Richard Uzelac is an avid photographer and traveler. In this blog, Richard Uzelac shows some of his favorite photos from over forty years of traveling. Some of Mr. Uzelac’s stories center around a certain photograph or series of images. Some of the blog posts will center around a particular location and supported by Richard Uzelac’s own images. Still other blog posts will center around Richard Uzelac’s life and times and how they were recorded in images he took or were taken of him.
But First, Richard Uzelac’s Bio!
“I’ve always wanted to share my images and what better way to do that easily than in this focused blog!”, said Richard Uzelac.
Richard Uzelac, born in Philadelphia PA
I was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and at the age of one, my parents relocated to Tampa Florida. I have no memory of my time in Philadelphia when I was one. I hears some people can remember age one, I can’t. Maybe it was a sign of things to come and I just blocked it out.
Florida, here comes Richie Uzelac!
Why Tampa? I honestly don’t know. My Dad served as an airman based in Hawaii during WW2 and I think his love of the tropics and the growth of Florida in the early sixties were the draws for him.
Tampa Florida was a wonderland for a young child, especially one intensely interested in bugs. Yup, bugs. I loved them as a three year old. And as you know, Florida has a truckload of bugs and most of them are quite large. I collected anything I could that slithered or crawled or ran through our property. By the age of five I was convinced I would be an Entomologist and study bugs for the rest of my life.
The winter of my seventh year was one of the saddest times of my life, I was uprooted from all my bugs and the beautiful clear waters of Clearwater, Florida and forcibly moved back to Philadelphia!
Back in Philadelphia! Nooooo!
Going from sunny warm days of December to four feet of snow within a week of driving north was a true shocker for me. Where was the Sun? Why was it so cold? Why were the people so damned unfriendly. I never truly got over it and I somewhat resented Philadelphia and the people there. I longed for our almost daily visits to the beach with my lovely Mother and Brother hanging out in the waves and feeling the warm Sun and warm waters on my skin.
I grew up in Upper Darby Pennsylvania and Drexel Hill right next door. We lived in a couple of Row homes (Townhouses now, I guess) and then we bought a Twin, which is two homes attached at one wall.
Hey, it wasn’t all bad. Lot’s of friends and things to do in a crowded place. I learned how to lead and how to compete. I found out I was a natural at wrestling and ended up having an on and off relationship with wrestling through Penn State and then as an adult competing in my last tournament , which I won, at age 45.
Motocross was another passion. My Dad bought me bikes even though we were not rolling in money and I got a chance to compete and grow my love for motorcycles.
My parents decided to leave Pennsylvania so we moved to a house with a dock and a boat in New Jersey. My Dad always had a boat in New Jersey when we lived in Drexel Hill so when we moved to Mystic Islands he bought a little skiff for fishing in the bays north of Atlantic City.
I was at Penn State when they moved and ended up moving back home as the pay for a journalist back then paid for, wait for it, nothing. Will almost nothing. Like $15 for a news story that took me a total of 3 or 4 hours to produce.
I saw young people with nice cars at the Century 21 Office so I got a license and within a year was winning awards for most listings in South New Jersey. Real Estate made me some money buy I really didn’t like to sell stuff, I just listed homes.
Oklahoma! Where the Wind Goes Sweeping!
PATCO Strike. Air Traffic Controllers fired. Control at party, says “Richard Uzelac, you are a smart guy, we need smart guys!”
Three months later I was at the Air Traffic Control Academy in Oklahoma City! Yeeee Haw! This story is a real story and will wait for a book, hopefully soon…. For the time being it was intense, I graduated, and I moved to Palmdale CA as a new trainee.
California! Where’s the Beach?
Palmdale California! Ouch! I thought the ocean looked close on the old USA map I checked out to see my new home. Well it’s NOT and there are NO PALM TREES, in Palmdale. There are Joshua Trees which look like Halloween trees with palsy. And just touch one and you will plead pretty easily. The first day was hot like an oven. I made it through the program in four years and was a FPL full perfomance level GS 14 controller. Good money but, not the place i wanted to live.
Location Scout, Location Manager, 3D Animator Trainee, Network Television graphics producer, several places, and then I was out! Have some great memories of Hollywood, but ah, naw. But I won an Emmy award! And I had some great experiences.
I moved to Calabasas, then Thousand Oaks. Love the area. 30 minutes to Zuma Beach, one hour to Los Angeles, or Santa Barbara. No parking meters, nice homes, safe, secure, beautiful, calming and invigorating. Here I found work at Realtor.com and other places until I built my own businesses [ www.GoMarketing.com , www.RealtyTech.com , www.StrategicAgent.com ] where I work to this day. Life is good. I’ve messed up plenty in my life but I’m just here trying to live a good life and thank God for his grace every single day.
You can go here to read a more traditional business-like work bio if you would like
That’s all folks! I hope that helps a little as background for the images and stories to come.