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Brenda Priddy
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Mid-week Subaru silliness near Joshua Tree National Park.
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Too bad the Kool Bus has been shipped from Las Cruces to its home in Florida.. would'a been a cool duo shot
http://atfhotrodparts.com/1949-kool-bus/
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Brenda Priddy

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If you missed us on #Instagram this week ...
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This week on Instagram ...
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Cars of Cuba: Havana!

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From the Petersen Automotive Museum! A real barn find: 1937 Delage D8-120 Coupe Aerosport by Letourneur Et Marchand (more on Facebook).
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Locomobile! At the Paradise Valley (Arizona) Car Show.
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Cars of Cuba: Havana
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A HUGE thank you to the prestigious Blackhawk Museum for writing about our upcoming trip to Cuba! +Timothy McGrane
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Cars and tourists in Havana, Cuba. And, no, I have no idea who these people are.
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Have you been following us on Instagram? 
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Morgan.
One of the 100+ cars on the recent Brighton Rally in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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A personal note to my 15,000+ closest social media friends:

I tend to be an open book privately, with friends, but (believe it or not) I’m very careful as to what I put on social media. I share some of my thoughts, stories of trips and adventures, and even entertaining dating profiles (on my “personal page”) - yet I rarely share anything about actual dates, relationships, political opinions and more, with the 15,000 regular followers across the social media spectrum. But for those who have followed me for a few years, or even for a few decades, you’ve probably noticed less covert activities (as in fewer spy photos), and more car-related travel adventures, from traveling the length of Route 66, to a concours in Michigan, to attempting to photograph all the 60,000 pre-1960 American cars that are still on the roads in Cuba.

In answer to many of the questions that I receive every week, here’s Book 2, and maybe a (slightly) more personal look inside the woman that Motor Trend once called Bond Girl (although test engineers have used words to describe her that aren’t repeatable).

Please, no replies – as they could be awkward (for me). Simply enjoy the story, and all the current and future photos …

Book 2
After The Spy Games
Chapter 1

It was two years ago this month that I subconsciously – or was it consciously – made extreme changes in my life. There was no planning. No thought given to it. Simply a lifestyle change was talking place, and I’m not even sure if I was aware of it.

I returned to Phoenix from a 4-month stay in Death Valley, covering the hot weather test season, and living with a friend in the small, residential area of Cow Creek. Cow Creek is where many of the federal employees live (verses the concessionaires and their staff) and – although it may be shocking to some – I lived in a home surrounded by those of park rangers (law enforcement and interpretive), supervisors, maintenance people – and even the park superintendent. And even after spending the summers in Death Valley for over two decades, my passion for the park, it’s beauty, and the people – in its past and present – was growing. If the opportunity presented itself, I could have lived in Death Valley forever.

But when I left the park that October morning, I unknowingly left behind a part of my life and – and a regular paycheck.

No, it’s not like I got fired from a job, or even quit what I was doing, but my life was simply transitioning. My children were suddenly adults and living on their own, my mother had recently died following a very difficult cardiac operation, and my brother was fighting for the last eight months of his life, battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. And, something journalists usually don’t talk about publicly, but the industry was changing quickly and some of the fun was simply gone. 

Chapter 2:
Never Looking Back

I returned to Phoenix from a 4-month stay in Death Valley, did a few loads of laundry, and took delivery of a new Hyundai Santa Fe, that the folks at Hyundai loaned me for the next seven months. No sooner than the Hyundai was delivered, we packed it up and John (my best friend, my ex-husband, my children’s father – whatever you want to call him) and I embarked on a nearly month-long tour across the country – part family commitments, and all of it one huge photography adventure. I would still be somewhere along Route 66 taking pictures, today, if John hadn’t pulled me back into the Santa Fe and drove back to Arizona.

We barely returned from our road trip, and our bags were packed again, but with clothing suited for a tropical environment. John and I were off to Cuba for the very first time.

Weeks later I found myself with about 35,000 images, from junkyards along the Texas highways, my first ever look at New Orleans, country roads in Ohio, sunsets in Illinois, majestic scenery in New Mexico and, of course, images of the people, architecture and cars, in Cuba. And suddenly, without realizing it, these images – the ones without a paycheck – became my priority.

Yes, “opportunities” came my way, but no, I refused to “give” publications rights to my images in return for them “promoting my book” (no, I didn’t have a book, but that didn’t stop the many proposals), or sell exclusive galleries of my images to publications for $50 or $75 a set – no matter how big the publication or website was. But sharing my images – and any emotions they may bring the viewers – brings me great joy, and keeps me going.

So here I am at the two-year mark, and talking about things that I’ve never mentioned publicly. Living happily, but on what would be considered my retirement funds (and my children’s inheritance), but smiling all the way, and becoming breathless at times when I see random things that I know I just need to capture with my camera, and share with my friends.

And I’m also smiling because I know that in all my years – I’ve never comprised my ethics or my integrity, and hopefully earned respect from all my friends, business associates, fellow journalists, photographers – and you.

Chapter 3
Chasing Dreams:

As another year is quickly beginning, it seems even more important to chase my dreams, and not settle into a 9 to 5 routine surrounded by walls. I have my midlife dream job designed and mapped out, but now I have to convince an OEM, possibly a classic automobile insurer, or others, of the benefits of hiring me for a job that likely doesn’t exist. But in the meantime, I’ll be working on my portfolio by visiting junkyards with rattlesnakes and watchdogs, attending as many car shows and other events as I can afford, lining up speaking engagements, booking more exhibits across the country – and fulfilling my dreams.

To be continued 
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