They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, but often the person behind the lens has a story as well. Yesterday, as Al Carson was restocking his popular photo card rack at the market and we chatted about his life, I knew his story needed to be shared with our Lepp Farm Family. Now retired, he spent his 33 year teaching career in Mission, teaching Physical Education as well as a variety of other subjects. But as a lover of nature, his camera was never far from his side.
Al’s family moved to Abbotsford from Ontario while he was still a young boy, and as “old-timers” often do, we reminisced about Abbotsford’s early years and the landmarks we remember. He shared that his mother was the only swim instructor in our small town but Abbotsford did not have a swimming pool until 1958, when Abbotsford’s first public pool was built. Being hardy Ontario folks, his mother never let that deter her from doing what she loved and so Abbotsford’s first swimming lessons were taught at Mill Lake, the only available body of water!
Naturally, one of his favorite photos is of that same spot on Mill Lake where he spent his early years assisting his mother. Later, the Carson family installed what surely was the only private pool in Abbotsford at that time, and Mrs. Carson began teaching lessons at their home. Al remembers a steady stream of bathing-suit clad children running in and out of his backyard all summer long.
Today he happily spends his days driving around the countryside, often at daybreak or sunset when the golden light is perfect for photos. He spotted the “perfect ducks” on Willband Creek while driving down the Abbotsford-Mission Highway, and luckily they stayed put just long enough for Al to pull his car into the parking lot and run to the pond with his camera, the morning sun peeking over the mountains. The stunning Mt. Baker photo is the view from the top of Eagle Mountain. And the photo of Lepp Farm Market? Well, that’s just Better When Shared!
Thanks, Al, for capturing our breath-taking Fraser Valley in your photos and giving us all an opportunity to share the beauty with our friends both far and near.
You can find these incredible photos on cards here at Lepp Farm Market! The photos shown here are only the tip of the iceberg – Al photographs a variety of scenery in the valley like gardens, familiar landscapes, wildlife and the occasional cat.