Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"I am going to need hip waders, an animal carrier and a sniper"

Today we shot another picture for that story I am working on . A friend of mine from college (Doug Benedict) helped us with the shoot outside of Philadelophia (and shot the picture above).

We reminisced about school and what every one was up to. Dave Yoder is shooting in Venice. Chien Chi Chang is now a full blown member of Magnum. Last heard Tom Hirshfeld was driving a cement truck in Indianapolis. Dave Adams , the publisher of the college paper where we all worked was found face down in his pool in Bloomington last month. I liked him a lot. When I was at IU I ran into him a gay party. I was working on a story for a journalism class about what it was like to be a homosexual on campus. It is hard to believe that any body cared but that is an indication of the time and how conservative Indiana was. Dave saw me taking pictures and made sure I wasn't there to out him. I ran into him years later on the street and he was out of the closet and doing well.

Doug and I talked about the photo trips we used to go on in school. One year there was a monster storm storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm of the century they called it. Four of us climbed into a car and drove 24 hours straight from Bloomington to Victoria, TX. We all shared a room in a motel and watched as CNN kept cutting to the same street sign being buffeted by the wind. The sign was not 10 miles away and we figured someone was shaking the sign from off camera because it was completely calm for a far as we could see. The storm petered out in Cuba and there was nothing left to do but get drunk and drive back.

I was in Louisiana a week after Katrina. We flew a private plane into new Orleans and were escorted by a local fixer. It was never clear what he did for a living. I think he owned some gas stations and sat on some county commissions. But His most useful asset was a T-shirt. A few months earlier he had done a good deed for a Louisiana State trooper and the trooper had given him a Louisna State Police shirt as thanks. Every night in the days after the hurricane his wife would wash his shirt and every morning he would put it on and it allowed him to drive freely through all of the dozens of road blocks in Southern Louisiana. He would slow down at a check point and be waved through when the cops saw his shirt. That is how we got from the New Orleans Airport to LAke Charles where we had the shoot. I was riding in the back of his pick up truck when our fixer started to try and make a call. He had a half dozen cell phones non of which seemed to work and finally he got the Sat phone to work. I over heard this conversation." Yeah we need to go in to New Orleans tonight to get some judge's cat that is trapped so I am going to need some hip waiters, an animal carrier and a sniper"


Karen said...

Are you sure he didn't say hip waders?

See examples here

ThomasBroening said...

I have disgraphia and I can't spell.