Musings on lovely people — bold, unafraid, generous

Here I am, shooting photos in the bathroom of a Los Angeles home.After nearly two decades of visiting people at home and writing newspaper and magazine articles about their remodels, I still can’t get over how open and unafraid these people are. And how generous.

I mean, what makes people so at home in the world that they can allow a newspaper reporter into their bathrooms, for goodness sake, to take photos and write a story? And in case you didn’t know this little factoid: Nobody gets to see the article about their home in advance. The first time they read it, it’s in the newspaper.

Oh, some people have asked: Can we see the story before it runs? And the answer is always the same: Sorry, but no . . . .

So anyone who agrees to be the subject of one of my stories is really trusting. And I think I’ve earned that trust. My job is to go in there and tell the story of the remodel. My job is not to play “gotcha!” and find embarrassing things to ridicule the subjects. No, no, no. If that was my task, I’d get into another line of work.

Sometimes, though, there is something I’d like to get into the story that will not pass muster with the editors. Early in my career, I’d throw a fit when I didn’t get my way (not that it ever did any good). But I’m happy to say I’ve matured and now I roll with it.

I did want to make an extra point about the recent Meg Moreta article. She’s the cancer survivor who had two bathrooms remodeled in 14 days. (You can see me in this photo shooting her daughters’ new bathroom.)

Meg found herself a few years ago in a bad medical condition that she believes would not have gotten so far if she had been looking closely at her own medical records and tests. If she had requested copies of her own tests and screenings, and studied them, she perhaps would have seen notes on those reports that would cause her concern, and she could have asked more questions.

The point — and I know this strays far from the topic of remodeling, though it was memories of her horrifying medical ordeal that made the new bathrooms desirable — is that we have a legal right to get copies of our own records. So when we go in for lab tests for any kind of mammogram or pap smear, we can say, “I’d like a copy of that report for my own records.”

I get my records and tests, study them, second-guess my doctors, and I feel very empowered doing that. In fact, after talking with Meg, I realized I should be keeping a binder of my dental records as well.