I just returned from a couple of days on the road to see friends from my days in Sacramento. Kirsten Bloom, the prima ballerina with the Sacramento Ballet, was performing the lead role in "Sleeping Beauty," a full-length production that challenged the entire company in it's complexity. Suffice to say, the performance was exquisite. Kirsten and I have know each other for the past 12 years. I've photographed her in many different dancing roles, in rehearsals, the studio and recently during the tour to China. She is the only dancer who has been in the company throughout my tenure. I never tire of watching her dance. Paul Kitagaki and Renée Byer are two of my former co-workers at the Sacramento Bee. It's a bit strange returning to a city where one lived for 20+ years. Everything is familiar yet I see the city through a much different perspective. The comforting part staying with Paul and Renée. The common link between Kirsten and them is the "once upon a time" factor. Kirsten dances to fairy tales, Paul and Renée are photographic artists. They pursue their careers with passion and total commitment and I think about my years doing the same thing alongside them. I enjoy the occasional trip to Sacramento as a reminder of my crazy life as a photojournalist. I'm reinforced in my decision to retire and carry on a smaller version of photojournalism, yet there is a reverie for my Sacramento days that are still so close and real yet far, far away in another time and place.