The Love Gamble / by John Mooney


It was around 8:30am on a Sunday when I read the message. It was a simple question that dictated the rest of my day.

"I see you made it out to the island."

"Yeah. That hike is hell but so worth it."

"Did you make it to the theater?".....and with this question my Sunday was sealed.

My ever-supportive mother offered to watch my 1 year old son while I went on this treacherous journey. This particular mission consisted of a light 3/4 mile of walking over beach and broken seawalls to start. Followed by a mile long tip-toe across a decrepit bridge as it rotted out from under itself about 60 feet over the harbor. Followed by another mile or so of anxiety ridden beach hiking, terrified of being spotted by harbor patrol. All to finish at a 45 foot wall of mud that ate any boots that weren't tied tight enough. I learned this defense tactic the hard way on my first trip out. All this done in the snow, wearing roughly 25 pounds of camera gear in a backpack. Now at the top, soaked and covered in mud I could finally get to work. Goonies never say die.

I had a rough idea of entry but the connecting hallway was active, With absolutely NO REASON to be where I was, my movements had to be precise. After about 15 minutes of just observing I determined I was safe to move along the building. With nothing but a pair of gloves, I found my way in through a rotted window board. Once inside I traveled up through a dark basement area with chairs set up in almost a movie theater feel. Too dark to shoot, I headed up stairs. Once I reached the top of a handicap ramp I was face to face with absolute beauty. I had traveled all this way to see the theater but ended up falling in love with a tiny library off to the side of the space. I spent the majority of my time searching through the books looking for anything I recognized, I set up a single book at the end of the long table. It was hand picked.

"The Love Gamble"

It was the perfect title to me. All of my actions up to this point had been a huge gamble, but I did it all for the love of the images. for the love of the search. For the love of the adventure. 

The Love Gamble