Sunday, September 21, 2014


The local stores around here are already jam packed with Halloween candy and stuff; I expect the Christmas merchandise to show up any moment now.

Ever since the early 70's whenever All Hallow's Eve approaches I think of my old friend and co worker at WMAL radio in Washington, John Alexander. John was a newscaster at the station and I was an announcer. It so happened that we worked the same early morning shift every weekend.  John had begun writing a book based on a Halloween show he had produced for WMAL and
John Alexander
asked if I wanted to help illustrate it for him by taking photographs of various "haunted places" in Washington.

He knew of my interest in photography and guessed that I would jump at the chance.  Which I did.

Neither one of us were ever sure the project would see the light of day, much less become the success that it did.  We just thought it was worth doing...and besides, would probably be a lot of fun; which it was.

John's book was published, and the US Park Service sold it in all their National Parks for years, they still might for all I know.

But fun, it was. I still remember fondly those Saturday afternoons clicking pictures of Washington landmarks, both famous and obscure, and visiting just about every old cemetery in D.C.

In those days, the city was not nearly as "up Tight" as it is today.  We couldn't have rummaged through the Washington landmarks today like we did in the early 70s.

It was a different era, although not that long ago.  We had complete and unfettered access to the Capitol where in a lower basement we discovered a bathtub and many forgotten long ago artifacts.

It was at a cemetery in Georgetown that I took the cover photo of the second printing of Johns' Ghost book.  The artwork makes the child's face look "spooky," but in reality the weather made tears simply make it appear very sad.

That photo haunts me to this day. I can think of nothing sadder than the death of a young child, which was oh, so common in the early history of this country.

The inscription on the tombstone is RANDALL.  I tried searching the Internet and discovered that his
Arlington House
father was a Civil War  reporter for a New York newspaper and the family lived in the "Arlington House"  I was unable to find out if  that was the once home of Robert E. Lee, which could have been turned into a hotel of sorts during the war....I have no idea.
Tad Lincoln's Tomb

The Lincoln Chair
Which disappeared shortly after I took
this picture.
As I recall that was the same cemetery that President Lincoln's son Tad, was entombed, and where Lincoln spent many nights sitting with the body, so he wouldn't be alone in that cold dark mausoleum which had been loaned to Lincoln until his son could be buried in Springfield.

The chair (R) inside the tomb where Lincoln spent many nights.

John moved to Charlotte in the 80s and started a video production  company, specialising in medical films. About 10 years ago he and his wife moved to Tennessee. I've lost contact with John, but hope he's doing well. He's a very talented ...and extremely nice ...guy!