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Changes In Latitudes And Attitudes

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Being a Marine, I am a creature of habit and routine. That doesn’t mean I don’t like to wing it. After all, I am the son of a sailor.

We went on Spring Break once with no idea were we were going. I turned left out of the driveway one Saturday morning at 5 a.m. and we ended up in Nashville for a few days including a night at the Grand Ole Opry. Then we stopped at the Jack Daniels Distillery for the afternoon simply because we happened to drive by. I love the back roads. Then  we stopped in Atlanta for a few more days and went to an NBA and a NHL game.

But when we go to Litchfield Beach, we have a routine – “nibblin’ on sponge cake, watchin’ the sun bake, all of those tourist covered with oil”. I get up before the sun rises, walk on the beach and shoot photos. There are only so many days in your life you get to witness the sun rising over the ocean. I take advantage of it every chance I get. Someday, I plan to do it every morning. Most days while at Litchfield, around noon, we stop by the Cabana Cafe to chat with Lajla who is our good friend and frozen concoction expert.

We just arrived home from an impromptu week at Litchfield Beach. We left home last Saturday at 5 a.m. and arrived at Litchfield Books 4 1/2 hours and 261 miles later. We purchased our reading materials, stopped by Piggly Wiggly and were set for the week.

At Litchfield Books, we purchased a couple of novels by David Baldacci and got tickets to attend a gathering to hear him speak on Wednesday. Later that week, we attended the function and he was a hoot. He autographed our books.

Anyway, back on the subject, we arrived at our accommodations. There was a plumbing problem so we went straight to the Cabana. We got there before it opened. We purchased a weekend edition of USA Today, sat in rocking chairs and waited. Our friend, Lajla, who was surprised to see us said, “skinny coladas”, and the conversation began.

We couldn’t get a reservation for our favorite restaurant, the Ocean One – Austin’s, that night. Depression. OK, more coladas.

Changes in latitudes:

  1. Forgot my beach flip-flops – Don’t worry I was wearing my Sunday-go-to-meetin’ pair
  2. No deck to read the morning paper and drink coffee on
  3. No ocean view unless we stood on our tip-toes
  4. We didn’t finish our 1,000 piece puzzle
  5. I only read three books
  6. People who park poorly
  7. Left the umbrella at home – had to shop at Eagles
  8. Left my MiFi at home
  9. Could not find my sun glasses
  10. I blew out my flip-flop, stepped on a pop-top

 Changes in attitudes:

  1. Completed 2/3rds of a 1,000 piece puzzle
  2. Got to spend a week with my lovely wife
  3. She thinks I should have put that first
  4. Finished three books
  5. Bought a flip-flop bucket
  6. Got to spend a week with my lovely wife
  7. Purchased my beautiful and brilliant mother-in-law the perfect birthday present
  8. Had chicken-fried quail
  9. Watched Mcllroy win the U.S. Open with a new friend and Hampden-Sydney graduate at the Island Bar and Grill
  10. Got to spend a week with my lovely wife

The three books I read were Letting Go of the Camera by Brooks Jensen, The Ongoing Moment by Geoff Dyer and Stan Musial An American Life by George Vecsey (which was a gift from my son for Father’s Day).

Mattie read Circles of Light by Dr. Mary Helen Hensley, Collusion by Stuart Neville, Murder One by Robert Dugoni and One Summer by David Baldacci.

I decided this past week to only shoot film. Here are some photos using drug store film and drug store processing and scanning. I was too lazy to shoot Tri-X, which I could have processed in my darkroom. I know it’s my own – fault, Jimmy.


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June 25, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Litchfield Beach

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We made final plans for another trip to Litchfield Beach today. Here’s a few photos from the last trip.

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June 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Rooster Walk And A New (Really Old) Lens

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This past week, I bought a new lens. Actually, it’s just a new to me lens. It’s a Leica 50mm F2 Summar built in 1934 that has plenty of cleaning marks on the front element. I thought it would be fun to give a 77-year-old lens a try. I love shooting with the Leica M4-P since it doesn’t have a meter nor any other functions. You just use sunny 16 to set the aperture and shutter speed and have at it. Here are a few photos shot with the Leica M4-P and 50mm F2.

Thanks to the organizers for putting together a fun event, for an outstanding cause in memory of two great guys.

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May 29, 2011 at 10:25 am

How About That

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One of my photos from Martinsville Speedway’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 this past weekend made the Associated Press Top Photos of the Week.

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April 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm

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Wood Brothers Win The Daytona 500 Again

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Wow! I’m not sure what else to say, but I am going to give it a try.

Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 yesterday in the Wood Brothers’ Ford Fusion. Tears were running down my cheeks as he crossed the finish line.

This is huge, just like the Colts winning the Super Bowl in 2007 and the Cardinals victory in the 2006 World Series.

I have favorite teams in sports, and they haven’t changed since I was a kid. It’s been the Cardinals, Colts, North Carolina Basketball and Wood Brothers racing.

Racing wasn’t live on TV, when I was a kid, so I listened to Barney Hall call the races on MRN Radio. At some point, in the later 70’s, Ned Jarrett joined him. I’ve always been afraid to meet people I admired. Dean Smith was a big disappointment – but that is another story. I was always afraid my heros would not live up to my expectations. However, Barney Hall and Ned Jarrett are two of the nicest people I’ve ever known. Dean was a big disappointment, Peyton Manning was great.

I listened to NASCAR racing in my dad’s cars. It started in a 1964 baby blue four-door Ford Falcon, continued in a 1969 Ford Torino, and progressed to a 1971 Ford Torino GT. I would sit in the Ford’s, on the carport, and listen to Cale Yarborough and David Pearson win races in the number 21 Wood Brothers’ Mercury. I lived about 16 miles from the Wood Brothers’ race shop. I can remember sitting in the Friendly Barber Shop, in Stuart, Virginia, while Glen Wood got his hair cut and listened to him talk about what they did the previous weekend at the Daytona 500.

While working as the director of corporate communications at Martinsville Speedway, I had the opportunity to meet all of my racing heros including Hall, Jarrett, Yarborough, Pearson and Richard and Kyle Petty. They are all wonderful people. I walked through the pits at Daytona with H. Clay Earles and Clay Campbell and would talk with my childhood heros. What an experience! I had lunch with Richard Petty at Steak and Shake near Charlotte Motor Speedway one day. I talked with Dale Earnhardt, on many occasions, and attended his funeral. I was fully involved.

For anyone who doesn’t know it, Dale Earnhardt was one of the nicest people who ever graced this earth – despite his persona.

But yesterday, it was Trevor Bayne and the Wood Brothers. I loved the quote from Len Wood on the Speed Channel after the race. He said, “He (Trevor) followed 197 laps of this race and lead the right ones.”

Eddie and Len Wood graduated from my high school – Patrick County High School – just a few years ahead of me.

I can remember when my dad’s 1969 Ford Torino overheated when I was coming back from my girlfriend’s house one Sunday night. I was driving down Dobyn’s Road, in Patrick County, and rolled it into the parking lot at the Wood Brothers’ race shop. I had to leave the car there and found a phone to call my dad to come pick me up. The next day, I came back to fix the car. I went to Carquest and picked up a thermostat and went to the Wood Brothers’ shop to work on the car. Leonard Wood came out to help. He fixed the car, and I was on my way. I will never forget that.

I loved that the Wood Brothers won the Indy 500 with Jimmy Clark in the car. They showed the Indy Series how to do a pit shop. In 1963, 1968, 1972 and 1976 they won the Daytona 500 with Tiny Lund, Yarborough, A.J. Foyt and Pearson. I listened to those wins on the radio. What a thrill it was to watch Trevor Bayne do it again in 2011. This time, I got to watch it live.

The Wood Brothers were royalty, in my mind, when I was a kid. I took piano lessons from Donna Wood when I was in the sixth and seventh grade. Donna was the daughter of Crystal Wood. Crystal is the sister of Glen, Leonard and Delano Wood.  Crystal worked at my elementary school. She would give us souvenir Wood Brothers racing cards from Daytona International Speedway each year. Since Crystal’s last name was Wood, I thought her husband took her last name because she was Glen, Leonard and Delano’s sister. I thought it was because she was royalty. I later found out her husband’s last name also was Wood.

Yesterday, was just like the old days when Pearson would come from behind to win the race. In 1973, Pearson won 11 of the 18 races he and the Wood Brothers entered. On Sunday, Bayne drove smart. Bayne drove a great race. Bayne won. The Wood Brothers prepared a winning race car and gave great pit stops. It was the same red and white car with the gold number 21 on the side. It was a day for racing’s royalty to win again. It was a day for me to relive my childhood. I cried.

Thank you, Wood Brothers, for making me love NASCAR racing again.

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February 21, 2011 at 12:36 am

Posted in My personal stuff

Morning Walk

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I recently had to send my Olympus 7-14mm lens in for a little repair. For some reason, it was not focusing. I got it back from Olympus in just five days and was shocked at how little they charged me.

Other than mounting it on a camera body to make sure it was focusing, I haven’t used it since it returned a couple of weeks ago. This morning, as I parked near my studio, I noticed the shadow of a fire escape on the side of a building. I grabbed my Olympus E-5 and the 7-14mm and walked over to shoot the first photo.

Then I decided to give the Dramatic Tone art filter in the E-5 a try and shot the remaining photos as I walked around the old Henry County Courthouse. The third and the last photos were shot at 7mm. In the next to last photo, I kinda liked the colorful flare from shooting directly into the sun. By the way, the lens works fine now.

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January 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Kodachrome – The End Has Come

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Today is the last day for development of Kodachrome. Seventy-five years of photography on the color slide film will end today when Dwayne’s Photo, in Kansas, develops a final roll. If you care to read about it, you can do so in the New York Times.

Over the past week, I have been scanning my Dad’s and my old Kodachrome slides. In honor of the end, here are some of my Dad’s Kodachrome photographs with the final photo being my father and mother. Obviously, someone else shot that one for them. My older sister is under that coat. She hadn’t been born yet.

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December 30, 2010 at 9:00 am

Posted in My personal stuff