Steve Stevens DFC

Steve Stevens is a 94 year old author who served with the South African Air Force from 1940 – 1950. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for valour for his part in operations over the Balkans in World War II. He was a pioneer of air support to Christian work with the newly founded Mission Aviation Fellowship and was their first oerational pilot in remote areas of South Sudan. He later became a founder member of the Festival of Light. He now lives on the south coast and is still fighting on as a prolific writer despite being in chronic pain.

If you forget to click on the link…

50 interviews. Lifetimes of stories. 

The journey of this project began with a simple student comment, “We learn a lot about the challenges and problems in the world, can we learn about how people overcome them?”  And with that, Portraits of Resilience began.

With enormous collaboration and cooperation from the USS Midway Museum, 50 sophomore students at High Tech High Media Arts were paired with 50 veterans and docents from The Midway and around San Diego.  One by one, the veterans came to our school to sit down for individual portrait sessions and interviews.  Students focused their interviews around three big essential questions:

(1) In what ways does war affect human resiliency,
(2) How can we resolve conflict aside from war and
(3) Why do people fight?  

The interviews, photography, artistic direction and book publishing are all student led and generated. 

Special thanks are extended to Mac McLaughlin,  Scott McGaugh, Jim Nash and Sara Hanscom for their cooperation and hard work.  And to all the veterans who took time to meet with us, we hope we have captured and honored the memories and stories you shared with us.  Thank you. 

Students interview veterans for USS Midway exhibit.

Worth a virtual visit

Cool San Diego Sights!

Visitor to USS Midway Museum on Memorial Day weekend absorbs Portraits of Resilience exhibit, created by students of High Tech High Charter School. Visitor to USS Midway Museum on Memorial Day weekend absorbs Portraits of Resilience exhibit, created by students of High Tech High Charter School.

This morning I walked a little around the USS Midway. The historic aircraft carrier is now a popular museum docked on San Diego Bay. I was there because it’s Memorial Day weekend, and I have personal experiences that make me grateful for America and our brave servicepeople. But I won’t blog about that here.

I was surprised to see a thought-provoking exhibit being set up in the hangar deck of the Midway. I learned it was a project of students at High Tech High, which is a charter school in Point Loma. 50 students interviewed 50 veterans, to learn about war, and peace, and human resiliency.

I took some photos in less-than-optimal lighting, and my flash wasn’t entirely helpful, so I had to apply a good deal…

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Old Man Jack-ism #8

Old Man Jack-ism #8

A wonderful friendship…

Masako and Spam Musubi

jack corsair 99 After recovering from a flood of memories, Old Man Jack stares at the other girl in his life: the F4U Corsair. Planes of Fame, March 3, 2003. Copyright Koji D. Kanemoto.

“….The son-of-a-bitch had no legs…” said Old Man Jack from his wife’s blue wheelchair.  His arms were making like windmills.  Well, windmills as fast as his 88 year old arms could go.  He had a comical yet strained look on his face, his bushy white eyebrows still prominent.

But you could see the pain behind those eyes…and in his deadened voice.


Several months have passed since I visited with Old Man Jack at his grave.  With Memorial Day around the corner, May 17th was a beautiful day visit him.  A recent rainstorm had just passed and the blue skies were painted with thin, wispy clouds.

I could see no one had stopped by since my last visit; at…

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