It’s another year gone by and it’s John’s birthday. He had the fortune to be born near to Christmas. My aunt Fu Ching would always be able to say something nice about anything that happened in life. To me it was always like you have to wait so long after Christmas feeling like you were cheated that the days are so close together. No matter what, it is nice to remember and say happy birthday.
Here is a trick that is easy to learn but maybe hard to do for some people. Historically it was taught to me at a Halloween banquet of our national organization, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons several decades ago. Since the banquet was on Halloween it was themed a costume ball. Henry Bartkowski and I wanted to participate in the theme but had not brought along anything of a costume. So we decided to attend as streakers. We slipped into the men’s room and removed our pants. Then dressed in the rest of our suit and tie, we pulled on our trench coats and attended bare legged. We were stopped at reception but showed our tickets and were admitted. You would have to understand that the more serious members of our organization came in ballroom period costumes from another century. Henry and I must have missed that memo.
On the dais was Roberto Heros and halfway through dinner he stood to make some extemporaneous remarks. “I have attended many of these banquets over the years. It has been my impression that they are entirely too stodgy.” He then promptly hung a spoon off his nose. The crowd applauded – some more enthusiastically than others. You may easily guess who’s side Henry and I were on.
Which brings me to the wedding I shot with my Canon G3. By this time old friends had all been exposed to my affection for humor. And naturally, Alex and Kathy joined in the spirit of the wedding celebration. I believe Alex had been drinking a bit. Kathy’s nose did not have the requisite anatomical configuration to achieve her goal without cheating. Look closely and you can try it at home or at a banquet. It’s your call.
This image of David was done soon after I received a Canon G3. It was a camera that is now in its G16 model and still a big seller. The salesman sold it to Lisa and told her I would love it. A simpler point and shoot would not work for me as well as this camera. He was right and Lisa gave me the start into my journey using digital cameras. The Nikon D70 was not released for about another year. Meanwhile the G3 got a lot of use as I began to transition over to digital.
Jules was critical and always seemed to be able to differentiate between my slides and digital images. I shot film and digital for Amy, Susan’s daughter’s wedding. Jules and Lisa used the G3 when they traveled in Italy. And I discovered that shooting in the dark at a school play was easy when the ISO could adjust on the fly. Yes, it was a good foray into digital using the G3.
In the interest of historical images this was taken about ten years ago. Gee time flies and you look different in a blink. It’s a nice technical image with the main subject off to the side. And there to the right is my dog Nellie looking out the door. More on that later. The point of this post is about the fact that this was taken shortly after I received this spiffy new digital camera. It was the beginning of the end of film for me.
Jules and Dave like to mug. There is a rule, which I realize looking back. Do not include too many girlfriend shots in the pictures you take. I have heard of families asking to Photoshop eliminate a spouse after the divorce. David’s graduation – it was my first serious digital Nikon D70. I mean it was about one week’s test shots after I received the camera that I just went ahead and shot his graduation. And there were plenty of pictures of the girl friend included in the day. She broke his heart later. He doesn’t speak of her and doesn’t want to see her. So I am sure he needs no photo reminders. One of the things the kids would do is make faces in protest of all the images I shoot. It was not too bad when film cost. But with digital there is really no limit. And I am free with my finger on the shutter. So I get faces a lot more now.
For the next month or so I am going back to old photos. Jean sent me this photo. It is a group shot of my fourth grade folk dance group. We were named the A Cappers after our teacher Mrs Cappidoni seen at right. And to her right is Colleen. And at her shoulder is Anne. Both girls are married and maiden names are changed. This leads me to long story short. I searched for Anne on the internet many years after we were all adults. In the course of my search Colleen chanced to leave her maiden name on the high school website. We connected.
The costumes were as you see them. The boys wore vests and sash with a string tie. And the girls wore skirts and tops with a white blouse. My partner was Beverly center girl front row. In all these years I have been in touch with only Colleen. Well I corresponded with Anne by email once. She had nothing more to say. I can safely assume she will not chance across this comment. She was my neighbor growing up.
My search for Anne was merely a wish to know whether she was happy and her life had turned out well. You may surmise that of this group many of our lives turned out much differently than you might tell from this grade school picture.
And Colleen has told me she intentionally stood in front of Anne those many years ago. But I recognized her eyes. Yes, I am being intentionally obtuse. Who’s eyes?
I’m not a great one to embrace change. Then again things change around me constantly. Our primary residence was sold recently. I have no known address nor a hardline phone. Well it’s not that extreme…. Following up on yesterday’s post, I wrote about my Nikon D200 camera. It was new at the time of yesterday’s image. And now I have upgraded to the Nikon D610. Images are posted here. Drat! A week later Nikon announced the D750. Last time around Nikon announced the D300 about a week after I got the D200. I mean, come on!! They just released the D610 didn’t they?. And I got a spiffy fast lens in the FX 24-70mm zoom. The first events were the Indian Powwow in Southampton and the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn. I wish I could say there was a standout image right away. But no, there were many images, too many to really say there is one quintessential image. Nowadays I use several cameras, all for different reasons. Point and shoot Canon G12 and S100 as well as iPhone images are mixed in. What I can say is that I shot eleven thousand images in the first month with the Nikon D610. New lens, new camera, I have been getting very nice shots and have certainly using the new equipment.
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 recently made a connection, or perhaps a reconnection from West Virginia. Colleen, a girl from my grade school class in a very convoluted way found me again. Once a woman marries her identity is virtually impossible to trace. There was another girl, one of my secretaries tracked down. She refused to talk even though she remembered me. This (photo) encounter, email only, came about via circumstantial detective work, only to fizzle for a few more years until, Marty another mutual acquaintance linked us again. Lisa had a similar experience with her grade school class and reunion. Lisa and I had attended the same school but at different times. I had been long gone to West Virginia by the time Lisa attended. And Colleen, my new contact and I have never met in person. Confusing, try this. I did it without Facebook.