Lohmann: Leaving (running-shoe) footprints and taking photos, the story of a e-book about James River Park | Richmond Native Information
“I just love James River Park,” Draper said. “I grew up in Stratford Hills, near Riverside Drive. I swam in the river, paddled buttons in the river and fished in the river. I just grew up with the James River.
“Photography has been a work of art. I have never done a book. I just take pictures, and it just seems like it’s changed. Someone said, ‘You have to make a book,’ and I thought, ‘OK, I’ll try. I don’t know what I’m getting, ”he said with a laugh.
“When I run in the park and take pictures, I can be a thousand miles away, in the wild,” he said. “It’s amazing that you can live in a city and feel like you’re so far away from this.”
After thinking about the book, Draper was still sitting in the Short Pump and driving around the city to run the park. Last year, he and his wife, Deedee, bought a townhouse in Oregon Hill – and saw James.
“I get up in the morning, raise my head and I can look out of the mirror and see the river,” he said. “We just love it here.”
Draper studied photography at Western Kentucky University, and as a student he was a photographer at the university as a student. He and Deedee got married in college – they will both be 70 years old and celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next year. – and we started a family. After graduating in 1975, Bill found a job as a painter who could pay off his debts, so he began selling medicine, eventually starting his own business. He retired in 2016.