This is a shot I have staged before. The kids taught it to me. Julia did it first in Africa and then lately David did it at Waba Crater in Saudi. David’s refinement is to make it look as though you have nothing beneath you but a sheer drop. I admit I am lazy and don’t want to do much post processing. And then there is the photographer. My travel buddy is not fond of heights. So Colleen was not a candidate to jump. She was nervous (eyes closed, hands shaking) about me close to the edge. But someone had to jump and someone had to press the shutter. The other thing I learned from the kids is to bend your knees. Then, even an old man looks like he can jump.
It’s not too hard to see wild turkey. It’s a bit of a trick to get a picture. I suppose there is a hunting season too. My best memory was when the kids visited on Thanksgiving. I cooked a turkey dinner – complete with trimmings. And then as we started to sit several wild turkeys crossed lawn right outside the window. We all saw them go by. That was a moment to remember. No, these guys were not those guys. I was too surprised to pull the camera. Besides I was serving up dinner.
I am a diver now. In fact I made rescue diver recently. When I started, I was impressed to be diving with a rescue diver who assisted my instructor. He seemed so knowledgable and experienced. I am that now. It doesn’t seem so much of a deal anymore. I just keep an eye out for the less experienced and lend a hand when I can. Jules and I are on a dive boat headed to see the whale sharks at the blue hole in Belize. This is a world famous dive destination. At this point Lisa had arranged a nice beach resort vacation and part of the package included a snorkel outing. So here we are on a boat full of divers, and, Jules and I don’t dive! Not yet, it would be some years for me to realize how close we were to a dream come true and we didn’t see the whale sharks. We just happen to be sitting in front of BCD’s ready to go. I also fried my point and shoot camera on this dive as well. It was eventful for what I didn’t know and what I came to know later. Looking back i can see so much of what meant nothing to me at the time Lisa snapped this image.
This story has been told but I will tell it once more. As I spun my archives this picture is before me with the story behind it. Jules wanted a tattoo. “No!” was the emphatic reply. I agreed with her mother. It’s rather a permanent thing and you will live with it when it gets wrinkled in old age as well. Okay – resolved.
We were on a cave walk in Belize. You wore battery operated headlights. The guide was one light short. He went without a light. Lisa and Jules got ahead. I fell behind to the end of the line. The cave was hot! I was sweating profusely, and cursing quite a bit under my breath. There was another older tourist who should not be here. He was out of shape, overweight and had labored breathing. I thought he was going to collapse at any moment. We were deep into the cave now. And I calculated whether we would carry him back or forward; it depended on the halfway point. So I labored on and wondered if we could actually carry this heavy man anywhere.
“She has a tattoo!” came the voice of my wife out of the darkness. What? Well as you see, they were walking single file and as Jules bent her head, there high on her neck under her ponytail was a tattoo,
When I finally caught up to them she explained. My favorite aunt had been asked to provide Jules with a Chinese name. She made a phonetic Chinese character, which translated to early spring lily. Jules explained that the tattoo was a lily in remembrance of my aunt. Okay, that takes care of that. How do you say anything else.
Jules and I staged some shots against cousin Vicki’s Japanese maple. I got to hold Nellie. We did random sessions like this. I used a DSLR, which was too heavy for selfies. Undoubtedly that is what I would have staged now. Yes there is an iPhone and a point and shoot handy for the shot. And no, Photoshop post processing is not an alternative in this case.
By agreement I refer to Jules by the nickname her friends use. Too many of her students stalked her name searching the web. She thought it was weird. I guess I agree. But here we are again, another birthday. She always had a celebration that began at the end of the school year with her classmates. This was well before August. Then, the excuse was everyone would be on summer vacation. Then, we were on vacation, the Tyler Place. This called for a second celebration, cake, party, the whole works. And then there was the extended family of cousins, and grandparents at home. And on her actual birthday we had a family celebration. So it became a summer long party. For a kid who seemed deprived because of her August birthday, Jules would be about 100 by now if each party counted. And for the birthday wish, I wish her happiness. I think she is. Happy birthday kid.
I’ve been to the restaurant on top of the World Trade Center. Restaurants being what they are it was not too difficult to get a reservation as long as it was done in advance. I need not mention it no longer exists. This occasion was for my thirtieth birthday and Lisa sprang the surprise. I don’t have a shot of the view. It is of course why you go there. What’s in my archive are several pictures of how we looked a lot of years ago. No I wouldn’t embarrass Lisa with mention of age. Suffice it to say that these pictures were at the same age as my kids are now.
John and Eric, well, we were all pretty young. I was there at the restaurant on a couple other occasions once for a significant birthday for my neurosurgery chairman Joe Ransahoff. Of course there’s no going back. The restaurant was lost forever on 9/11. My kids never ate here. But they did once come to the top when the Frary’s visited.
Scotland again. Before they were called selfies, here’s one we did. I was not shy to use a mirror. The only thing was that the result wouldn’t be known for quite some time. There were no retakes. At most I might shoot two frames. This was the better of the two and barely passable on technical merit. But it reflects the time and place. Another shot from the archives that I bet Lisa hasn’t seen or remembers. I look back at the early work. Film was pretty restrictive and unforgiving. But there were enough shots that came out to make for some great memories.
I’ve been there and you could guess it was many years ago. There are restrictions and tickets necessary to visit now. Somebody made a pile of rocks. Yes, it’s a mystery. And of my shots, the ones (2) that counted had Lisa in them. As I have said there are many images one can find of monuments. What makes them different is the people in the image. You go places. And you take a picture and that picture is mine. It makes all the difference that I took it. But I’d do things differently now.
I would have done more but then I overdid it. Make sense? Lisa wasn’t a great photographic subject. She suffered my enthusiasm and didn’t want to be a subject at all. I wanted to shoot and shoot. Nope. Here and there I have some pretty nice images. She’d disagree. I don’t know. I married her and had my own cockeyed opinion of how well she looked. To say she’s beautiful she would accuse me of unbridled bias.