I've known Joe for 10 years.
When we first met he was 5, a pipsqueak, the youngest of three
who liked to bury his head in a Gameboy.
I would engage him in conversations about things that interested him like Pokeman or Minecraft.
In time, he greeted me with a theatrical run from across the room and a leap into my arms.
His hug was a like slice of warm blueberry pie.
Our conversations evolved as he approached adolescence and his interests expanded
to include science, pop culture and girls.
In recent years his growth spurt halted my ability to catch him in my arms.
Thankfully, I still get an affectionate embrace
even if it is accompanied with a teenage eye roll and smirk.
To-date, this was my favorite Go West experience.
Joe was so open and comfortable in front of the camera,
and the setting sun crowned him in a 1970s effect.
Our conversation was easy, familiar, and laugh-inducing,
yet the pictures capture a more serious side of him.
The emerging man is evident even though glimpses of the goofy boy can still be seen.