Way-back Machine – May 2020

Like any photographer, amateur like me or otherwise, most have hundreds if not many thousands of photos, depending on how long you have been shooting, how liberal your shutter finger is, and how conservative your delete button is.  With a little bit of free time on my hands, I went through and selected a dozen or so photos from the way-back machine.  Be forewarned.

Growing up in a town of historical significance meant you just had to participate in the Patriots Day festivities.  Here is me and schoolmate Bill Mazza on drums, and don’t recall who was on fife.   Some pretty sweet tunes, let me just say.


And living where we did, it was simply a “must” that you ski.  In this case, it was our own back yard.  In the winter, we would pack down the hill behind us and ski for hours.  My parents would set up a floodlight in one of the upstairs bedrooms so we could ski at night.  Life was simple.


Back in my single days when I had the farm and a few cats, we would just stroll around the farm, shoot off some AK-47 rounds, and drink whiskey and beer.  Fortunately, I have matured.  I no longer have the cats.  But as we speak, during this stay-at-home period, I am growing back my mullet.  Maybe after this virus thing subsides, I can make a TV series.  Nah.  Who would watch it.


College is a time to experiment, to learn, to try without much risk new experiences.  In the truest sense of explaining why women live longer than men, we determined that it would be a “good idea” to go sledding down the Mt. Greylock auto road – on lunchroom trays.  I mean, what could possibly go wrong?


We were able to entice a few women to join us, but truthfully any woman who would accompany us on ANY activity clearly showed poor judgment.  The road was closed to vehicular traffic, so we didn’t need to worry about cars.  We should have worried about going 30 mph down a curvy, icy mountain road on a lunch tray with zero ability to control our speed or trajectory.  I maintain to this day it is better to be lucky than, well, anything.

Speaking of college experiences, for me the Outing Club was a big factor in my college career.  No, this was not a gender-reveal type of club – it was for those who enjoyed the outdoors.  The key faculty advisor for this club was a professor named Doc McMahon.  We made all kinds of trips and adventures, and to this day I am in debt to Doc McMahon’s willingness to guide and participate in these camping and other activities.


The photo below was captured a hundred years ago, somewhere in the Black Hills or Badlands in South Dakota on a cross-country trip my buddy David and I were taking.  David is one of the nicest, most caring, loving humans I have had the pleasure of meeting, and is and has been a dear friend since college.  But he is uncommonly handsome, which I believe is one of his (many) shortcomings. For as long as I have known him, women have flocked to his side.  Seriously? Gag me.


This photo was during a random hike where we met up with some female hikers.  These women were smitten with David, and as you see in this shot, they were massaging his feet.  We had probably come back from an exhausting ¼ mile hike.

I am the photographer, in case that wasn’t obvious.  While standing 20 feet away, I could have been dancing naked holding a puppy and these girls would not have known I existed.  Life is short; never associate with anyone better looking than you.

Alas, there was hope for me yet.  If you have a zoom feature on your computer or phone, you can just make out the huge rock I got for my (at the time) fiancée.  Whatever misguided thoughts she may have had prior to this moment about me having any accumulated wealth were clearly dashed for her in that moment.  That should have been her first clue to run; thankfully she did not.


If you are a park ranger, please turn around now.  I am pretty sure that Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, GA is as far from being politically correct as it can be.  However, it is about as much fun as you can get for around $20.  You drive through the (private) park, either in your own vehicle or one of theirs, and see all kinds of animals that have been saved and treated for whatever maladies they had encountered in their past lives.  You can feed these animals from food bags they sell there, and the animals are all in.  If these animals suffer from anything, it is not from lack of attention or food.


These animals do not refrain from sticking their head in your window, and are shameless in their search for food.  I am telling you we have driven through this park and been close to peeing ourselves from laughter.


The photo below is one of my favorite photos, and captures my two favorite females.  Well, of course there would be my mother, and there was Trixie from college who stole my virginity and $30.  That’s a lie; I am still a virgin.  Anyway, this photo captures my bride and our daughter.  To this day, when I see either one of them a little part of me turns to mush.


I know this next photo will embarrass our son, but this is also one of my favorite photos.  We are (obviously) at the beach, and he was just totally consumed with watching the waves and playing with the sand.  I have no idea where he gets that.


It says something about a president of a large company to be able to dress for success – and flaunt it.  Full disclosure, this picture was from a rewards trip to Spain.


When I first joined the company, there was a dinner for new employees, and during dinner we newbies were all asked to introduce ourselves and share what our role in the company would be.  When it got to me, I said my name was Brad and I was a sales guy.  When the intros circled back to the president, he said he was Dave and he was the sales god.  I never forgot that; message received!  Dave and Diane, hope you guys are well!

While many have suggested I was raised by wolves, that is simply not true.  My poor parents.  God, they must have aged quickly during my formative years.  They are both long gone, but years ago we (my brother and sister and I) held a 60th wedding anniversary for them at my brother’s house.  There aren’t enough awards for these two who raised the three of us.

Straight pass to heaven, as they say.


Apparently, interest in photography might be genetic.  It seems my siblings have this same proclivity.


People smile or laugh when I tell them I asked Karen to marry me the day after she said she liked to mow the lawn.  I’m not kidding.  I mean, it’s not like I am shallow.  Turns out, in 30+ years of marriage, she mowed the lawn once.  And quite frankly, not even the entire lawn.  I want my money back.


One of my unique and favorite activities over the years was to be honored and invited to participate in the New Orleans Mardi Gras parades – specifically, to be a krewe member for the Krewe of Caesar.  Now while there may be parts of this story that become a little nebulous and fuzzy, suffice it to say this is a boatload of fun.  For about four hours you are non-stop throwing beads and other trinkets to the crowd.  While the image of Mardi Gras can get a bit tawdry, most of the crowd along the route were young families.  I participated in this event a number of years, but everyone should get the opportunity to do this at least once.


OK, that’s it for now.  Show us your… pictures!

Leave a Reply