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Bigger In Texas

So...as you may or may not know, I'm currently in Houston, TX for work. I'm working on a new store that we're opening and I flew in last week.

That sets the background that you need (and may or may not prevent the who gives a rip moment you may or may not have).

I have mentioned it before, but in my hobby of photography, I have been blessed to be friends with the photographers who inspire me. Jerry Kuamoo, all of the friends I've made through Help Portrait, and one other that always inspires me when I see his work.

Tommy Lyles of Signal2noisephotography. He's based out of Houston (there's your A-ha moment).
Cool thing about this recent trip is I got to actually have a day off AND I got to meet up with Tommy.

We'd been Facebook friends for several years, courtesy of our mutual friend Bee.

We hit a cool bar Saturday night called Neil's Bahr.  If I lived in Houston, I would be there all the time. The place had such a geek vibe that I clicked with it instantly.

It's always a weird thing when you meet an inspiration face to face. I haven't seen a photo that Tommy's shot yet that hasn't in some way inspired me. I see amazing depth in his photography and the ability to capture so much. His shots are art.  It's very cool to me to witness.

So...it was a little...well, weird for me. I don't know if star struck was the word. It wasn't like that, really. The whole evening I was pretty much marveling in how many things in the universe fell in to place so that Tommy and I could be drinking kick ass Houston beer on what he described as one of the perfect Houston nights. To extrapolate it out was kind of mind blowing. And left me with one conclusion....I need another beer.

OK. Two conclusions. There are no coincidences or accidents where people are involved.

And....several times in the evening, the world just got ridiculously smaller. Turns out that Tommy's cousin is someone I gradated high school with.

It was a trippy but cool evening. And I even got a couple cool shots of the Houston Skyline (as well as some kick ass shots by Tommy of Super Action Action Man.

It's not easy traveling. I don't do it much, but going to a city for a week or more and not knowing anyone is kind of rough.  I have to say that it was much better than I could have ever thought.

And, like I said, it was one of those times when you know there's a higher power.

And don't even get me started on watching the Brown's game with Tommy's family.

Beyond words. The feeling of how they welcomed me in to their home was truly beyond words.

Work is going well, we'll be on track for the store opening, but that's not going to be what I remember most about this trip.

No, what I will remember is that a friend, met online, and then in person became someone that I can truly call friend (not just in the way that people think they have friends on Facebook). And that to me is pretty cool. I had a smile for 2 days straight marveling at how amazing the universe is.

I know that this is kind of a departure from my normal writing, but I just felt that I needed to express my appreciation for the friendship and hospitality shown me. It was bigger than I could have ever imagined. That's Texas for you, I guess.

-A.T.

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