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The Bubble Project

Yes, I know that it has been quite some time since I’ve written a Musing, but come on, give me a break!  Tracy and I have been shooting quite a bit of theater lately and we have been assembling a book for a friend whose wedding we recently shot.

But most important, I have been working on two new projects, one of which I just started, The Bubble Project. You see, I have been enamored with soap bubbles since I was a toddler. And even at my advanced age I still play with those simple yet so complex bubbles that come out of a plastic bottle with its little plastic wand. In my mind it’s pure magic. When most are indulging in their favorite mind altering beverage or something stronger, you can find me out on the porch blowing bubbles. Well, sometimes I blow them, but lately I have indulged in two bubble machines, much to the chagrin of my two grown children. Both of my kids work during the summer at a locally owned and operated toy store. So naturally, I get their discount whenever I need to buy a toy!

But that monetary discount does come at a price. Each time I go to the store, I invariably walk around the bubble toys, of which they have an unbelievable selection. And each time I am found loitering around that aisle, my kids yell from behind the counter, “Dad, you have enough bubble stuff!” I’m sure the regular patrons of that store turn to see if I’m an eighty seven year old man suffering from dementia. Instead they see a well preserved man simply grinning at the thought of more bubble stuff.

So one night as I was standing on the porch with my trusty bubble machine going, smoking a cigarette and watching as baffled drivers wondered where those damn bubbles were coming from, an idea was born – The Bubble Project. You see I have this personal belief that most people react to soap bubbles as children do, with a smile. And those I have encountered and watched who don’t smile are not to be trusted! I must admit though that even my close friends look a bit askance when I begin to play with my bubbles. A close friend and fellow photographer, Jarrett Gorin recently visited us at the beginning of the summer. We wanted to have a picnic at a local park and I brought my bubble machine. When I was unpacking my ‘gear’ he said, “Hey Mark, are there going to be young kids coming to the picnic?” His question was genuine and when I said, “Nope, these are mine.” he smiled suspiciously and said “Uh, ok..” But after the colorful bubbles began gently floating in the air, he too got a childlike smile on his face and said “Cool!” See, Jarrett can be trusted!

At that very same picnic another friend and photographer, Diane Varner looked over and said, “Gosh Mark, I never thought of bubbles as an adult toy.” I simply thought to myself “That Varner Woman! Figures those extrodinary nature photographers just don’t get us immature people photographers..” But her husband Bob immediately smiled as he watched those magic globes floating into the air!

So from time to time you will see images here of the people Icapture when they see my bubbles! I am listing this series here simply because Tracy built this site and I’m not sure how to do a gallery. When I asked her about it she gave me one of those ‘looks’ and said “You can build it in Lightroom and upload them, or you can just send the images to me and I’ll do it…” So to keep the piece, I’m posting them here.

Image 1 in this series
Image 1 in this series

The first person in this series is my pal Vernon Trent who is visiting from Germany. Vernon stood on my porch on his very first night so that I could capture this image of him with the bubbles. What a good egg!

Image 2 in this series
Image 2 in this series

The second image in my series is of Isaiah, who I encountered when I ventured to the Mavericks surf area in Half Moon Bay. After reaching the end of the shoreline, I set up my bubble machine and started making bubbles. Almost immediately Isaiah rose from his beach towel and walked toward me smiling all the way. He said, “Thanks for bringing those bubbles, they are great!” He turned to Tracy who was standing further down the beach and said, “I’m Jewish, are you Anti Semantic?” I heard Tracy laugh nervously as she assured him that she was not prejudice against Jews. At that point he turned his attention back to me and told me that he is a practicing psychologist. I laughed and simply said his life is all about listening to other people’s problems! But just as I had hoped, he enjoyed the bubbles and was more than willing to be photographed.

Here is my third in this series. Vernon, Tracy and I went into SF on Vernon’s last day staying with us. He needed to pick up some art supplies for his kids, so we ventured to an artist supply shop in SF. I decided to wait outside and fire up the bubble machine. The young woman you see standing here with her dog initially gave me a dirty look as her dog began barking and trying to eat the bubbles. I simply smiled and she pick him up and paused looking back before crossing the street. Obviously I could never trust this woman!

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…and I thought Michael Jackson was the one who took Bubbles out with him ;-)

Did I really say that??! Uhm. You FORGOT that I did smile. But I still wouldn’t trust me…

I look forward to seeing where this all leads… especially when you’re 87 years old.