Word and Image



The world has changed. Colleen hates change in general. So I ask her to give me her iPhone, give it up. Nope. Would I have ever imagined that Kodak film would be no more. When I traveled on vacation, I would take 40 rolls of slide film… and never shoot it all. Ha ha. Digital is pretty much free. I shoot and shoot. Thousands of images… tens of thousands.

Oh boy. Travel is so different. I am also blessed to travel with Colleen now. We do see things differently and so fresh! There are a lot of regrets that go unsaid. And I have a lot of wish I could have… Who knew I would see the changing of the guards but never again? As things turned out, I am good with that. Digital photography affords me so many more options. Travel companion – priceless!

Early early slides

Early on, it took a while to realize that a filing system was necessary to organize my photography collection. What a good idea! I began a database on index cards before I knew what a database was about. My negatives were in wax paper sleeves. And eventually, my slides were stored in boxes, and, later in drawers. Nowadays, the database is on my Mac. The slides and digital photos are on my computer hard drives. Simple!?

So the early slides were scattered all over the place early on. I eventually collected them together and put them in some semblance of order. But as with most things I discovered a method and file system on my own. It was not perfected until much later, hence, the utter confusion over what was first?

Naomi, first girlfriend, we traveled to London. It was an early trip and the start of organization. It was not the first picture or slide. But this is early slide work.

First slides

Who knows? My early photography was black and white, mostly Tri X film. There was no catalog or organization to my mess and madness. So when I began in 1966 till around 1972 all was chaos. First? No chance to calculate that. Early?

Wedding. My best high school buddy Andy. His mom and dad, sister, and the future immediate bride … well, it was an interesting wedding. I brought a girl friend. Clothes sure did look quaint back then.


A shout out to Mr Hayes. 83 years old and still working his store he started as a door to door sewing machine salesman back in the 60’s. He’s the oldest dealer for Bernina in the US; not the oldest man… oops, I asked. We fixed Colleen’s old Kenmore. The store fixes 5000 machines a year. Impressive. And, BTW, sewing machines have changed a lot since I saw my mother’s Singer. Gee, who’d guess? Bring on the computer graphics…

Hates to fly

By the time this posts I hope that we are enjoying our first week in Scotland. The last was canceled for Covid. We are just now getting back into the world and traveling it once more.

Nothing helps like a whiskey sample. Unfortunately the samples were available at the other end after we landed. They patrol BWI on bicycles. No nonstop to Scotland, we landed in London and got our bearings. It was an eventful month filled with memories that lasted. I hope this trip is equally adventuresome.

mistakes wer made

Lightroom puts things into a catalog as you choose. I chose to put digital and slides in different catalogs. I always wondered if the numbr of images would overwhelm the catalog amd make it too slow.

Digital was divided. I have about a million digital images. I’m not bragging. Everytime I think I am over done someone is right there to top me.

One digital has about everything from 2003 to 2016. Except the catalog is corrupted. There are 2022 images in it. How? What? When? I do not know how things got mixed up. My current 2016 to present looks fine.

Confusion reigns. But it is all cataloged. I can find thngs. So far so good. Argh!! We have been together too long! No selfie! Sorry my love.

Looking to find

I go looking for things… sometimes I run across something. I was looking for a good shot… ah! How would I have known these folks would be so large in my life? Friends. We worked together for a bunch of years. It was productive for us all.

It’s randomly placed in the catalog. I did not peruse the metadata. It was simply a long time ago. It was a good time. I would never have expected the end game we all went thru. We remain friends. I cannot ask more than that.


The second thing I/we did after we met again is head off to B&H photo. I got the spiffy new Nikon D610. I was overdue for an upgrade. Colleen settled for a MacAir.

We did the Indian Powwow and the West Indian Day parade. We saw my NYC for the last time. I was moving away – forever. It’s not so bad. One might say that I am in a better place. … a much better place. And, I would not disagree.

As they say, one door closes and another opens.

After a long hiatus we were reunited. It was a dream come true for Colleen. Hey! I never remember dreams. I hope I don’t wake up from this one… Hang on tight!

Happy ending

It’s a lot of pieces that had to fall perfectly into place…. A five hundred mile plus driving day some of it in a driving rain!

I should not have answered the phone… Covid! It culminated in dinner in an old haunt on Staten Island with an old friend.

Long story? Short! The kid got Covid. He only had the sniffles. An abundance of caution later and he was ++. Isolated in a nearby hotel, he now needed a ride to the airport for his flight home – spring break. I am not close by. … a trip to the museum, the pick up, and the drop off. 500+ miles later we were home. We made lemons/lemonade by having dinner on the way home. Ginny and I have been friends for too many years to honestly say…. So I won’t. The food? No! … the company of friends. not the food. Priceless!

Quick… how old?

I need a shot of Ginny. She’s retiring. How old?! Old enough. We … I know her for many more years than I care to admit. We are… not young. There have been many hospitals… too many to count. It seems like we followed each other…. Yes, it has been a good deal of water under and over the …. And there’s Don and Pat… and Terry. He and Terry have split. Colleen and I are joined. Ginny has been the glue, holding this motley group together and keeping us all in touch. Sentimental? Happy birthday kid!

Old friends

…Can you imagine us years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be 70…         Old Friends, Simon & Garfunkel

Andy is my high school buddy. Colleen? We met in the third grade and orbited together `for five years without truly knowing one another. But, I never forgot her. And, never will…  Chicago, AANS national meeting. Ethiopian meal with the cousin. When did we lose our hair and get old and fat? Who’s fat!? American Gothic, Van Gogh’s bedroom? Classics! I have seen them?! I was in their presence?! Memories fade. Colleen still checks the weather constantly. Me? I forget to wear socks.


I’ve never been inside. Guild meeting, John Dickinson plantation. Colleen cajoled and put my true love to the test demanding I attend and spin with her. So, she did not demand… but it was the same as a command! Ha! A coven! Tour groups come through and are fascinated with the process. Ho hum? To me, yes. They were fascinated. Colleen was thrilled… I was there, too. Donna brought an E-spinner, battery operated spinning wheel. It almost seems heretical in an old historic plantation….

Friendship cake

Colleen recalled an old recipe that she had had a lot of fun with many years ago. It is called 30 day cake on the internet. It takes 50 if you have to make the starter. And so we embarked on a 50 day cake after our trip to Maine. We bought a crock. It was the container that triggered Colleen’s memory recipe. The mashed fruit was stirred once a day for…and finally we had a starter and two cakes worth of fruit. Fruit cake? Nope! Different! Good?! Hmmm, emphasis on good!!

And, of course, ya gotta have a friend. Friendship? After 50 days you have the fruit ingredients plus starter for future cakes. You share the starter and hence the term friendship. Lovely. It’s good to have friends.


Sometimes?! We are at the Christmas chorale and the choir lines up in the right and left aisle to sing the finale. The auditorium is dim. I glance right and do a double take. Did my eyes deceive me? Ok! I’m impressed. I’m puzzled. What is it? A speaker? Some device for hearing? What!? The internet says it can be done but give no comparable example. I would guess it is a wooden ring. Ok! To each his own.

Street photography. I got a shot. I never saw the guy on stage. I do not know if there is a matching disc on the other side.

How many

You would think I am obsessed with numbers.

At an event, my attention is upon the action. I try to capture the event as it unfolds. I do not know the order or what will come next. I am alert to random movements and out of the ordinary motion. I am looking at color and composition putting it all together to try to capture a “winner” “keeper” of an image. Editing comes later. Which one? We love all of our children. Eh?

How many is enough? And, “you already have that shot….” Subtle differences. One shot would have been enough. Sure! But, which one?

Digital memory has given me so many options. I could certainly afford all the film I needed. But these days digital memory is so easy. Yes, there is some skill involved in knowing when to press the shutter. I am happy to say that I consider myself above average. Not great. Not bad. Does it matter? It’s for me. And my most adoring audience, my muse – Colleen – loves my posts.


I’m cheap. I have money. The reason? I spend it wisely. 200. $200 a lift ticket? Per person per day?! And lines! How about waiting an hour on the lift line? No parking in the parking lot? Ummmm….if you are a skier, you know what it is to…

No! No one I know would do it. And still. it looks like millions get on long lines and pay for the lift ticket and a $20 burger. Awful! Improvements are coming. No lines. Plenty of parking. Right?! Two lift tickets – you gotta have a buddy – $400. Ah! Free parking. I think I will pass.

Strictly speaking

Diving is an activity limited to a few fortunate people in Saudi Arabia. Once again it occurs behind closed gated compound walls. It is the Red Sea for goodness sake! Nope. Not allowed! Somewhere else I described my encounter with the police and the order of the blue thumb.

Women are distinctly a minority. They must be covered at all times – unless you are behind closed doors outside of the view of the religious police. Lessons. Our surgical assistants all received lessons compliments of the orthopedic chief surgeon. There is much beauty and wonder beneath the sea. My friend/dive buddy related to me recently that much of the reef has been destroyed. Once again ignorance – lack of common respect for the fragility of nature was in play. His beloved reef was gone.


Myelomenigocele. It is a neurosurgically treated birth disorder that is largely preventable by Folic acid (vitamin) taken during pregnancy. I had not seen a case in decades until I worked in Saudi Arabia. I lived in a walled compound with guards. The poverty rate? The government hides its data but estimates of 30% unemployment are noted.

Needless to say it was shockingly sad to be treating a condition that was preventable by simple measures taken early in pregnancy.

In this land knowledge mixed with ignorance. I lived in a walled compound separated from the very people I treated in so many ways more than the mere presence of a wall. Yes, it came with a pool.  My hospital was no clinic. It was an upscale hospital in busy downtown with a well to do patient population. It meant the general population had poor health care knowledge.


Chinese New Year – New York City. Venerable Chinatown is located in a warren of narrow winding streets. The parade will meander thru crowds held back by metal barriers. Claustrophobic! Indeed! Colorful! For sure! It’s a spectacle. No Macy’s sponsorship it is a local event. Out in the hinterland of Flushing Queens there is a similar parade along Union Street, a wide venue lacking the charm and character of downtown Chinatown.

Where do you go?

Vacation. Do you go to factories? Ok, call it a fiber mill. They make cloth. How exciting. Yeah, it knocked my socks off too.

But, you do what your wife wants. I do. You might. Might not. I do. It’s better for happiness. And sometimes you are pleasantly surprised. Me? It was a photo op. For better or worse. Better? I have to admit an industrial sized bobbin is big! Ok, not factory, fiber mill.


Looks like… we get out and about. An island full of gnomes. Seal. Defibrillator with instructions confusing enough to stop you in your tracks. Rent a bike. Castle. Foreboding sky. Rain, but of course. We saw this couple in the pub with a pitcher each. Alcohol? Oh boy! Soda? I don’t drink that much. What the…?

It’s not the travel or the location. It is the adventure you have with the one you love. We had a good time. We have good times. We have had good times. We will have good times.

Street photography

The streets are not exactly teeming with folks. But there are subjects in view and fair game for my camera. People? Animal? Life, activity, bustle and hustle? Ummm, well, maybe a bit laid back and less hustle, but colorful and interesting, nonetheless. It is a glimpse into daily life. Mundane it ain’t.

Keeps good record

GIGO – old computer term – garbage in garbage out.

As good a photographer as I am and I am not… one takes pictures and looks back to realize that I really did not take pictures worthy of remembrance. They are “snaps” of poor quality that capture the idea, an anchor of the memory of the moment without really capturing a sharply focused image.

These images recall a moment and a memory. I coulda done better. But I have them. They make me smile and remember what happened once upon a time. No one’s gonna hang anything on the wall. Family friends events, some smiles, mostly imperfect. But hey! I got something to show. And I got better? Maybe? Or not!


I recall vividly that the last slide I shot was at Dave’s graduation. Little did I know or suspect film would so suddenly be gone in my life. I just simply never went back. I did not look back. And I have not shot a roll of film since my Nikon D70 arrived late after I got home from work. Who knew?!

Nothing of import was on that last roll of slides. The deck, my dog, Dave, the school play and some flowers numbered among the mundane subjects. Interesting to see. I had never really checked until now.