Monday, January 21, 2013

That Reminds Me

 The National Geographic Magazine's yearly photo contest winners were just announced.

Red Fox going after mouse under ice

Cheetah Mom teaching offspring to jump on cars

GRAND  WINNER: Tiger shaking off water
 What Great Photos!  The National Geographic Magazine is the Brass Ring photographers all over the world try to reach.   22,000 photographers from 150 countries entered the contest this year.

 Every summer when we were growing up the Charlotte News had a photo contest. Anyone could submit  photos and each week a winner would be chosen for THAT week.

At the end of the summer, a grand prize winner would be chosen from among the weekly winners.
I first entered sometime around the 5th grade I believe since everyone who submitted a picture got their name in the paper whether they won or lost. That was all the incentive I needed.

I never won, of course, but my sister did.  With a picture I had taken of her beautiful little girl Karen. She told me she was going to enter one of the pictures and asked me which one and I suggested the one that was the most "artsy/craftsy."  Well, it was that weeks WINNER!

Even though my sister Kathryn got the credit, that little bit of encouragement helped keep me snapping pictures....until...well, I still do.  I've had more hobbies than a Chinese phonebook has Chins but photography has probably stuck with me the longest. I've never gotten tired of it.

In my younger days I dreamed of being a photographer for LIFE magazine, or.....maybe even National Geographic.  Mere pipe dreams.

Until...that day in 1981 when the National Geographic hired me to go to New York and take pictures for an upcoming project.

That's absolutely true and I'm tempted to leave the story right there.

However, if I did, I can see myself having to go on the Oprah Show years from now to level with everyone and clear my conscience.

So now that the statute of limitations has expired, or whatever it does, here's what happened.

I was coaching my youngest son's little league team and one of the mothers happened to work for the National Geographic. She was in charge of producing low budget slide shows that were shown in grammar schools nationwide. She was aware that I traveled to New York fairly regularly and asked if on my next trip, I would take a picture of Teddy Roosevelt's birthplace, which was pretty much in the heart of New York City on 28 and 20th Streets. She was working on a slideshow about him and needed only one more slide to complete the project.
Teddy Roosevelt Birthplace NYC

They were looking for more of a "snapshot" than a "work of art," since it was a mere slide show for grammar school kids.

And it's a good thing, because there wasn't anything I could do to display my inner "artiste" photographing a late 1800 townhouse on a busy, narrow New York City street.

So my photo looked very much like this one...except there were cars parked in front of the house that I couldn't do a darn thing about.

She seemed happy with the results.

And I was happy with the $25 dollar check plus another boring story to add to my collection.


From the Web

You may have seen this, but if not, take a look. It's amazing!


Holly the Cat
It sounds like something out of a children's movie. Holly the cat was vacationing with her owners in Daytona Beach when she got lost. Although her owners searched for her, they couldn't find the four-year-old tortoiseshell. Eventually, they gave up and drove home to West Palm Beach- 200 miles away. That didn't deter Holly, though. Almost two months later, the cat showed up in their neighborhood- staggering, weak, and emaciated, but still alive.

The cat's journey has baffled scientists. How did Holly, a common housecat, navigate her way back home? There have been studies conducted on the migratory nature of birds, turtles, and insects, but no research on the ability of cats to travel long distances. Although there has been documentation of dogs travelling long distances to find their ways back home, these instances are still relatively rare. In addition, scientists have chalked up a dog's sense of navigation to its inheritance of a wolf's ability to navigate.

And Obie sent me a note telling me about a good sameritan friend of his who  helped out a homesick Chicoian recently :

Ed, my friend lives in Destin, Florida and he wrote:

".... I saw a bumper sticker on a parked car that read,

"I miss Chicago ."

So, I broke the window,stole the radio, Slashed two of the tires and left a note that read,

"I hope this helps!"     -OO