Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fireman's Farewell for former Fire Chief Linwood Kolb

     This past week I covered the fireman's funeral of former Ridge fire chief Linwood Kolb. With the family's permission I was able to photograph his funeral procession for The Mercury. On a very foggy day fire companies parked trucks and formed ladder arches with a large United States flag tied between them. Everything in the background was enveloped in a gray mist. The snow covering the ground was melting and a light rain fell.
     I had known Chief Kolb from covering news events, vehicle crashes and fires in the Ridge coverage area over the years of my career as a photographer. He had always taken the time to greet me with a hello and would fill me in on some details of what was going on. When I read his obituary I hadn't realized that he had been the fire chief for 30 years. I know its a line used over an over but time does fly.
Funeral procession for former chief Linwood Kolb.
    It was quiet as I waited for the procession that was making their way to the Vincent Mennonite Cemetary. You could hear the sound of the motor of Ridge engine 62-1 before it was visible in that thick fog.
Then the headlights and truck came into view. They slowly passed under the ladder arch and the flag that hung motionless on a calm winter day.     
    That's when I shot the photo that I thought told the story on that day and to pay tribute to a man who volunteered a lot of years to his community.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cruising on Carnival Pride when the Concordia Capsized

Kelli with her daughter Lydia in the pool on the Lido deck.'
My daughter Kelli, her husband Andrew and two kids along with my wife Deb and I sailed on the Carnival Pride from Baltimore to the Bahamas two weeks ago. We were on board the Pride and heading north in the Atlantic Ocean returning to Baltimore when we heard the terrible news of the capsizing of the luxury liner Costa Concordia off the coast of the Island of Giglio. We had friends back home that were watching the news of the capsized vessel and were relieved to find out that it wasn't our ship. People asked what it was like when we heard the news. I can tell you that most of the people in the casino gambling away and the folks in the sports bars watching the NFL games on Saturday Jan. 14th. didn't seem to concerned for their own safety. Our captain did announce a moment of silence that night while we sailed home toward port. We have always felt fairly safe on high seas and have been very fortunate with calm seas when we were on a cruise. We do feel badly for families of those who lost their lives.  For travelers aboard the Concordia to try and evacuate in the dark while the captain was safe on a life boat is unacceptable. When we sailed the last time on a different cruise line we had the mandatory evacuation drill and were required to wear the flotation vest. On this cruise we just had to muster to the deck area where we would be evacuated from the ship and listened to instructions from the bridge. The flotation vests were left in the closets of our cabin. I believe that vests will be worn by the cruisers during the drill in the future. My biggest question and maybe I missed this part of the coverage, whenever you travel through local waters near land there is normally a pilot with knowledge of the channel on board the ship helping to navigate along with the captain and others on the bridge to assist them to open water. Where was the Pilot? Maybe they didn't have one on board. More details will come out over time. On our trip, the crew was friendly and professional and we arrived back an the Port of Baltimore safe and sound.

It's Time for me to start Blogging!

What a view standing at the south rim of the Grand Canyon
   I've been shooting photographs for The Mercury quite a while. And over the years we added color in 1995, a brand new press in Exton in 2002, started shooting videos for the website in 2006. Email, a new twitter site,  and other electronic phones, digital this and that. And now, my new blog site. Editor Nancy March and I have been talking a while on this, so the idea is mostly to show some of my favorite photos from past and present and to talk about what it's like taking the photos. Some picture events have some crazy stories that go along with them and we thought that it's time to share those. Hopefully some of my old friends and people featured in some of the photographs I post will come out of the woodwork and share a note or two with me. I'm looking for some input from anyone out there with interest to photography or the history of the tri-county area or anything in general they want to talk about.   But, being that this is my blog I'm going to do it my way, so I'm also going to add some history of Pottstown photos at times and my favorite photos from trips across the United States, Canada and the islands of the Caribbean. Some will be family photos, see upcoming blog on my favorite photo as a kid with my sister Lisa, brother Gary and me at Strausburg Railroad. The photo attached with this blog was taken by my wife Deb at the edge of the Grand Canyon on the south rim. While it looks like I'm standing at the very edge of the canyon I can tell you that I am no hero and if I lost my balance there was a ledge area behind the rocks I'm on. But its my favorite shot of me over the last several years of traveling. Normally, I'm on the other side of the camera so shots of me are few. I'm looking forward to sharing some of my favorite images and stories. We will see where it goes.