Word and Image

Archive for February 14, 2012


Well, as the title of my blog says – “story.” It’s a bit long and also a time long ago – 2003. One Saturday night about a week before these photos were taken, I had the brilliant plan to invite three families for dinner that same evening. It would include their kids, two each, of about 9 and 7 years old. Doing the math this would be dinner for sixteen including my family of four. Mind you, I had never entertained, much less cooked, for such a large crowd. My wife has always been the social director. Somehow she agreed and I made the calls. Everyone was expected at 7:30PM. I was going to do it all – shop, prep, and cook.

Soon after the invitations, I got a phone call from the hospital. A young man with an acoustic neuroma had been admitted. The tumor was pressing upon his cerebellum and brainstem and he was quite ill. With the help of Don, my trusted PA, we went to work and eventually removed this tumor. Time passed and of course so did dinner prep and then dinner hour. I did have one of the OR nurses make a call around 7PM to let my wife know that I was still in the OR – really! The nurses had all rolled up their eyes, having heard my plans and then the late hour of my call. When she returned the Pat (Ginny corrected me) said, “No problem.” And she followed with, “She (my wife) made reservations.”

Well, the operation finished at about 8PM. The young man was fine and would recover quite well. In the recovery room I explained to the family how we had saved their loved one. And I also mentioned that I had missed preparing dinner for sixteen. I could still make it for dessert. But ever the coward, I was afraid to go home. Don and I had dinner at a local diner. When I arrived home, my wife was a bit annoyed but otherwise cheerful in that she had quickly adapted and had entertained the crowd in my absence.

The following Tuesday during my office hours, a dozen peach colored roses from the grateful family were delivered to the office. The photos have no scale due lack of photographic foresight on my part. The buds were the size of your fist. I mean to say that they were bigger than any rosebuds I had seen except in a botanical garden. Large! Get it?

So I did what any husband might do under the circumstances. I took them home and presented them to my wife in apology. I have brought home flowers before, red roses for Valentine’s Day and so forth. (I neglected to mention that they were from the patient’s family). These were so impressively huge, that I was instantly forgiven for my transgressions days before. Hugs and kisses were given all around. Since I photograph just about everything, these photos were pulled this morning and scanned.

My office staff and my nurses all kept the rose story secret until Christmas. Then at the office Christmas dinner party, my wife was surprised to find roses at her place setting. You can guess the rest. If you want to keep a secret never tell a woman. Or, as the pirates say, ‘dead men tell no tales.’


It’s my Mom’s birthday today. Happy Valentine’s Day. If you don’t know or are unfamiliar, Valentine’s is a day in which everyone gives cards, candy, flowers, and takes their special someone for a romantic candle light dinner. Get the picture? It’s a big Hallmark (cards) day. Flowers – especially roses  – are double the price. Tomorrow, the day after, roses are back to the same price once again. Anyway, I am scanning thousands of slides at the moment. This shot was back in the ’70’s. I checked it out with my wife before posting. It’s not your usual shot for mom. I have obviously caught her by surprise in a totally unguarded moment. While the smile is genuine, there’s also something a little disconcerting for me. I guess I’m just not used to seeing Mom smile that way. I didn’t do any manipulation, color change, sharpening etc. It’s just a slide from another era.


She actually had the flag sticking out from her ponytail. What can you say to the innocence of a child enjoying the festivities? I always try to include candids of the kids in any street photography event. Their joy and wonderment is always worth capturing.