HOW MANY OF US go on the trip of a lifetime,
come back with a memory card full of photos,
download them to a computer and forget them?
Not Costco member Mary Coates Smith.
“My photography is of the highest priority
when traveling,” she says. During her 15-day tour
of China in 2011, “I selected the cities and villages
to visit based on their beauty and unique venues.”
Coates Smith was also struck by the
warmth and friendliness of the Chinese
people she encountered.
“I knew almost immediately
that there was going to be some-
thing very different about this
trip from any other country I had
visited,” she reports. “Call it
intuition, call it instinct ... from
the start of our trip I felt a real
connection with the people.”
Coates Smith returned to
her San Diego home with more
than 3,000 photos.
Her desire to share those photos
and impressions led Coates Smith to self-publish a book, Touched by China (
coatessmith.com), featuring more than 90 pages
with 178 pictures that illustrate the many sides of
the country and its people.
“The first purpose of this book is to expose
Americans to both the beauty of the people and
the exquisite sites in China,” Coates Smith
explains. The second is to showcase what an amateur photographer can do with a high-quality camera. As she describes it, “I found the shot and the
camera did all the work.”—Anita Thompson
CHINA PHOTOS: MARY COATES SMITH
The Banyan Tree Resort in Lijang. Jade
Dragon Snow Mountain is in the background. (Inset) Morning music in a park
near the Forbidden City in Bejing.
Best seat in the house
Slightly soggy, unofficial
right fielder Dave Edlund.
COSTCO MEMBER DAVE Edlund
loves the excitement of a home
run (HR) that goes splash.
Edlund waits for them in his
kayak in the waters of McCovey
Cove, outside AT&T Park, the San
Francisco Giants’ home field. He
plays the cove like a right fielder,
paddling to a different position for
every left-handed batter, and uses
statistics to try to predict where
the “splash hits” will land.
The regular McCovey Cove
kayakers are friends, but when
the radio announcer says a ball is
hit deep to right field, it is every
kayaker for himself.
“Some of the HRs can be
worth thousands of dollars to collectors,” Edlund says. “But we do it
for fun and the love of the game.
Having an HR to chase now and
then just makes a day at the park
very memorable.”—Steve Fisher
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