I had every intention of keeping this concise, focused, clinical. If I were disciplined, this is what I would have written. I want to work interviews into the documentary photography equation. To do that, I need to get a lot smarter on the basics of audio. I’ve recorded myself, but I needed to graduate to the level of recording someone else. Thank goodness for nieces.

My nieces are fearless. No, no one is fearless. They’re courageous, and will meet a challenge head on. I tagged along with my sister to pick up A and S from their dance class. I wanted to see how the H5 Zoom + Rode Wireless Whatevers work with another person, so I ambushed S. I could have ambushed A, but I think an ambushed A could drop some F bombs. I think there’s some street fighter in that one. Her mother was driving, and her grandparents will listen. S it is.

“S, I want to test out some mics, are you down for a quick mini-interview?”

“Sure.” (I am envious of that attitude. S is a teenager. My 49 year old response would have been heavy on the suspicion. I’m working on getting better about that, but no doubt, my response would have been, “Huh? What’s this for? Can I see a general outline of the questions?”)

I handed S a mic. A, K, and Doozy were in the audience. I improvised some questions. The subsequent two unedited minutes are a highlight of my time in Arizona. I ambushed her with a mic after a workout, with zero warning about questions. My nieces are more articulate in their teens than I am now. I feel vindicated in my strongly held opinion that us older folks are wrong to dismiss younger folks as screen junkies. We all look at these little screens too much, and every group of older folks has criticized the next generation. Human nature. That next generation didn’t ignore climate change or elect Bush, an architect of the Forever Wars. Let’s hope they have time to make their mistakes. I think they’ll be smaller than ours.