Sunday, March 27, 2016

Nothing but shadows

I'm under water with images to process and prints to print. So today I'll rely on that old standby, the ever so lovely and evocative shadow. No flowery prose. No telling of stories. Just these nuggets.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Eye of the Photographer: Four Guys Two Galleries

This doesn't happen very often. Meaning it's exceedingly rare that I post images from a same-day photo shoot. Today is that rare bird.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by David Mapes

This is the first of hourly reminders of the above referenced exhibition. It will run from May 28 through July 4 at both Wilder Nightingale Fine Art and DAFA, David Anthony Fine Art, in beautiful downtown Taos. Part of the proceeds will benefit our beloved TCA, the Taos Community Auditorium. Details to follow as the opening draws near. Mark it in your calendar please.

This morning we photographers namely Bill Davis, Cris Pulos, Terry Thompson and Steve Immel held a photoshoot to get worthy images for our press material. Here are but a few.

Bill Davis by Steve Immel

Cris Pulos by Steve Immel

Terry Thompson by Steve Immel

Steve Immel by Terry Thompson

And from a couple of years back this studio shot of the Greek fisherman himself.

Cris Pulos by Steve Immel

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Around the world and then some

New York Marathon in 1982

This month I celebrate 40 years as a runner. Back in 1976 we had just moved from to New Canaan, Connecticut from Boston. I’d been promoted to vice president of a major fast food chain after having operated a small subsidiary for three years. My last act in office in my former gig was opening a new restaurant concept, a task fraught with 100 weeks and the loss of about twelve pounds to 168 pounds, the loss of which suited me and that I maintained for thirty years. This all happened at the apex of the running boom that started with Frank Shorter’s marathon win in Munich, Billy Rogers' victories in Boston and the publication of the book with a red cover and the taut and sinewy legs of one Jim Fixx. For you sports historians that was The Complete Book of Running. In March, all caught up in the furor and wanting to keep my boyish figure, I began running, if you can call it that, from our house. At first I could make it precisely .8 miles at which point I would walk around the intersection and shuffle back home. Pathetic is the term that comes to mind.

After a couple of months in I contemplated running five miles for the first time. You’d have thought it was an ultramarathon. I was so unsure I could do it that a requested a sag wagon. As I remember it I asked Peggy to wait on the main road to from New Canaan to Pound Ridge just in case I succumbed to exhaustion. Happily that I didn't happen and, in a self-congratulatory glow, ran my first road race just over the hill in Wilton, CT on July 4, 1976. The time was not memorable. Let's just say I did beat it by 13 minutes in 1987. 

1987 Triathlon National Championship at Hilton Head. A modest 40th of 102 45 to 49 year olds.

Some 55,000 miles later, running and fitness have been major part of my life, behind only family and a good meal. My next 55,000 miles is, well, a laugh line. I have slowed to a crawl and the cartilage loss in my right knee has me, if not hobbling, moving gingerly. Don't get me started on my pulled hamstring. Still hope springs eternal and my delusions may be forgiven at this very senior moment.

You maintained your 168, you say, for thirty years. What about the last ten? It's now 155 but that's more a function of shortage than weightage. I'm shrinking before my very eyes. Kind of like watching grass growing but in reverse.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

As yesterday

His eyes grew moist as he told of the freak snow that dumped three feet of snow on the flock. The snow threatening to kill all the sheep and Alfonzo and his father Amos with them. Alfonzo was thirteen in the fall of 1951 and is choked with emotion even now. It was only October and they were still tending the sheep in the high mountains of Apache Canyon above Chama. The Cumbres and Toltec train clattered in the distance. As the snow mounted only one thing mattered. How do we get the sheep down the mountain and to the safety of the valley floor?

It was a moment of truth and the truth was that the sheep couldn’t make it out in three feet of snow. And Amos and Alfonzo couldn’t the last for three days and 17 miles without shelter. Alfonzo recalls with crystalline clarity that the first night they slept under towering pines and on the second, wet and weary, Amos covered themselves with a tarp topped with pine bows and needles. He is felled two mid-sized pines and drug them behind horses to sweep a route for  the sheep to pass. On the third day they made their way to the crossing of the Rio de Los Pinos below Oshir. At the crossing help arrived with food and dry clothes and they brought the sepp the rest of the way to Mogote and the Abeyta Ranch. 

All survived because of Amos's resourcefulness and a father's love. And because of both the flock of sheep that began with a single orphan ewe in the 1920s delivered their wool to Tom Barr's shearers last weekend. It’s a Jeremiah Johnson tale set in the mid-twentieth century, one that illustrates how tenuous yet enduring a life from the soil was and still is.