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Local photographer faces tragedy and finds triumph behind the camera lens

Area photographer Royce Nowlin chats with Olivia Sorensen, Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Ontario foundation and marketing director. Nowlin's photos were chosen by the hospital to decorate the walls of its new medical/surgical wing. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).

ONTARIO – Like his photos that adorn the walls of the new surgical wing at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center Ontario, Royce Nowlin’s life can be divided into striking images of memory and place.

There is the 8-year-old boy dodging through the crowd on a busy Friday night in Salinas, California, with a shoe shine box. Sounds cloak the boy and burn into his memory, such as 1950s country and western music spilling out of the honky tonks.

One night, an old man came along, framed against a cloud of neon from taverns and bars, looking for a shine . . .