A Lesson for You All

Trains under stormy dusk skies.

Settle down.

Everyone. All of you.

Try your best to think. Try your best not to overreact.

We are in the middle of one our worst years ever. Between a pumpkin-headed president who hates anybody who isn’t like him and wants badly to fight a major war, all manner of anger, nature’s fury and just general stupidity, it’s bad.

Don’t make it worse.

I’ve read some of silliest comments on Facebook about how to prepare for a storm. Most people forget to ask the most basic question. Are you staying or are you going? A particular poster lists every possible step to prepare. That doubles the work. For no reason. It’s just panic. In one of the craziest posts, the writer suggests cleaning your bathroom tub and filling it with water so you can drink it. WHAAAAT? You fill your bathroom tub with water so you can have water to flush your toilet when the power fails. You don’t drink it. The same posters forget to say that if you staying that you need about a billion batteries, and battery-powered storm lanterns. And, cans of Spam. And, Vienna Sausages. And, canned pasta. There is nothing like cold pasta and potted meat to ruin your day.

There’s more, but…

This one is better.

There is a photographer who lives in New Orleans who’s like me. Great creds. Good shooting rep. He’s going to Cuba. Today. He isn’t going to photograph Hurricane Irma. He’s mostly going to produce art and stock imagery. Some people think he’s being brave. Other people — like me – think there is a fine line between being brave and stupidity. You pick.

He’s also like me, because at 67 years old, he’s got back problems that make mine look minor. Often he hires a fixer who carries his gear because he can’t. I’m not quite that old. Or, quite that broken down. But, you get the idea.

Think that’s crazy?


He doesn’t like converting digital captures from color to black and white. He’s old school. He wants to shoot Tri-x in his “antique cameras.” Okay. Fine. He gets to the airport and posts on Facebook. He wants to know if anyone is going to Havana with film. He packed his cameras, but forget to buy or pack film.


This is a working pro. A guy who knows better. Supposedly.

First, anybody actually going to Cuba to cover Hurricane Irma has deadlines and will not be working in film. Maybe one person might be. He ain’t sharing. Second, I can’t think of anybody who is flying directly into the storm. Including first responders. There’s a reason for that. You could get killed. Third, I’m willing to bet Cuba closes their airports to commercial traffic well before the hurricane arrives. Even if he manages to get in, getting out will take an act of God.

By the way, I’m not attacking him. Or, making fun of him. It could just as well be me. Sheesh. I could pack cameras and film and forget my clothes. You know…


It may be fire. Or, rain. Or, political stupidity and meanness with which you are dealing, just settle down. Nothing is ever achieved with a monkey mind. Focus on something and stay focused. If you need to survive nature, do that. If you are in a position to fight back against a mad leader, organize properly and do that. If corporations weren’t so focused on the bottom line, the ones who employ dreamers would shut down in protest of this latest outrage.

Oh. I almost forgot.

The picture. After the last storm. Our clouds typically light up once the sun breaks through because light refracts of the remaining clouds and the water droplets in the air. Luckily there was a brightly, and lowly lighted subject in the foreground. A train. I like trains. Woo, woo.





    1. That’s kind of a tongue in cheek New Orleans thing. Generally, we sit outside in the heat and humidity and cook all the food in the freezer before it spoils. Unless, you’ve survived a hurricane, you don’t know it’s bad enough to make you do things you might not normally do.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good photo and post. I very much respect the photojournalists who cover things like Irma (heck, I want to be one), but the photographer’s behavior you described is at best annoying, at worst dangerous. If he gets into trouble (I hope he doesn’t), resources that could have been used for something else will be diverted.


  2. Our worst years are definitely in the past, without question (need I mention slavery? Or oppression of women?) I think it’s time that Americans start being grateful for all of the privileges and freedoms we are fortunate enough to have, freedoms that SO many people in the world at this very moment would literally kill for.

    Look around, we are FAR ahead of so so many countries socially, ethically, politically, and in so many other ways.
    I think its easy to sit in our air conditioned homes on our technology and complain about politics, but we need to be the change we want to see instead of just whining about everything all the time.

    There are 800 million starving people right now. Think about that for a moment.

    Express your concern by all means, but please never take for granted how truly fucking amazing it is to be an American. We have had SO MANY incompetent presidents – but it’s still always been and always will be the greatest country to live, despite who’s in office.


    1. Sorry, I guess you’ve missed all the news. YOUR opinions are just that… from whatever a “certified writer” is… one more thing, don’t come to Storyteller and curse. This is a family oriented blog. My readers don’t like it. Neither do I.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was referring to one comment you made, that we are in our “worst” year.
        I stand by what I said that our worst years are in the past; how anyone can think the present is “worse” than our past is beyond me.
        It isn’t to say that all is right today, it is to have some perspective, which I think most Americans highly lack. Perspective is awareness, it is GOOD.
        *Also my apologies, I assumed we were all adults.


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