Recently, I went dutifully along with my van loving husband, Jonny to a “van meet”. That means a group of people -lets say enthusiasts because they really are enthusiastic, who own and love vans, getting together to show off and talk about their vans. Luckily I am a fan of the van and have been photographing them on the streets of many American cities over the years. I love their carefree 70s feel, their colorful paint jobs, quirky details and what they represent – freedom, just being able to go, and the possibility of chucking it all in, saying so long to mortgages, career, schedules and saying YES to adventure on the open road.
At the meet though, I had a great time, the vans were rad and the people were so lovely and fun. I got some photos of some interesting and beautiful people all from very different walks of life. But what interested me most about this experience was how warm we humans can be toward each other. How kind and open and how we naturally gravitate toward sharing ourselves if we deem we have something in common, in this case vans, but umm hello people ?… we all have something in common all of the time…WE ARE HUMAN.
It seems to take something tangible to bring us together, a hobby, a cause, a war, a disaster but I believe an open heart will do it everytime.
Matt Miller -and his 1964 Ford Falcon >>>>>Awarded the ‘Least Likely to make it home’ trophy
Jackie and Jonny and their orange ’78 Dodge Tradesman
Dan Williams and his ’67 Ford Econoline
Randall Feigner with ‘Mona’ an ’83 chevy Beauville, that takes him, his wife & son fishing and camping often. A butcher, Randell takes lovely midday naps in Mona whenever possible.
Louis Lanning (one of the founders of the Rolling Death Van Club) and Mary Gloven with his 1966 Ford Econoline. ‘My vans mean the world to me., its my transportation, and my hobby.
Lisa Kline Simon and her ’76 Ford Econoline>>> “the moment I laid my eyes on my steely van I knew that she was meant for me. It was love at first sight. I feel like there was a van sized hole in my heart that I didn’t even know was there. “
Old school vanners, ‘Ma’ and “Ma Man” from the Northwest Van Council.
Adam Moorehead and his award winning ’76 Chevy G10.>>>I bought this off a man whose father had died 6 months earlier. He struggled with the idea of selling it at first but finally was ready to let it go to a good home. He had people call him from all over the country but didn’t get the right vibe from them to let it go. He had a bunch of stories about the van and how much his father babied it over the years. Even though his father had owned it since it was new, he decided to have it restored to its original beauty by having it completely reupholstered and rebuilt 4 years before passing away. I made the promise to this man and his fathers favorite van, that I would carry on the legacy and make new memories with my family to honor his childhood van…