Risking his life repeatedly, he hopped freight trains in Mexico to chase a story — the migration of children to America. Decades earlier, he covered another crisis: the arrival of thousands of Vietnamese evacuees at Camp Pendleton after the fall of Saigon.
Don Bartletti, who retired Nov. 25 after 31 years at the Los Angeles Times, knows immigration and refugees like the back of his Canons.
“No wall, no doctrine can stop humanity,” Bartletti said. “It’s as old as history itself. People used to chase the herd across the horizon for food. Now we’re chasing the almighty dollar.”
After attending Vista High School and Palomar College, the son of a career Marine enlisted in the Army in 1968 and attended Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, Ga. — aiming to be in charge rather than report to the “nimrods” he saw in basic training.
Although he took a basic photo class at Palomar, he didn’t buy his first camera — a Nikkormat for $90 — until he was in Vietnam. (He added a $250 Nikon F before he left.)
He began his photojournalism career with three years at The Vista Press, a year at the Oceanside Blade-Tribune and a 1977-1984 stint at what became the Union-Tribune.
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Some really cogent photographic philosophy here; great read from that point of view.
But, that Portland and Seattle comment... you oughta try an ethnic restaurant next time you're up there for that LA feeling. Or just accept a different place being different.
"I feel so uncomfortable when I go to Seattle or Portland because it’s quiet in a restaurant, and they’re all white people."
Really, Don? Other than that dramatic flourish, an interesting read.