In 1980 I worked the summer as a construction laborer in Calgary, near the end of the big building boom. I drove a beat-up 1973 Ford LTD coupe - a gas-guzzling behemoth that rode like a canoe. At some point my friend Thierry Cariou, a young Parisian photographer who I'd met a few years earlier during my post-high-school European adventure, came to visit and I took him up to Banff one weekend. Today Thierry is one of France's most successful stock photographers and runs a graphics/multimedia agency.
Every year he mails out a Bonne Année card with one of his favorite photos on it. Usually they're abstract, computer-enhanced images. This year he went old-school and featured a gorgeous black and white photo of my old LTD on the side of the road with the big, electric Alberta sky above us and the Rockies ahead. Not only does the pic represent a moment from my youth (if you look closely you can see the fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view mirror) -- it captures the spirit of the Canadian West.