People on the street at Pridefest. I ask permission to photograph individual people in public. Most say yes, a few decline, but at Pridefest nobody has a problem with it. Just be polite and friendly.
I'm thinking of Bobbi Lane, my portraits teacher at the Maine Media Workshops, as I write this. I could never have made these pictures without her instruction and inspiration. Best teacher I ever had in my life for anything.
Last Sunday brought one of St. Louis' best photo-ops of the year, the Pridefest Parade. It's late Monday as I write this and I don't have time to tell the tale, but there are a lot more good images to come.
If you had to be under attack, which would you prefer, the Marines pictured over the last few days or these gentle warriors? Someone organized a public water balloon fight down on Cherokee Street Saturday afternoon. Honestly, it wasn't very well publicized (but I got the word). Ten people turned up, plus me. What it lacked in size it made up for in enthusiasm. Bigger and better next year.
When the Marine helicopter came back to pick up the troops shown in yesterday's post, they somehow attached themselves to a cable dangling from the chopper. They rose into the air as if hanging by a thread and flew back and forth across the Mississippi like this for good measure, perhaps a hundred meters over the water. They kept dangling, waiving at the crowd. Unimaginable.
So here's what's up: it's Marine Week in St. Louis. The U. S. Marine Corps is putting on a six-day show in our town. I think it's about recruitment and public relations. Can't imagine why they need the latter: they are held in very high esteem in this country. They have had displays of all sorts of equipment downtown, seen in the last few posts. I learned that they did this over the last two years in Chicago and Boston.
The big event was yesterday, a mock assault on the Arch grounds by air, sea and land. Regardless of your thoughts about the military, it was a great show. This is a tiny sample of the squillion pictures I took. More on the way when I edit them.
There's something about the photos I'm posting this week that reminds me of images of the Vietnam War - helicopters coming out of the low sun, I love the smell of napalm in the morning. But the main event of these, um, festivities is this afternoon. I hope for good weather and light, followed by details tomorrow.
There is so much to shoot in The Lou this weekend: this stuff, a mass public water balloon fight on Cherokee Street Saturday and the best photo-op of the year, the Pridefest Parade on Sunday. Stay tuned.
In many place around the US you can find roadside memorials like this one. They always have a white-painted cross. Never seen one with a crescent or a Star of David. They have someone's name and sometimes a date. I have no way to be sure but I assume they are memorials to someone who has died in a traffic accident at this location.
This one has been around at least a couple of years. It is in the median strip of US 36 near Hanover, Kansas. I've photographed it on previous trips. It looks like someone is maintaining it.
Telephone and power lines march north along County Line Road between Washington and Marshall Counties, Kansas. Behind me and to my right is my wife's family farm, now owned by her youngest brother and his wife.
My wife sometimes jokes that she grew up in the suburbs of a town of 350. The family farm was about four miles outside of the hamlet of Bremen, Kansas. It has a bank, a farmers mutual insurance company and a post office. It does not have a grocery store, a gas station or a bar. This is the facade of the defunct saloon, which was called the Pool Hall. Saying that something is a bar in Kansas is a a bit of an exaggeration since they can serve only 3.2% alcohol beer. Not a glass of single malt or malbec in sight. Those cowpokes on the top wouldn't want a drop of no sissy malbec, either.
Too many time demands and too little Internet access yesterday. Downtown St. Louis 365 my go up Monday morning or perhaps Monday evening when I get home. Seven hour drive back to St. Louis today.
...and my bottle of Kansas City wine. That's a horrible thought: the Cotes du Missouri ain't the Cotes du Rhone. Boulevard, the local micro-brew, is pretty good, though. Nevertheless, a pleasant evening with my wife's family, including my beautiful nieces, Julie and Jaime. Today a drive to Hanover, Kansas.
It's late. Downtown St. Louis 365 will go up in the morning, local time.
After more than four years of almost-weekly Arch photos it gets hard to see something new. In this one I've resorted to Photoshop trickery. I think it looks like a very modern Rorschach blot or possibly a cool metallic necktie.
Commenting time may be hard to come by for a bit. My sister from State College, PA, is in town for a conference and we'll be doing things with her. We leave for Kansas City tomorrow and then on to see my wife's family in Wayoutthere, Kansas, for the weekend. Home Monday night. I always get good images on these visits and I'm hoping to do a portrait session with my 92 year old mother in law. Results to follow.
You can do more with the Arch than look up at it. You can lounge around underneath and read, as pictured today on Downtown St. Louis 365.
Now that's the way to shoot a public event. The crane is attached to a fire truck and I think the men in the bucket are members of the department. Couldn't they use a volunteer photographer with some good equipment? I'd love to see the images they got.
Some of the 64,000 people parading through downtown at the Komen Race For The Cure (very few actually ran). You could no more stop this flow than the Mississippi. The top picture is looking west on Olive. I was standing between 14th and 15th on the platform in front of the Parkside Plaza building. It's hard for me to tell but the crest of that hill is about 22nd or 23rd Street.
Yesterday was the St. Louis edition of the Komen Race For The Cure, the enormous effort for breast cancer research. The local newspaper's web site says there were 64,000 people but it may have been more. Olive and Market Streets became a vast river of pink, more about which tomorrow.
One of the women in the top picture, someone I have worked with for 25 years, has been through the pain and fear of breast cancer. She beat it. She has a big smile on her face here, surrounded by her family and friends.
More apologies for yesterday's lack of comments. I was shooting the race in the morning. Son Andy is in from Chicago for the weekend with his special someone. The three of us were out touring and shooting all afternoon. Early dinner and then a performance at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Debussy's Pelleas et Mellisande. It's a long one and, um, a bit slow moving. Some wit summarized the plot as "nothing happens and then she dies." So, a very full day.
A publicity shot from the latest installment of the Lethal Weapon series? Only if you put saturated fats in that category. These two are chefs from the Lumiere Place casino, one of the sponsors of Parties On The Plaza, flipping the burgers and brats for the event. They got the look down pat. I like the hats. The emblem of the one behind is that of the U.S. Marine Corps and the one in front says Army Retired.