yeh thats it.”
“When I was younger erm, I don’t really remember but like, maybe just like if I had what everyone else had but now , yeh, it don’t really matter now, yeh.”
Eer, hopefully I’m successful, hopefully like, I could take care of my family, thats what I want, but you never really know, yep.”

DAY 7 : Yosemite Groveland Fire Station

When you guys were young, what did you want to be? (To 4 firefighters)
“I wanted to join the army, and that or firefighter, you know”
“Yeh, pretty much firefighter, yeh I didn’t have anything really set”
“My heart actually was with white water raft guide (laughs) thats what my heart wanted me to do but my bank account said firefighter (all laugh)
“Rock climbing, jumping off cliffs, swimming in the river.”
“Me?  Err, I was racing motor cross that was like my main focus was motor cross.  I always had the firefighter in the back of my head too, I always wanted to be a fireman.”
“Err, family really cause I come from a really big family, and it, actually I was fortunate to have, it was cool to hang out with my family.”
“Me, when I was younger it was just anything outdoors, I was always climbing.”
“Family now”
“Oh, family’s always been important but its just, you realise, when your…….
“When my body starts telling me that firefightings beaten it up, I’ll go make some money in the fire service.”
“I’d say just be good at my job, I don’t care what I have on paper, I don’t, you know, I’m big on the career side, so just to be GOOD at what I do and just, NOT seeing any more people die!”
“Just to know that I can get thrown into anything and just know that I’m competent you know, trust, respect, everything, and just know that we’re going home.”

DAY 8 : Death Valley : Keegan Donavon (29)
“...and particularly I got to shoot historic guns, and get paid for it!  To a 17 year old kid theres nothing cooler!”
“Park Ranger”
“Sure, and this is something that I still believe, but, er that when I put on this badge and this hat and everything else, I’m here to protect America………a park ranger protects the memory of America…..I’m a protector of what makes us American.”
DAY 8 : Death Valley : Keegan Donovan (29) 
“Talking about speed and opening up the throttle, you know, Death Valley is a place that it CAN be done but IT SHOULD NOT!”
“Till I die!  Yeh, working 407 National Park Service sites, I mean when you get bored you go apply for an at a different one.”

DAY 8 : Death Valley : Matt McIsaac

“...and its just, as you slow down and filter everything out and come to a calm, its just like, that silence is just DEAFENING, its just so, you know, so omnipresent and its just COOL, you know.”
“Erm, being outside, being outside where erm, you know you have a lot of openness, you don’t have a lot of er, don’t have a lot of erm, you know road, buildings, you know, the expanse of the openness.”
“...especially at night out here, you know, early in the morning everything is just, is just, yeh, its just magic, you know, just peaceful!”
“ When you have a bunch of little kids raise their right hand and take the Junior Ranger Pledge and see how serious they take it, you know that just re affirms and err, lifts you up about your job, you know.”
  “SIRI NOT AVAILABLE (laughs) “Siri can’t do Death Valley” (laughs)

DAY 11 : Red Rock Canyon

”Talk to me, go on (bark, bark) you’re sooooooo mean!  Just scratch my butt, just scratch my butt, thats all I care about!”
“Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle (click click of fingers) wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, come here puppy, you’re a good boy.”

DAY 11 : Needles Sound of Juices Famous River Cafe.
DAY 11 : Needles  Sound of Truck stop at Needles
DAY 11 : Needles : Duane Reed 

“I been a truck driver since 2007 and I finally got my own truck last year.”
“26 years, toooooooooo long!” (laughs)
“You got to stay away (laughs) you definitely has to stay away you know, “too much of somebody is tooooo much (laughs), its good to miss your partner sometimes.”
“Err, I wanted to be a err, engineer when I was younger but all that change, you know.  You know, I didn’t grow up too rich or anything, we weren’t rich”, “I wanted to be a scientist” , “it was hard you know, so I had to get out there and go to work.  But I made a lot of mistakes in life also, you know, yeh, a lot of mistakes you know, trying to make fast money you know how that go….so….but, I finally got it right!” “Thank GOD, by the grace of GOD” “ and living the honest life takin care of my family, thats about it”
“Yeh, thats my goal really, help my grand kids, leave some, have some kind of legacy to leave behind”
“Quick cash, thats all I thought about when I was young.  Come up poor man, we had to share stuff and you know, get hand me down clothes or whatever, only thing that was in my mind….fast money.”
“Family, takin care of them, earn a livin, try stay healthy and live as long as I could, thats about it, that my main thing AND give praise to God.”

“All 48, I been every major city in the United States.”

DAY 11 : Needles : Dan Blacksmith : Phoenix
“Err, they’ve made it a lot harder out here. You know, they’ve gone from where its been it was enjoyable when I first got out here to where, the err, all the rule changes and everything, its made it harder for us to do our job, its time to retire!”
“I was in the military when I was young, Yeh, I put eight years in the military.”
Family has always been important.  Other than that, just work!  Yeh, hell I’ve been working since I was a kid man!  Yeh, my parents owned their own business  until they passed away and, you gotta do what you gotta do.”
“Well, the easiest part of being a grand, a Grandparent, is we can spoil them but we can LEAVE!  You know, get them all sugared up and  send them home!”
“But as far a disiplin its always been the same, you screw up, you get your ass whooped.”

DAY 12 : Joshua Tree : Simon Deporter (26)
“Well, umm, science, science has always fascinated me so it was either Physics of Grology.”
“What was important to me?  Ho, tsk, (Laugh) thats errr,,,,,yeh, I’ve always, I have always err placed a great err importance to, to respect, respect to others, respect to the environment.”
“The further, ho, errm….well, as we’re just married I, I hope we have a happy and a long life ahead of us, errm with a few kids and just a happy and comfortable life…….thats important to me.”
“I have a bucket list, erm, not written down but I have a bucket list in my mind.”

DAY 12  : Joshua Tree Hidden Valley : Jerry Dale (66)
“”Err, starting a family, yeh, err, we erm, I’d just come back from Vietnam and err, we were er, just yeh, started to think about getting married yet.  She didn’t know me when I was in Vietnam so we were just, we\d just met  n just started getting to know one another.”
“I was a police officer…(laughs)…yeh, I spent 40 years as a police officer.”
“Yeh, I’m probably one of the luckiest men around that got a great woman!! Yeh, she kept me going, kept yeh, kept me on the straight and narrow for the last 44 years.”
“The last Hobo I took of the train, TRUE Hobo, was about 1982 and the rest of them are illegal aliens!”
“The , the true Hobo’s, well most of them was, they got old men you know, cause a lot of them started out in the 30’s and 40’s………but they got old and they couldn’t ride the rails no more and so they kind of just faced away.”

DAY 12 : Joshua Tree Hidden Valley : Connie Dale (62)

Enjoying life while we’re still healthy to enjoy it, thats a big thing right now.  You know, we want to spend time with the grand kids and do things with them, but we want to travel cause we worked hard for 30 years and now we’re going to, like he said, enjoy the fruits of out labour!”
“I don’t think so, “No I don’t either” “we’ve had a good ride, I mean its been a great ride, yeh.”

DAY 12 : Joshua Tree : Hidden Valley : Maddison Beck (12)

“Family, erm…….I guess just being with your family and spending time with them.”
“Erm……….the specials……………like when you have like art, music, erm its like, so its erm art, music, library, erm other specials.”
Erm, like a Spa person…….Texas, because they have a lot of cool and awesome things there………like music.”
DAY 12 : Joshua Tree : Key View : Edward Zaho
“We’re passing through on the way back to LA after coming back from EDC” , “in Vegas” ……..”so its the Electric Daisy Carnival…..its a lot of fun….definitely a life changing experience”, “yeh, definitely, although i think its also one of those ONCE, ONLY ONCE experiences.”

DAY 12 : Joshua Tree : Key View : Mariko Abe + Edward Zaho 
“When we were young? Aren’t we still young? (laughs)……”10 years ago? that seems like forever ago” 
“Back then we had so much time, it felt like and now its sort of like, CRAP, I’ve got to really make the best of it.”
“I wanna move to California actually, not So Cal, North Cal, yeh I might go to school there, so thats the near term future.” “Cool.”
I’ve actually, I’ve actually just gotten a work visa for Canada approved so probably do one year working holiday, get out og Hong Kong (laughs) should be good (laughs).”
“I mean you mind can’t, like I couldn’t wrap my mind around the scale of the whole thing……..its just GIGANTIC, its HUGE and its FILLED with people…..yeh, its MASSIVE.”

DAY 13  : Joshua Tree : 29 Palms Inn : Heidi Grunt (53)
“I needed to feed my kids (laughs) …… well I don’t know, I love, I’ve always loved neutrician and health and again it just sort of fell into place, that was , you know, I kinda wanted to be a Midwife but California midwifes, its not much fun, too many rules!”
“I don’t know, probably didn’t know anything, what do I……I wanted to make jewellery!” “Really”, “Yeh, remember Judy?” “You could still do that.”

DAY 13  : Joshua Tree : 29 Palms Inn : Jane Grunt (74)
Ooooooh, I think I always wanted to be a designer, like a interior designer, I always thought that would be fun but erm, I got a  little side tracked…………..but I do have fun!”
I mean I’m not a , I like things very simple though……….pillows and junk stuff around, i don’t know, its not my thing.”
“When I retire, when Heidi takes over I’m going to spend a lot more time in the garden, uh-hu, uh-hu, uh-hu.”

DAY 13 : Joshua Tree : 29 Palms Inn : Aden Grunt (33)
“It was amazing, yeh it was amazing, the whole place was my playground.  Swim in the ponds you know, climb the trees and , it was err, it was a great childhood.”
“I definitely like my alone time, being able to get away from everything and, kinda do this, sit and , sit and think man, yeh go up in the park and you know, find a quiet spot, sit on a rock so, yeh its really important to me.”
“Man, I just played!  I mean I really like, I didn’t take to much too seriously I guess when I was a kid……..riding my bike, I loved riding my bike you know, just building jumps, just going and exploring the desert, you know.”
3.42s “Well….my plans and hopes…err,definitely involve this place, the inn here and hoping that err, we can keep it in the family and, and I’ll be part of running it in the future and keeping it going the way it is, thats really the way I hope it works out, thats what i’m working towards.”

DAY 13 : Joshua Tree : 29 Palms
“But they’re very gentle, they, they have all these sounds (slap) flies, I STINK err, they have all these very gentle sounds when they happy, you know, you feed them.”

DAY 13 : Joshua Tree : Daniel Young  + Stephanie Jelensky

“But grades were really important, my parents made sure that we knew that they weren’t going to be able to pay for college you know, and errm, and so I wasn’t going to be in debt you know, like, we didn’t like in debt we only paid for what we could, we didn’t go on credit EVER!”
“Grades were super, super important from a very young age knowing I had to get grants and scholarships to be able to , to have a higher education, which I did!”
“I don’t really know, but it was erm my childhood was kind of err, I didn’t have much of one…so, ….mmmmm”

DAY 13 : 0006 : Joshua Tree Daniel Young : Shot 157

“You don’t have to travel far to find a totally different culture, thats pretty convenient and nice to be able to do that.”
“America is a little bit of everything, just all kinds of seasons.”
“I was married before I saw the ocean for the first time.”
“How do you explain being American….erm, being free!”
“I think erm being American is changing alot right now, so what being an American 20 years ago is not the same as it is right now"……”we’re not as free as we used to be”……”but I still love being an American."
“I think America in general, like I think, I always think of like the Great Frontier you know, like the Wild West, like thats what I see America as, you know” …”Fighting?” (laughs) “well, just like this, this strive to conquer something! YOU KNOW!”
“My hope for my future is more religious than anything else, I just hope to do everything …I’m supposed to be doing and with all this chaos thats going on I’m sure, (laughs) hopefully it’ll be raptured soon and not have to worry about all this crazy, so" (laughs)
“Live, survive, be happy n healthy.  I’m pretty simple like, just want to be happy and healthy you know, see my kids grow as like be happy and healthy for them too.”
“I love Ted Talks, i like to watch it while I’m ironing!”(Laughs)
13.05s “If you have shelter and you have food on the table every day, and you don’t have to worry about those things………..your happiness won’t get any better if you have a bigger house and a pool like, happiness isn’t defined by things like that.”