I am going to break a few of my self-imposed rules in this post. I have always assumed that the reason people come to this site was to see interesting aspects of the world that they might not otherwise notice. I have never wanted it to be about me. But this post is mostly personal.
Peter Carroll and I have been working on a project on Tilghman Island for the past several years. In conjunction with the Tilghman Island Waterman’s Museum, we have been documenting the life of the watermen for two films that Peter has been shooting. The second of those films had its premier on Saturday evening at the elementary school. The auditorium was full and everyone loved it.
Then on Sunday Cristine and I flew to New Orleans where she was to receive an award from the Commission on Adult Basic Education. We walked around the city most of the day yesterday and it was as amazing to me as everyone said it would be.
Cris got the Kenneth J. Mattran Award for “Promoting Literacy Nationally and Internationally”. I was so proud and it was great to see people come up to her and thank her for being so inspirational.
After the luncheon we bugged out and walked back to the French Quarter. I would love to have seen this neon sign lit up, but The Pearl was closed today. Next stop was Cafe´du Monde for beignets and coffee. Later as we were walking down an almost totally deserted RiverWalk, we saw a video crew doing a stand up shot of a guy with the river in the background. It turned out to be Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel.
So here’s where I really break my self-imposed rule (don’t ever have a picture of me in this blog). My great friend Tania Werbizky has at various times in her life been totally obsessed with the Weather Channel. After Jim was done with his work, I approached him and asked if I could take a photograph. He was so nice and immediately suggested that he and I be in the shot. So Tania, I mentioned you to Jim effing Cantore. How’s about that?
Our hotel is just next to the Superdome and this is the view from the 17th floor hallway. / It is impossible to walk around this city and not think of hurricane Katrina and the devastation it caused. And looking at this building that housed so many people in such great need is more than a bit unsettling. This is an amazing part of America and I feel fortunate to have finally made it down here.
This post is a way to jump-start my brain. I have been so preoccupied with Peter that it has been difficult to concentrate on anything else. It feels great to be focusing on photographs again. None of these pictures seem so interesting on their own, but together reflect what’s been going on for the past month.
Above is Tom Schack’s birthday cake from the now infamous “Schackstock” at Snowzies in Sunderland. Bands started playing at 1 pm and things shut down at closing time. His Mom, Dad, and Sister were there as well as lots of his friends.
He is just about the nicest guy in the world, and was really enjoying himself.
This flower starts showing up partway down the drive in early August.
When I was shooting the Tilghman project in August I made sure to visit Miss Pigsley. She lives down the street from Jennifer, has an air conditioner in her shed and will never be bacon. I took this for Peter because we are both huge P.G. Wodehouse fans and any stories with Lord Emsworth feature his obsession with “The Empress”. This pig is magnificent and is very happy to have visitors. She used to drink massive amounts of Kool-Aid until the vet put her on a diet.
On the Sunday morning before Peter Carroll and I left the island, we went to the church to document a service. This gentleman was in the pew in front of me.
I have always liked cattails.
I had a hard time getting the white balance right in this shot. I walk past this box on my way to shoot the suitcases. It always reminds me of this Little Feat song.
Going back to Meadville means more than hot dogs and ice cream but two stops are essential; Eddie’s and Hank’s Frozen Custard.
I have been going to Hank’s since it opened in 1952.
Peter loves it too.
There is only one reason to post this photo. It might be the only time you can see Red Sox pitcher Clayton Mortensen at bat in an American League Park. At this point the Sox were up something like 12-1 and I still can’t figure out why Bobby Valentine had him at the plate. Kind of cool though.
When we were at Pymatuning watching the ducks walk on the fishes backs we met the woman I posted about earlier. She was wearing this shirt which got us talking. I’d like to visit sometime.
It is very rare to be in on an historical moment, but I can say I was there when one of my neighborhood friends coined the term “Rat Lake” for the body of water that appeared after the flood control dam was built.
I usually help Thom Kendall out with the photos on media day for the UMASS football team. The new coach is a really great guy. This picture pretty much tells you most of what you need to know about Charley Molnar.
The Pearl out on the deck.
Cris and I went to Amherst Coffee today. I often take a shot of my cappuccino for some reason.
Never one to hide my emotions, I have been mentioning to just about anyone I talk to about my feelings of having Peter off in DC. So many of you have told me that he will be fine, and I want to thank you all for your support. One of the best bits of encouragement came from Leamuse in France as a comment on my earlier post. “Bon courage et bon chance.” Thank you so much; it really helps.
The second film Peter is shooting deals with the transitions that Tilghman folks have been making as a result of the changing situation with the bay. Larry Gowe was in the Navy and when he returned to the island he used what he learned in the service and became an appliance repairman.
His brother Edward works at Walton’s Seafood counting and sorting crabs.
And this is Darnell Murray who was working at Walton’s with Edward. Darnell was in the Marines for 18 years and served for most of that time on the USS Nimitz. His grandparents worked at the Tilghman Packing Company.
Here’s one of the soft crabs from this morning’s catch. We had some for dinner the other night. Really tasty.
The folks at Tilghman have really opened up their lives to us. Peter and I have made some very close friends.
Peter Carroll and I are back on Tilghman Island on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake. It has been very hot and humid. We’ve been shooting the watermen doing their work and it has been, as always, a great experience. Our very generous hosts have a pool right on the Choptank river and at the end of a long day of shooting it felt great to cool off. Here is Peter looking really good.
I left the house this morning with the intention of driving to Washington, DC. The Tilghman shoot starts on Thursday. The original plan was to leave early Wednesday, but with the storm coming in I moved the trip up a day. It seemed it would be OK once I made it south of New York City, but I never got that far. The roads were not so bad initially, but the 91 was a mess. The wipers picked up ice and basically stopped working, and when the traffic slowed to 10 miles per hour, it seemed prudent to turn around. Tomorrow is supposed to be worse than today, so I’ll just have to wait it out. It is nice to be home for the storm though. I’ll crank up the snow blower and try to keep ahead of it all.
New York City has gotten slammed with snow this year. On Thursday in the late afternoon when I was shooting outside of the Broadway Theatre, I saw a guy in a very late model 911 trying to park in about a foot of snow and slush. How sad. My first thought is that if you can afford a Porsche, you should also be able to own something that is suitable to drive in the snow. / This car was one of many on 96th Street somewhere between Columbus and Broadway. / On Tuesday, I am off to Tilghman Island to continue shooting the waterman story with Peter Carroll. Can’t wait.