My mother used to tell me the road to Hell was paved with good intentions....walk in my footsteps as I trundle down those smokey, hot steps. I meant to stay on this blog at least every day but have been caught up in the maelstrom of creating an exhibit at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute this summer. Today is the first "breather" I have had from that and I am hoping it can continue through the weekend. Media Day is in Pawtucket April 6th at 3PM...all is right here in "Bill Chapman Nation.."
"Powerful Days" is a book I keep by my elbow. It is the the collected group of photographs that Charles Moore shot during the Civil Rights Movement era. Children being swept of their feet by powerful fire hoses, bitten by German Shepherds, Ku Klux Klan rallies, a somber George Wallace. burning crosses, peace marches through the South. Chances are that you have seen many of these and not associated with Moore, who passed away the other day at age 79. With the exception of James Nachtwey and a few others, no person working today has the courage or the sense that new reporting is a duty to disseminate information in a hope that the ills of society may be exposed for thwe greater good. His obit mentioned that his images help usher in a national awareness of racial injustices. He worked out of Birmingham, the most ruthless and cruel of American cites at the time. Photography today, for the most part, has sunk to a level of nonsense. Herds of picture takers running amok with plastic cameras, making pretty, only interesting to each other. I often wish that I could be dropped into a war zone to participate in the type of work that motivated Moore but I am afraid that is never going to happen. His images will never be silenced but sadly, now is he.
All of the rituals intact and performed. This including splitting up season Red Sox tickets and watching "Bull Durham." Next, testing cameras, etc. Every year I say that I am going to get to more games but never seem to pull it off. My heart does belong to Dixie and I have several trips planned where old times are not forgotten.This summer, I will be in Birmingham at least three times and possibly four. Seeing the Asheville Tourists park, McCormick Field in North Carolina made me want to go back there. A single A park surrounded by a forest, which in turn is surrounded by the Smokey Mountains is just a great place to see a game and enjoy what I am there for in the first place.
If you know me (and why the hell would you be reading this if you didn't..) you know of my adoration of Rickwood Field. This summer, as "the old girl" as we call it, turns 100, The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will be exhibiting up to 40 of my photographs taken at the park over the past eight years..or is it nine..its baseball..you can look it up. Beside myself? you betcha...Expensive and a pantload of work? That too. I know it will be from July 1st until August 31st with a reception on July 2nd. I even get to pick the caterer. More details as they become available....