Mexico: Through the Eyes of George Miller


Today I am mourning the loss of George Miller, a man I met on the internet.


Used to be, when we first moved up to the Ranch, Dave would go to the Bay Area to work three or four days a week. Sometimes, when the nights were long, I would browse around on the internet, jotting down apartment rentals in Paris, or stone cottages to let in San Vito lo Capo, Sicily—you know, basically dreaming on line, imagining a time when Dave was really retired and we could live here AND travel the world.

More often than not, I would find myself listing back towards Mexico, reading blogs like David Lida’s or Jim Johnston’s, looking at pictures of Oaxaca or San Miguel del Allende, even browsing Sotheby’s international real estate, just imagining lives other than my own. I like my life just the way it is, but I’m always curious about lives different than my own— why I write, I guess.

And that’s how I met George.

One of the browsing spots I visit on my internet tours is a wonderful on-line newspaper for expats called Inside Mexico. There I can always find lively interviews with artists, with people who are fixing up villas in the Roma, with glamorous matrons who live in exquisite homes in San Miguel, and in this case, with the photographer George Miller.

The Museo Archivo de Fotografia was having a big exhibit of Miller’s photographs and the front page of Inside Mexico featured an interview with him along with a photo— Camino a Torreon

I fell in love . . . with the photograph.

When Dave came home, I clicked on the computer and said, “You’ve got to see this. This photographer gets it, how dramatic and mysterious Mexico is. This is exactly what it was like—that first road trip!”

Seemed like every time Dave came into my office, I was staring at the photograph. In my mind, I was driving down that road in a sixties Buick the size of an ocean-liner, wind in my hair. Coming from the kudzu-covered south, I’d never seen such space, such sky!

“Why don’t you just write the museum and see if you can buy a print.”

I told him it was hopeless, that it was an old article, that no one would write me back.

“You could try,” Dave said. “Can’t hurt.”

So I did. And the next day, I received a reply.

And now I have a print of the photograph.

How I got it, how I met the Millers in Oaxaca, THAT story is my NEXT blog.

Now I just want to remember George Miller, who passed away a few days ago, a D-Day Purple Heart Vet, who used his GI Bill to study Spanish. When he got a job as a salesman in Mexico for an American company, he bought a camera and a car, and on the drive from Kansas to Mexico City down the Pan-American Highway, he began his life-long work documenting Mexico—a Mexico that now no longer exists.

Except maybe in the photographs of George Miller.

photo by Frances Miller

You can still find the Inside Mexico article by Shauna Leff on George Miller. Take a look.

10 responses to “Mexico: Through the Eyes of George Miller”

  1. Dear Jane,

    Reading your article I couldn’t help thinking, I wish my father could be reading Jane’s blog. All day long I imagine conversations with him. His memory is so fresh! I drive by his house and want to stop to say hello. I take a picture and I can hear his advise: “get closer to your subject, frame your picture, faster, don’t take so much time!”

    Jane, I can’t say anything else, thank you. It was really incredible how we met, how I invited you to come to Oaxaca and you didn’t think twice, you came!

    Love, Frances Miller

    • Frances, I wish I had known your Dad longer. It’s amazing we met at all. On the day I fly to Mexico, my blog about how we met will post. We’ll have fun reading it. You don’t know how instrumental Dave was in all this. Well, maybe you do! See you soon. Jane

  2. *I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

  3. It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks..

  4. actually liked what that you have written . it really isn’t that simple to find good text to read (you know READ! and not just browsing through it like some zombie before going to yet another post to just ignore), so cheers mate for really not wasting any of my time! 😉

  5. With all the doggone snow we have gotten recently I am stuck indoors, fortunately there is the internet, thanks for giving me something to do. 🙂