Discovering the Air Force Base in my backyard

Growing up in Northern California, I was always aware of the local military bases and their approximate locations. For the most part, I had little chance of going on base. So while the names of the bases were pretty well ingrained I never knew too much about their operations or the men and women that worked there. Since Beale Air Force Base was having an air show open to the public, I figured I’d go and get educated on this base I had heard the name of all my life. It was exciting. I had no idea what to expect but was surprised first at how much land is owned by the government which surrounds the base. Turning off the highway it was 3.5 miles to the South Gate. Once my car was inspected and I was passed through, it was another 2-3 miles to the airport at Beale where the air show was taking place. The site was massive and enough parking for thousands of cars.The sight of all those cars parked and airplanes, jets, cargo transporters and vintage Air Force planes in one place was a scene I’ll not forget. And of course all the military personnel running around the place_ young, older, men,women, Asian, Black, Latino, white_ it was a humbling site. So much Air Force history on that tarmac and readily accessible by the locals today.The photos I took also show the distant Sutter Buttes mountains which I was no stranger to. In my hometown of Gridley, I could always watch them change colors with the seasons, and used them as a point of reference As an adult I began to photograph them from every angle and season because they were a part of my childhood that I felt connected to and wanted to hold onto. (Planning to post this series soon.)

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