I have attempted to get permission to use this from the Birmingham News photographer but I have not heard back. Not only am I one of the few still shooting film anymore, I am probably one of the only ones that cares about violating copyrights.


Only 41....

Well, Rickwood opened only 41 years before I hit the ground running...A three day tour of the city I now truly consider my second home. Lunch with Lesley Bruinton, PR Director at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, a woman on top of her game for sure. A nice chat with Ahmed Ward, the curator of the same fine institution. Dinner with my great photographer pal, Moesia Davis...lunch the next day with Lamar Smith and David Brewer, Friends of Rickwood, then shooting the 100th anniversary events at Rickwood, a spectacular event and dinner at "The Fish Market" with my Rickwood pals and a smattering of wives. Thursday, a tour of the exhibit about Rickwood at the Vulcan Museum and a tour of the Birmingham Public Library. Then lunch with Lamar and David again, this time at the beloved "Rib-It-Up." A plane, then back to Cambridge.
"This is my country. These are my people.And I know them like the back of my own hand." Randy Newman


Clouds above me in a Birmingham sky.

But it is 7AM and the 100th anniversary celebration at Rickwood Field doesn't start until 3PM. A lot can happen between now in then, in the sky and on the ground. My friend, Bill Robertson remarked that I was the only guy that he knew that would get on an airplane to go and watch a baseball game. Yesterday, I did that to watch a celebration of a baseball field happening today. I don't get wistful or nostalgic but events occur in my mind on a time line..that I can move on and off from like a moving staircase at an airport.Today, I will linger in the 1910 area a bit more than usual and stop, camera in hand, at 1948 and think about a photographer that I knew.


Third Acts....

Tuesday, I will head to Birmingham for the third time this summer. Wednesday, August 18th will be the actual one hundredth anniversary of the nation's (world's, too, I guess) oldest baseball park, the often written about, Rickwood Field. Chamber of Commerce, book signings, dignitaries and a recreation of the 1910 game are promised. I was ambivalent about going but Dixie tugged the camera strap once again. Imagine! Real film being shot on a real ballfield by a real photographer! What an archaic concept!


The Great I Am...

"and now, here's something you'll really like." Rocket J. Squirrel

My friend Amy is a good photographer. She has adopted a wonderful boy, Eric, which involved traveling to Vietnam and back. The whole experience, as well as Eric's many hijinks since, have been captured in a loving way by Amy and she recently assembled a couple of Blurb books...or Shutterbug...or one of those myriad companies that dot the photo landscape. The books are remarkable.. I am not particularly fond of portraits of me...I was in art school but outgrew it. This a nice one, however. (Listen up, new photographers, you will out grow self and not so self portaits,too! If not, you will be a Nan Goldin-like footnote to photography.) There is only so much room in your belly button.


Listen Up, America

Monday, August 9th, 2010 marks the second anniversary of Bernie Mac's death. he is a favorite of mine as his grasp of the gentle and the profane is something I have a command of as well. His movies were made to reach a certain demographic and they did with varying amounts of success. His TV show ricocheted across time slots and was hard to keep track of but I found myself staying home to watch it. When he left the air, it was about the same time that I gave up watching TV shows altogether. I found the show laugh out loud funny and I don't laugh out loud at many things. I laugh inside quite a bit..but a finely tuned guffaw rarely gets heard.

While dressing to attend the wake of my dear friend, Ernest Withers, I found Bernie on Memphis TV and sat in my underwear and watched it.On my last trip to Memphis, I discovered the show was on three times a day. Recently, I was waiting to be interviewed by local TV stations in Birmingham and placed in a "ready" room of sorts. I started flipping channels and yes....there he was. I miss the Mac man...


Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore...

You won't be chasing rainbows, after all. A pal said that I would be the last photographer standing. I am now not so sure. I couldn't get batteries for my Canon EOS cameras. (Film, that is...) Fair enough. I did eventually find some. Then came the blow that knocked the wind out of me...color print film is no longer being made, or if it is, it is of weenie quality. Then while I am struggling to maintain my balance, the little camera store I have entrusted with developing my film and making scans. Ta Ta....Mom and Pop went Mom and Pap Smear. Stay tuned.....a real cliffhanger but having come back twice from the brink of real death....hey, wasn't that a Kodak slogan..Kodak brings good things to life.....