Beloved Santa Rosa engulfed by flames

Early this morning I got an alert from the evacuation Facebook group for the Tubbs fire in California. My friend Don Cambou was okay. Whew, thank goodness!

Another friend, Mike Grace, wrote to say, “It is indeed a calamity of proportions we have never seen.”

First Houston, then Puerto Rico and now Sonoma County. It seems so that not long after I work in some of the most beautiful places in the world, something terrible befalls them.

Every location I shoot is a dream-come-true but after a natural disaster or other misfortune I’m even more grateful for the opportunity. Take Santa Rosa, for example; the charming, idyllic town I shot while riding from the front seat of a vintage Deluxe Phaeton convertible. What a treasure.

Because of Cambou, a long-time producer of the History Channel series “Modern Marvels,” I was hired to shoot the documentary “Santa Rosa: The Chosen Spot of All the Earth.” The title was borrowed from the praise showered on the town by resident and globally renowned horticulturist Luther Burbank.

We captured dozens of utopian locations and interviewed a slew of fascinating people. The story premiered in a downtown Santa Rosa theater in September 2016.

Now, fast-forward a year later…. and I’m in shock at the fate of Sonoma County. Who isn’t? As with the fates of beloved Puerto Rico and Houston. Is there anyway to sum up the sadness and frustration other than to write about it?

Still, resilience endures through catastrophes as Mike Grace wrote this morning: “We will survive and we will rebuild. Our spirit is strong.”

Our prayers and thoughts are with you all.

Share this: