The five men have been taking the same picture for 40 years

Lake Copco, California (CNN) – Five famous photographs taken every five years in one lake of California for the world to see with a person’s fear of cancer.

They took the picture No. 9 on Wednesday, 40 years after they shot their first in 1982 at a building built on Copco Lake on the California-Oregon border. Their culture went viral 10 years ago – and in 2017 – when published their story and photos.

Some of the men were worried that it might be a picture of the four friends this year rather than the first five taken when they were younger.

“I was hurt,” said John Dickson, who lives in Santa Barbara where the friends first met. “We were worried there was an empty spot in the seat where we could take the picture.”

Dallas Burney, who sits in the center of the photos comparing the poses of the first shot, told CNN he had a serious kidney disease that was removed from his left leg in 2019.

“My cancer – liposarcoma, I knew something was wrong for many months,” the elementary school teacher said.

“I’ve been out of school for five months. I can’t run anymore, but I can walk.”

Burney took a leisurely walk around Copco Lake on Tuesday evening with Dickson, Mark Rumer-Cleary, Jon Molony and their host, John “Wedge” Wardlaw.

They haven’t been together since the last film in 2017. Burney’s cancer and stroke made it difficult to reunite.

But first, the food

John "Separate" Wardlaw baked tacos Tuesday night in his bakery.

John “Wedge” Wardlaw baked tacos Tuesday night in his oven.

Paul Vercammen / CNN

So they gathered the night before the photo was released for their next five -year tradition – feasting on “Wedge” tacos.

Wardlaw put the meat in hard taco rolls and served them very hot, using a handkerchief and safety glasses to prevent sptter.

The laughter flew.

“Salt is the most important thing,” Wardlaw laughs.

“We’re going to drink water at midnight,” Molony said.

“A # @ $! The sick man,” Rumer-Cleary said.

Two friends with a window viewer stood from their seats.

“Bald eagle,” they said.

The noble bird, with its white head, is perched on the roof, as if to confer dignity and status.

Other animals seen on Tuesday were bobcat, deer and cattle.

The Taco Party 2022. Another tradition for five friends.

The Taco Party 2022. Another tradition for five friends.

Paul Vercammen / CNN

The friends, who often spoke quickly to each other, pointed out that Oregon was on the other side of the lake.

40 years of culture

Wednesday afternoon is the time for the big event.

They took the latest photo on a 79-degree day right on a travel map. The five took to their stand and enjoyed the photo shoot on a Nikon D800 smartphone. They have lived in the same way and in the same way as they have been punished since 1982.

Lake Copco, 2022. From south to north: John Wardlaw, Mark Rumer-Cleary, Dallas Burney, John Molony and John Dickson in 2022.

Lake Copco, 2022. From south to north: John Wardlaw, Mark Rumer-Cleary, Dallas Burney, John Molony and John Dickson in 2022.

Thanks to John Wardlaw

The hat is always worn on Rumer-Cleary’s thigh or knee. Molony held a bottle in his right hand. Burney’s right arm is in his right knee.

“It’s good to come back here and know that cancer doesn’t stop our work,” Burney said.

About a friend.

The five men told CNN they had ended a German show on the relationship. Their image was featured in Costco magazine.

In addition, their images have gone viral, circulating around social media where their faces have been singled out and admired.

“There are some crazy words that you can’t put in an article,” Wardlaw said.

The five friends gathered at the same Copco Lake building for four years.

The five friends gathered at the same Copco Lake building for four years.

Thanks to John Wardlaw

“There were answers for (three of us) going naked. Some said we were good, and brave after 50.”

Four of the friends are 59 years old. Rumer-Cleary is 58 years old.

Rumer-Cleary called the idea of ​​the images surreal and said that sometimes, visitors would ignore her.

“I got it for two reasons,” said the software engineer who founded Occam Networks. “I’m 6-foot-6 and I have facial hair. They don’t pick right from the bat. ‘You’re used to it, I can’t tell you why.'”

Wake up to the beginning

The five friends, all graduates of Santa Barbara High School, took the first photo of the pose now seen in their late teens with a photo booth session in 1982.

Their reunion took place at the Copco Lake home built by Wardlaw’s grandfather in 1970.

They fished, walked, barbecued, harvested fruit for home -made cakes and made each other laugh over the years.

Molony explained that as the night knocked on the walls, firefighters were thrown into the bedroom in retribution and constant ridicule.

Dickson said he was nicknamed Wardlaw “Wedge” because he described what his friend’s head looked like after a haircut.

“I hated nicknames,” Wardlaw said. “So it’s fixed.”

Five friends have been shooting the same photo in the same way in the same house every five years for the past 40 years.

Dickson is the only one who lives in Santa Barbara, where he runs the travel site.

Molony was a photographer in New Orleans. Rumer-Cleary retired and lived in Portland, Oregon. Wardlaw is a filmmaker and photographer based in Bend, Oregon.

Burney, an Air Force veteran, entered his 23 years of training to fall in Northern California.

The patient is not worried about the future of the image and his or her health.

“But I was nervous about being on that bridge,” Burney said.

“Like our age, so does the railroad. The heavier we are, the heavier it is. The seat of that chair and the bridge are about 30 feet high. I’m worried one day to hear the explosion. “

That kind of conversation led to laughter and Burney showed a picture of the abdomen being pulled from his leg.

“It feels like a tri-tip,” Burney laughs, referring to the triangular cut of meat famous in Santa Barbara County.

The friends laughed and almost said, “Yes, it is do. “

After four years of teasing and dating, they had to make fun of a blood disease that had almost ended their image tradition.

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