Summer Nights / by Laura Heald

I visited an old family friend in Gainesville yesterday. Murray Lasley was my grandfather's best friend from grade school on. I lived in Gainesville for four years as a student at the University of Florida. I only went to visit Murray once when my grandfather died.

Until recently, I never appreciated what he means to me, to my family. He's a priceless piece of history that is slowly fading away. Part of me, as I am finding, is without doubt linked to him.

Murray has had a stroke and broken his hip since I saw him a year and a half ago, but the young man is still there.

He's been legally blind now for over 20 years. Glaucoma began to slowly take his sight in his mid-20s. But his stories are vivid and his mind sharp. He's speaks slow, but with purpose. And every word is worth hanging on to.

As I drove home with his stories fresh in my mind it began to rain. It was a typical summer shower in Florida. The kind of weather I remember from countless nights on the marsh, watching the heat lightning dance above the palm trees.

It didn't rain long enough to wet the ground, just long enough to create a low, thick steam.

I drove into Ponte Vedra Beach just after the sun went down - my favorite time of day - when the world turns a dense shade of blue.

I stopped at the beach just in time to take this double exposure on my D700.