John Wardlow, Mark Roemer-Cleary, Dallas Bernie, John Moloney, and John Dixon are five Californian friends who have been photographing the same broad picture near Copco Lake for 40 years. Every five years they sit in the same order, bring a hat and an empty can, and then they replicate the image. This year, neither the epidemic nor one of the men’s cancer survivors could stop them from carrying on the custom.
Here are all 9 pictures taken by Californians from 1982 to 2022, where right before our eyes five young men are transformed into properly aged men.
Five Santa Barbara High School graduating teens took their first photo in an already familiar pose using the camera’s automatic timer, CNN reports. And it’s become their tradition!
Important guidelines apply when making a photo: Moloney always has the can in her right hand, Dixon always has her arms crossed, and Roemer-Cleary always has her hat on her lap.
The frequency of guys reuniting by the lake for photos is every 5 years!
Meet the characters from left to right. John Wardlow is a filmmaker and photographer living in Bend, Oregon. Mark Roemer-Cleary is a software engineer who founded Occam Networks. He is now retired and lives in Portland, Oregon.
Dallas Bernie, a U.S. Air Force veteran, begins his 23rd year of teaching in Northern California in the fall. John Moloney is a photographer from New Orleans.
Finally, John Dixon is the only one still living in Santa Barbara, where he runs the travel website SantaBarbara.com
When photos of friends went viral, Roemer-Cleary, with his 201 centimeters height and special facial hair, became especially popular on the streets. Strangers often stop him saying, “You look familiar, but I can’t remember why.”
Between 2017 and 2022, Dallas Bernie survived cancer, which caused friends to fear there would be one blank spot in their next photo. But it all worked out!
Over the years, the back of the bench on which friends sit grows old.
Four of the friends are now 59 years old, and Roemer-Cleary is 58.
So, waiting for the next photo in 2027!