Jackie Payton 2013 California Racing Fairs


One year of my life was spent following this woman and trying to figure out how she lived her life and what she did with it.  Most of her family wonders where she is, what she is doing or whatever.  We don’t know where she is.  I have been asked so many times…’Where’s Jackie?’  I’m like, ‘hey man, I am just as clueless as you are.  Unfortunately she does not come with an internal gps.  You do not know where she is unless you are with her.  Right now, I could not tell you exactly where she or what state she is in or anything.  But I know her.

I wanted to get to know some of my family better and I needed a subject for my photojournalism class, so I packed up my mid-sized car with only the things (at the time) 10 year old Toni told me to bring for a tack room.  What the hell is a tack room?  Well, I definitely found out what one was…plus a lot of other terms and I also learned that a certain family member is NOT  the only one who blows their nose like that.   I also learned that I can be a completely passionate and full of life person and be so pissed off and angry at the same time.  It was lovely.  I had a good time and I have more pictures to come.  I learned a crazy amount of stuff.  I also worked on the track for a while.  The racetrack is a whole internal world inside the one normal people live in.  They call anything outside the racetrack ‘on the outside’ and anything inside that doesn’t involve the track where the public can enter, the ‘backside’.  If you have never experienced a ‘backside’, I suggest you do.  There is a lot to learn there.

I want to thank everyone at the California Racing Fairs for allowing me to be a part of your world for a little while and helping me learn a little bit more about who I am…apparently a very happy ‘angry girl’ who eventually learned not to take any crap.  And a very special thank you to Jackie Payton for allowing me to follow her and learn more about her and how she lives.


Jackie has done many memorable things in her life.  She was a boxing ring girl and she rode bulls and mules.  Earlier in her career, she was trampled by one of the mules and hurt badly, but she did not let that stop her.  She continued on with her job with her small children right beside her the whole way.  She is a strong woman and has and has had a very memorable and admirable life.


I am very proud to call her my family.


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