Jordan Douglas, Revisited

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Every once in a while, I go back and look at shots I had taken earlier in my photographic career. Since I wasn’t charging people, many didn’t even return to look at the images, yet alone order any prints. I’d print one, put in my portfolio and that would be it. Never played with them, added any toning or conversion techniques or photoshopped them. That takes some cooperation from the sitter.

Jordan here, didn’t come back. He said he wasn’t looking for images dark or edgy. We haven’t spoken since then; not unusual for me and my sitters. People want their photos to be like they want them to be. And I want mine to be like mine. In a good portrait shoot, the great images are something of a compromise.

Great looking guy. We did well during the shoot, surprisingly well, in light of the fact he is a fine art photographer and teacher. That we share a love of photographic history made it fun, but I never looked at the session until today when I was doing some housecleaning in my catalogues.

Not bad, I’d say. Still have some work to do on it, if I have time. More importantly, it tells me that in those files and folders sitting on my computer may lie some shots I would appreciate.

Salisbury, VT – Forgotten Lives

Barn

So, I used to live in Salsibury, VT. Still have two friends who called themselves, “The Lake People.” They lived on Lake Dunmore, just up the road from Keewadin Dunmore, a camp for the privileged. People weren’t so friendly in Salisbury. Not a lot of Jews. A smelly egg place. Some antique stores. And the put in the power lines that drove out the wildlife, ruining my view.

I loved our house. Sharon hated it. Always cold. Bugs. Mice. Fear it would slide off the side of the rock.

We had turkeys and deer in the front yard. Hoards of mosquitos. Snow drifts that cost a fortune to plow. Wasps. Trees felled by lightning. Maple trees which someone tapped, paying us off in syrup of all grades. Our lives there were complicated.

When the cost of upkeep became too great and the ability to earn a living disappeared for many, people just left. We managed to sell our place. The new owner defaulted.

Ice Fishing in Vermont

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I don’t do winter, well. Don’t ski. Don’t snowshoe. Don’t skate or play hockey. And I sure as hell don’t ice fish. I tried it once or twice when I lived in Salsibury, VT. My friends took me to their well appointed shack on Lake Dunmore. We drank beer, ate deer bourguignon, cooked to perfection on the site and laughed ¬†and told stories. Good friendship. But, every once in a while, we had to go check the lines. I held the flash light. Across the Lake, drivers did wheelies on the ice. We caught a few fish, little ones. The guys cleaned, cooked and ate them. Couldn’t wait to leave, though I admit I did have a good time hanging out.

Fear of Falling

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A knock at the door Saturday brought bad news. Kit Stone, who lives above us wanted to know where Ann lived. Only four units on a floor in Westlake Residences. Hardly see neighbors, except when dumping garbage. Margaret Brown, Ann’s friend and exercise buddy had died from a fall in her condo. ME said she hit her head, fell and suffocated, according the Kit. Sad way to go, for sure. Before her time was consumed by loss of memory, organ eating bacteria, embolisms or gravy like blood. I’d mourn more, but I didn’t know her, except for a few hellos and good-byes. She never wanted to have a portrait. So, I don’t remember what she looked like. And I lived in the same building with her.

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So, they tell you how folksy VT is, just a little community of like people living the dream. A way of life, special, they call it. I cannot tell you much about Margaret or about many people. Saw her recycling. Know she had a red Accura. Heard she was a doctor. This State can be impersonal. Lots of wide open spaces, canopied walks and only a few roads. People spend a lot of time commuting and attending meetings. Then they hunt, ski or ride their snow mobiles, if they hadn’t had licenses revoked. Kid’s sports dominate the fall. Festivals dominate the summer. Everyone rushing to go do something, somewhere. Never enough time.

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Worry. Right now, I have my health and time. But it could change. I could fall. Need to be careful.

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Nice place to do a crossword, eh?

 

 

Richard North – Lost on Main

So, Richard North has given up. But, who knows? He disappeared for a few days. Skippy told me he went to the hospital. Richard said they advised him to stop drinking and to take his heart medicine. I offered to take him to pick up the medicine. “Not now.”

Two kids passed, telling me to pay Richard for the priviledge of taking his picture. “Like, who the fuck are you? Will you help me?” They kept walking. Richard: “…, they are kids, leave them alone.”

Vanessa and JJ Fish Colchester

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Vanessa and JJ out for a Sunday fishing expedition on the dock in Colchester. She caught a Lake Sturgeon, an endangered fish, and threw it back. True joy playing in Vermont’s backyard while respecting nature and helping the environment.

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Oh, the joy of catching a fish. Makes exhilirating all the waiting and baiting, casting and doubting.

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Bernard Not a Yankee Fan

 

Don’t usually shoot people wearing hats. Got my friend McQuade to hold the reflector. Never shot Bernard. My shoot loosener fell flat. “Not a good day for the Yankees. Old. Injured. And they lost.” “I don’t follow baseball,” he said.


McQuade

 

Tough to work alone. When one of my guys finds the light, it makes them smile. All my photos become a bigger collaboration with the people I shoot.

Chad

 

Chad sporting a Prince Valliant look.

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Scotty has his pouch.

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Amy received a certificate for attending a Peer Emotional Counselling Program.

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New girl in town.

Hadassah Burlington VT – Chai Tea

 

Hadassah of Burlington, VT, Sara Frank Chapter, celebrated Chai Tea at the home of Suzanne Brown in Shellburne. Kosher Katz, an A Capella group from the University of Vermont, sang three tunes, adding melody and nachas from the next generation of powerful Jewish women.

Tea was poured.

A Presidential message.

Honoring Chai Society, chapter benefactors.

A raffle.

Stella, 98 years old, heralds the past, present and future state of American Judaism and the satisfaction of contributing to Tikkun Olum.

A prayer from Rabbi Jan.

And too much cake and crustless sandwiches. So, what else is new?