Drag queen Ophelia Johnson dances among the crowd during the Pride Festival & March in Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston on June 30, 2018. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)

It can be tough to get any work done while working weekends sometimes. I had read about a Pride Festival happening in downtown Lewiston and thought it would be fun to attend. I knew a fair number of people there and could not get any pictures taken because everyone wanted to talk. I jumped from one conversation to the next and even heard a 25-minute story about one man’s experience with addiction and thoughts of suicide. Once the music started and the dancing began, all conversations were off, and I was finally able to do what I promised my boss I would do — take pictures. I have run into the man I had that long powerful conversation with numerous times since the Pride Festival. But, only on weekends. 

Garrett Mason, left, and field staff member T’Shawn Myvett look over election results in Lisbon on June 12, 2018. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)

Sometimes, it is the picture that you spend the least amount of time on that turns out the best. On primary election day, I was bouncing between the Janet Mills campaign headquarters in Lewiston and the Franco Center, where candidate Jared Golden was due to arrive after the polls closed at 8 p.m. Mills arrived early so I was able to get a shot of her as she waited for election results to roll in. Golden, on the other hand, did not arrive early. I gambled that Golden would not arrive anytime soon, and drove to Lisbon to find out where gubernatorial candidate Garrett Mason was keeping an eye on results. I found Mason underneath a wall of trophy deer shortly before 11 p.m., and spent an entire 30 seconds taking his picture before driving back to Lewiston to continue waiting for Jared Golden to arrive for his victory party. 

Dean Bryant, left, and McKenzie Gurley use a kayak to haul their returnable bottles to Gowell’s Market in Auburn on Jan. 17, 2018. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)

Returnable bottles and cans stack up in my basement as well. And I know how an extra $20 can help out a few days before pay day. But I never imagined I would come across someone moving their stacks of 5-cent returnables by kayak in the middle of a snowstorm. My picture of Dean Bryant, left, and McKenzie Gurley using a kayak to haul their two-month supply of returnable bottles to Gowell’s Market in Auburn did not come out as well as I had hoped, but I will bet away my basement worth of returnables that I won’t come across this again. 

Cynthia Riley of Buckfield spends time with Gunner, a therapy dog owned by Luke Robinson, left, while receiving a chemotherapy treatment at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston on Sept. 18, 2018. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)

Cynthia Riley had stage IV lung cancer when I met her at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. She did not mention the word “cancer.” Instead, Riley spoke of the stray cats that she and her husband, Ed, paid to neuter and feed. She also spoke of Gunner, the therapy dog that she had met once before. “Who knew that this was going to be a happy chemo day,” Riley said after Gunner was placed in her lap. Riley passed away 10 days after I took this picture. 

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