There's a sign when you first drive into the town of Willard that welcomes you and displays the current population.  Well, I guess at some time it was current, it hasn't been updated for years.  If you want to the learn the reason behind this, a good place to start is with the first five people you meet in town. 

After a couple weeks of negotiating schedules, I finally made my way up the hill to Willard to photograph Liz and her family.  We had originally planned on taking a short drive over to a nearby campground, or even a mutual friend's house -- but when I saw their home and the character around it -- I decided that we had to make use of it.

There's a great deal of character on the property, and it isn't just limited to the tangible stuff like an old ladder truck or a rocking horse.   The family has a whimsy and genuineness about them that is so incredibly unique and a pleasure to be around.  Whether they're slaughtering chickens together (that happened in the morning...so sorry I missed it), making music (as they all seem to be fairly accomplished musicians) or baking (Liz and I are scheduling an empanada throw-down), there is a warmth and authenticity present that you don't find in too many places.

But if you see the welcome sign -- you know you're getting close.

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