Purple, just a royal color.

I remember, I remember.

Those words almost brought me to tears this morning. There was a piece in The New York Times sports section about Johnny Bench.

For those who you who don’t follow baseball, he was a Major League baseball player. He was a catcher for the Cincinnati Reds. He was probably the best catcher in history.

Catching is a hard job. You work in a squat. You are involved in every pitch of every game. In a close play at home plate other players tried to knock you down. And, you are supposed to be able to hit.

In other words, Johnny Bench is a tough guy.

He’s in the baseball Hall of Fame along with a number of other players with whom he played. Being a catcher allowed him to get to know a lot of players. You talk at the plate sometimes. It’s a fraternity of sorts.

This last year has been brutal for all of us. It has been very brutal for MLB, and the living Hall of Fame of players.

Ten of them died.

He spoke about each of them. When he got to Tom Seaver — a world class pitcher — he said that he was very nervous catching him the first time because he was Tom Seaver.

Tom Seaver passed this year.

Then he got to a point where he talked about his feelings and he said, “I remember, I remember, I remember.”

It broke my heart.

The late musician John Prine, another victim of CoVid-19, wrote a song called, “I Remember Everything.” When he passed it broke my heart and about a gazillion other musicians and fans hearts.

He won a Grammy this year for that work. Some where in the universe I know he smiled his crooked smile.

The main story in the Times was about never being able to reach herd immunity. There are a lot of contributing factors, not the least being that about 40% of the country don’t want the vaccine.

Combined with other issues like a mutating virus, economic conditions, and temporary surges many scientists believe this will never end, that the best we can do is manage it.

One scientist went so far as to say that he believed that it will take about two generations to manage it to the point that it will be like getting a common cold.

I was taught that a generation is 40 years. Many people say 30 years. It doesn’t really matter. Reaching that point will take somewhere between 60 and 80 years.

That’s something to look forward to.

This is especially important in light of what I just wrote. Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Get your jabs. Look after each other. Be patient. Enjoy all the purple.

Well, that left hand column was something. It took a lot out of me to write.

This side won’t be anywhere near as compelling.

Luckily, the dominant color is purple. I like purple. It’s the color of royalty. It’s a Mardi Gras color. I used to wear purple shirts.

This picture was edited fairly straight forward in post production. I really didn’t add much color. I just darkened things up and added contrast.

That’s an old approach. People used to say that I added too much saturation.

No, I didn’t. I just brought out whatever was there in the first place.

Oh yeah. Of course, I sharpened it. I had two ways to go. I could edit it as you see it, or I could add a lot of glow and make it soft and fuzzy.

One more story.

The war against working photographers is heating up.

A photojournalist, documenting the number of tortoises in a place where the sand of the beach was being eroded at a very fast pace, ran into a self-proclaimed speaker for the group who was working there.

She demanded that he leave and destroy his files. He left but didn’t destroy anything. Most comments were in his favor citing the usual legal findings.

I didn’t say anything. If I had, it would be along the lines of what I would have said to the woman on the beach.

I have looked at her and said, “Ma’am, this is a public beach. You have no authority over me or anyone else.”

Apparently, she was pretty aggressive. If she continued with me, I’d have concluded like this, “Ma’am step back and away from me,” In my most low but authoritative voice.

Then, without warning, I’d call the local sheriff.


Tramps through the flowers.

Junk Magic.

I borrowed that from a record album title, which in turn was borrowed from a saying about places that are mostly junk and forgotten. But, have a special and maybe magical, feel about them. Like neighborhoods in New Orleans.

First, the tropical storm. I have no idea what it’s doing upriver. I started this morning by reading a long piece in the New York Times about a musician called Craig Taborn. From there, I decided to play his music. And, take the dogs of their first long walk in three days. So, I haven’t read the news. And, that feels pretty good.

That said, we are very windy, but bright and sunny with some white puffy clouds. It’s windy enough to make the cockers and poodles look like they are flying because their ears were lifted from their heads and fluttering straight out. They kept looking at each other as if to say, “you look silly,” and “it takes one to know one.”

I made the base picture on Mardi Gras Day. The main subject is the Krewe of Zulus and their sub-krewe, the Tramps. That base picture has been exhibited and is the permanent collection of the Jazz and Heritage Foundation, which is the funding arm of Jazz Fest.

The rest of the imagery is just background components that I found along the way. Sometimes walking the dogs. Or, with the dog who sees pictures. I blended them, as usual.

I made a couple of new images yesterday when I got outside in between the rain drops. I’ll show them to you in the next few days. They represent a first for me. Not only did I make the pictures on my smart phone, but I did all the layering and finishing there. And, tomorrow I’ll publish them here straight from the phone. I’ve done bits and pieces of this in the past. But, this is the first time that everything was made on the most portable of platforms. Something I can carry in my pocket. I suppose that until I download them into my archives and stock collections, they exist nowhere but on my phone and in the Apple Cloud.

As you know, I’m not the biggest fan of this method of working. But, it’s likely the future and it’s happening now. I may not use the technology for most of my work, but I should know how to use it, when to use it. And, when not to use it.

 


The dog's flower petals.
The dog’s flower petals.

More of the occasional series. What the dog saw.

This time, we didn’t go far. We took a walk this morning while the sun was low and wonderful. We had a rain storm for most of yesterday and last night. So, everything was bright and sparkly. Add that to the low light and this is what you get. Even in the shade. Kind of a glow.

Of course, it’s steamy as it can be. Between normal airborne humidity and the water vapor lifting off the ground I feel like I’m in a sauna while we walk.

Remember.

We have two real growing seasons down here. So while some of you are starting to see autumn colors and bare branches, we are seeing new blossoms. Sorry about that, he wrote with a laugh.

More rain is predicted for today.