Behind the Art – Chewin’ Chocolate

I thought I’d tone it down a little from the horror photos today, and tell a story about a little something sweeter. I like to call this beautiful sunset image “Chewin’ Chocolate”. Now I’m sure you’re wondering how on earth something as simple as a sunset image could actually have a story behind it. I assure you it does, though, and it’s one I won’t forget anytime soon. So, without further ado…I drove steadily home one summer evening after a slew of visiting throughout the day had left me in a drained stupor. It’s so easy to just crank the music and set myself on autopilot for the long interstate drive home. I crank the music and sing like a superstar and just let the miles slip away while I cruise with my programmed destination of home. Occasionally I might snap a photo or two with my phone camera when the sky is particularly tantalizing, but I do this blindly without taking my eyes off the road. Very, very rarely do I ever actually screech to a halt and take myself off the road. This special summer’s evening, however I did just that. I had been watching the sunset gain a marvelous momentum as I drove, and by the time I got to Whiteland it was a scene that not even Van Gogh could have created with every color of paint in man’s spectrum and Mother Nature’s. I took exit 95 and immediately pulled over to the shoulder. I leapt out of my car, camera in hand, and started shooting the horizon with reckless abandon. I was so enthralled in fact that I did not see nor hear the four unmarked police monster trucks sidle right up next to me.

“Excuse me, ma’am, are you alright? Do you need some help?” the officer asked sternly. “Is your car ok?”

Startled, I turned and look at him waving my camera like a white flag. As embarrassed as I was I’m sure my cheeks lit up pinker than that very sunrise I’d been admiring. “It’s just so beautiful! I just couldn’t help myself!” I stammered while offering my camera outward to him like a sacrifice to the gods. “I’m so sorry to stop in the middle of the road like this. I’ll head out,” I added while stepping back toward my car.

The officer turned his head and gazed off into the distance for a slow minute letting his eyes drink in the fantastic scene before him. When he looked back at me I could see that Mother Nature had touched him as deeply as she had me. He nodded and smiled sweetly to me.

“Carry On,” was all he said, and before I could thank him he rolled up his tinted window, and led the cavalry on ahead.

The End 🙂

A little side note for anyone curious about why I named a sunset photo “Chewin’ Chocolate”…

When that officer said, “Carry on,” to me it was like I had suddenly fulfilled one of the items on the very top of my bucket list. You see, one of my favorite bands as I grew up was a beautiful little group called Butthole Surfers. In 1993 they released an album titled Independent Worm Saloon. On that album is the track Chewin’ George Lucas’ Chocolate. Now you understand why that officer totally made my day 🙂 and now, on the day we finally meet, you’ll know exactly what to say when I look at you, smile, and ask, “Whatcha doin’?”

Categories: Interesting Tidbits, Melodie Yvonne, News and Stuff, StorytimeTags: , , , , , , , ,

Melodie Yvonne

Melodie Yvonne Ramey grew up in the small southern Indiana town of North Vernon. She picked up her first camera at the young age of 5, and was immediately hooked. Melodie says, “I couldn’t tell you the name brand of my first camera offhand, but I can tell you it was a Tweety Bird camera. It’s a brilliant bright blue with Tweety Bird from Bugs Bunny perched on it. I still have it. I’m just not sure if it was the photos themselves that got me hooked or that brilliant lil yellow bird.”

Every trip, even just to the local park, was turned into a fantasy scene of her own imagination that would later be turned into epic tales in word and photos. Melodie spent her teen years learning from and mentoring under professionals such as Richard Young, John Sheckler, and The Grand Conundrum. She received an Associates of Applied Science in Visual Technologies majoring in Photography from Ivy Tech in 2002 after studying under acclaimed professors such as Hoosier photographer Darryl Jones, Jonathan Wilson, and many other masters in the field.

Melodie’s main focus has always been music photography. Growing up listening to amazing musicians like Shannon Hoon, Beastie Boys, Maynard James Keenan, Zack de la Rocha, Tori Amos, and classics like Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Elvis, Johnny Cash and the like inspired her dream to create visual images that made people feel the way they do when they hear the music. She wanted to help people SEE the music by capturing every magical moment of those amazing shows that she dreamt of as she gazed into music magazines like Rolling Stone and Spin. Later in life as Melodie learned more about the arts inspiration came from a number of other legendary artists, visual and literary, like Annie Leibovitz, William Moortensen, John Sexton, Erik Johansson, Helmut Newton, Hunter S. Thompson, Ralph Steadman, and HR Giger.

Melodie has done numerous jobs around the country ranging from working for bands to even being the official photographer on many southern Indiana Poker Runs. Her specialties are in nature, music, and candid event photography, as well as one of a kind photographic creations. Melodie published her first print book Photographic Memories: In the Beginning, a collection of poetry, in 2011, and has since published 2 more print works, Photographic Memories: Meet me in the Middle and Hoosier Heavens, her first photo book. Melodie currently acts as publisher, editor & lead contributor at and does freelance work with many other media outlets, venues, and artists.

Melodie says, “I started out with a Tweety bird camera and a dream and I never let go. I will always love photography and the vessel it has given me to share the images of my heart and mind with the world. I have found that every single person on this earth visualizes the world in very different ways. Some people are optimists, some are pessimists. Some people are daydreamers, and others keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. Photography allows me to show some of these different visualizations. It allows the rationalist to see that it’s okay to dream, it can show the monsters hidden in the dark, and it can show even the saddest of people that there is still joy in the world.”

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