My friend Brian is a toy photographer.
One winter, when B was hired by Hasbro to photograph a new campaign for Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, I decided to leave a budding relationship to travel around the country on a photo adventure with B and his wife, Mika. (Is this why I'm single?) Our itinerary: Drive across America, stop at landmarks, Brian photographs most famous toy potatoes of all time, I photograph everything else, we all spend Christmas together in Memphis at his family's house, New Year's Eve in TeePees and New Year's Day in Sedona.
Somewhere in Arizona, while Brian and Mika were both on their hands and knees, sticking Mister Potato Head parts to a snow man in the middle of a stunning white field, I yawned, wondering when I was going to see something vaguely interesting. I turned around and walked toward the road. Right then, an old bright orange pickup truck rambled by. The man in the truck looked at me. The wolf in the truck looked at me too.
I snapped my shutter, and when I looked up again, the truck was gone. I walked back to the gang, who had seen none of this, tapped them on the backs and said something like "uh, wolf." They didn't believe me, I showed them the photos, everyone freaked out, we packed the toy potatoes, jumped in the car, and drove down the road trying to find the wolf again.
We did. Her name is Usdi.
Every holiday since then I've had wolves on my mind .