Onward they March! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year,
to all and to all a good night.
A two family apartment house in Paterson in the 1970’s. It is abandoned because a highway was scheduled to be built through this area and the local inhabitants had to move. – the law of Eminent Domain. I know this because I was one of them. The highway was never built, the house was torn down and the area was cleaned up.
What really matters to me is my family. Not my job as a photographer but my son, daughter and wife. I was reminded of that fact a little over a week ago when my wife had a very close call. She was headed to work and just a few blocks from her job the car she was driving wasn’t accelerating properly. There was a bang under the car and a fire started. She pulled over, got out, dialed 911, the fire engines quickly arrived and the fire was contained. Afterwards a fireman determined that the cause was the catalytic converter. It had ruptured causing the fuel line to break with gasoline spilling out. Then the fireman told my wife, “You were very, very lucky that the car wasn’t engulfed in flames while you were still in it. You were very, very lucky.” My wife was naturally in shock to hear that, but I think that I was upset more than she. Almost, in a split second, my life would have changed and I would have lost my best friend. And the manner of that lost was too grisly to think about. Recently I watched a movie “The Captains”. It was a documentary about the actors who played “The Captains” on the various Star Trek shows. (I am a fan.) And one comment by Patrick Stewart resonated with how different he and I are. I respect him as a actor but “acting” is more important to him than family and he stated that fact. I understand the need and desire to work at a job/career that brings more than just financial well-being, but also emotional and psychological satisfaction too. But how does that compare to losing the most important members of your family? At least, they should be the most important people in your life. Well, anyway, for once I’m being hit with an unplanned expensive bill (new car) and I’m not complaining. I almost had a far bigger lost. Happy Thanksgiving.
The image above was taken in Dec. 1980. It is my favorite photo of her.
As opposed to those pro photographers who wanted to be one from birth, I fell into the profession later in life. My hope was to work in the film industry but that’s ain’t easy. This also explains why I can talk more about John Ford, Buster Keaton and Martin Scorsese than about famous pro photographers. Most of America knows who Ansel Adams is, including myself (of course), but my photo contemporaries can rattle off names that I never could, but I am not a complete rube. We are a world awash in images but when one catches my eye, and most don’t, then I do some research to find out who created that picture. A few years ago on the cover of Time (if it wasn’t Time, then it was Newsweek) was a portrait of Jeff Bridges. He was up for an Academy award for “Crazy Heart”. I stopped whatever I was doing and starred at the image. It was beautiful. I thought, “Who took this picture?” Probably someone the whole world knows about except me, but now it’s my turn. Marco Grob. Jeff Bridges’ portrait is on the website. The portrait above is of my mother. Photographed with a Wisner 4×5 film camera. (Doesn’t compare to Mr. Grob, but I’m trying.)