042007track.jpg The Virginia Tech tragedy brought some old friends from the Washington media into our backyard this week. John Niles, an acerbic Brit and a great photographer I worked with for years, decided to visit Floyd and talk about old times over a cup of coffee.

Like so many others from my previous life, John has trouble understanding why I gave up the fast lane for life in the hills.

"The Tech shooting must have brought back the old longing for the action," he said.

"No," I answered. "It didn’t."

"So what do you shoot now?" "Sports mainly."

"Sports? What kind of sports?"

"High school sports."

"High school sports? That’s got to be a drag."

"Just the opposite."

John went back to Blacksburg for more of "the action." I went to Floyd County High School for a track meet (above). He photographed the depression of death. I photographed the exuberance of life. He chronicled the end of life. I captured the beginnings. That’s all the action I want or need.