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  • Writer's pictureMichael Kennedy

Real Connection When it Matters Most

It was a quiet evening on Lake Tahoe, layers of smoke from the Caldor Fire blocked the view of the mountains, changing colors with the sunset from pinks to purples like an octopus hiding in a Monet.

We walked to a specific pier near Tahoe City Marina for a photo shoot not expecting to see anyone. But there was someone at the end of the pier, exactly where we wanted to be and the light was quickly slipping away.

"I'll ask him to move," said London.

But something unexpected happened. London recognized the man. He was an old friend, a chef she knew from Squaw Valley. It had been over 4 years since they last saw each other.

They embraced and the man cried. He missed London and he was embarrassed about his current state of affairs. He was unemployed, traveling with a few friends struggling to find work and a place to live.

His story is not unusual around here. San Franciscans are fleeing the city and moving to the mountains, resulting in longtime Truckee and Tahoe residents getting displaced.

London did the only thing she knew she could do. She embraced her friend and reminded him he is loved. And she offer her support, direction, and some life-changing resources, including information about the Public Health Department in Carnelian Bay.

They exchanged contact information and hugged again before we walked away.

London and I visited the pier for some sunset photos and instead we got so much more. In a world of radical online connection, the connection that matters most is the subtle expression of love in a simple embrace - at least it was for these two.

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