About the Book
In this book, photographer David Alexander Bjorkman tells the story of a world traveler now limited in his mobility by Post Polio Syndrome, the weakening of muscles in an adult who suffered Polio as a child. Turning his camera on Don Legg, David portrays the joys and challenges of travel on crutches and in a wheelchair within the colonial city of Merida, in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
Easily fatigued and needing a wheelchair to go any distance, Mr. Legg now spends the winter months of December and January in Merida, never going beyond a two-block radius of the hotel where he stays.
David and his writer wife Victoria Thomas encountered Mr. Legg when they were working on their book "Climbing the Pyramid, Rediscovering Maya Mysteries from Chichen Itza's Great Pyramid." He occupied a hotel room a few doors down from theirs, and finally asked them what they were doing in Merida since people rarely stay in the hotel more than two or three nights.
After two years of seeing Mr. Legg in the hotel each winter, David asked if he could photograph his daily activities during one week. Mr. Legg readily agreed and allowed David into the small world reachable in a wheelchair, which includes the Sunday fair in the central park, the Cathedral, a favorite hot-dog parlor, and a university and theater that offers plays and concerts.
"Yucatan Traveler" is a photographic essay of one man's journey of traveling with a disability.
During his career, David Björkman has worked as a photojournalist, war photographer, art director, Minimalist Color Field painter, fine arts instructor, collage artist, book illustrator, and book publisher. As a photojournalist, he has been smuggled across borders at night and survived a chopper being shot out from under him. His photographs have been published in magazines in over 20 countries. To complete a book project,-he slept on the floor of a Lakota Sioux medicine man's house for weeks at a time. He met writer Victoria Thomas while on assignment to document the Explorer's Club Chagres River expedition, (Flag 172), into the Darien Gap of Panama, to undertake an archaeological survey of a Chocó settlement, and to collect Chocó artifacts for the Smithsonian Institution. This settlement belonged to Chocó Chief Antonio Zarco, who taught the original U.S. Apollo astronauts jungle survival in case their capsule landed in the tropics on reentry. Together they founded Zone913, Inc