After graduating from high school in Black River Falls, WI in the early 80s, I left the area to continue my education and raise my family. After over 20 years, I returned to my hometown and worked for several years as the reporter and photographer for the local newspaper, the Banner Journal.
Although my job was reporting local news, I felt my true work was helping to bring together a community torn apart by a history of adverse social conditions common in rural midwestern areas. In addition, this area has a horrific past of injustices and inhuman treatment of the people indigenous to the area - the Hochungra people - also known as the "People of the Sacred Voice."
The great photographer Annie Leibovitz once said, "A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people." The images I've shared in this collection are some of the people I fell in love with during the period of time working as a reporter in my hometown ... most I never had the opportunity to have a conversations with ... but did my best to love them and their stories with these photos.