Category Archives: photo-romans

THE MEANING OF PURE by Peter Nolan Smith

In the summer of 1995 my baby brother died of AIDS. I sought solace for Michael’s soul the Orient seeking solace for Michael’s soul by visiting the holy sites of Asia. I lit candles before the Buddha in Chiang Mai. I circumnavigated Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple. Despite a lifelong disbelief in religion this pilgrimage comforted my […]

DUST THEN MUD by Peter Nolan Smith

Bangkok was a different city in 1990. Shady trees lined the sois. The klongs led to the Chao Phyra River. Barges transported rice from up-country. After a short stay at the Malaysia Hotel I was ready to head north to Chiang Mai. I booked a 2nd Class AC sleeper at Hualamphong Station. The train pulled […]

The Road To Umphang – Thailand’s Death Highway

Umphang in Tak Province has long been one of Thailand’s most remote provinces. Well in the 20th Century the only access to the region was by pack horse, ox-cart or on foot. In the late 60s the Thai government financed construction of road through the perilous mountains only to have rebels kill thirty construction workers. […]

SEA LEGS by Peter Nolan Smith

Spice dominated the trade between Asia and Europe for centuries and the oriental lore of processing roots, seeds, and bark into food enhancers inspired western travelers to seek various detours around the Arab middlemen profiting from the lucrative East-West trade route. Adventurous voyagers stood to reap fortunes from their success. Failures were many. In 1493 […]

DEMO DERBY Paintings by Jane Dickson / Writing by Peter Nolan Smith

On a summer night in 1969 a high school friend Dave Quaan drove my older brother, next-door neighbor and me to Norwood Arena in his family’s station wagon. The Ford Country Squire hit its top speed of 115 on Route 128. We got off the highway at US 1 and drove south to a ball […]