1979 – Florida trip and Favorite ’79 photos
The GF and I flew to Florida’s west coast (Fort Myers?) to visit two of her elderly relatives. The first 4 pictures were taken from a moving boat. That first one needed some really good timing to achieve symmetry (he says, modestly).
A couple of these shots from the boat look a bit oversharpened.
Closeup of pelican’s protective eyelid (closed), known as a nictitating membrane.
I’m especially happy with the sunset shots. When I saw the strolling couple approaching, I moved quickly to include the palm frond in the frame.
In the other sunset shot – which I call “Sunpocket” – I think that’s Sanibel Island in the distance.
On the humorous side………………
From my site:
This was another of those see-something-and-jam-on-the-brakes shots, but more difficult to shoot.
I saw this while driving on a divided highway. I turned around and went back to get the shot, but had no wide-angle lens with me. To back up far enough to get it all in, I had to stand on the highway’s divider! Kinda dangerous, but doesn’t top the night I stood on a metal car with a metal camera and tripod to shoot lightning.
I have NO IDEA what the “Jolly Jumping Grandmothers” thing was about (maybe it’s better that way), but National Lampoon found it interesting enough to publish on their “Readers’ Page”.
My 18-and-a-half-year GRAMMAR school reunion (!?)
I never went to any of my high school reunions. I went to an all-boys Catholic high school – why would I want to go? To see if the guys kept their schoolgirl figures? I didn’t particularly enjoy my time there anyway, so who cares?
I DID, however, enjoy my time at co-ed Holy Trinity Grammar School in Hackensack, NJ, so when I got an out-of-the blue invitation in December 1979 to go to a reunion of the class of 1961 – 18 ½ years later (a nice round number) – I looked forward to it.
Of course, I would be bringing my camera and tripod.
It was held on a Sunday afternoon in the school’s cafeteria. When I got there, I recognized everyone immediately, but I got not a glimmer of recognition, so before I said a word to anyone, I asked loudly for everyone’s attention and announced that I was a photographer – never giving a name – who was hired to photograph the event and that I would be running around taking pictures.
Everyone accepted that, posed willingly and no one suspected a thing.
At some point, I made a second announcement – a two-parter:
1. “Before the afternoon is over, I will need to take a group shot before anyone leaves.”
2. “And by the way…………I was NOT hired to photograph this event. I’m your classmate, Bob Leafe……………or Robert Leafe, if you’re a nun. I guess I changed a little bit.”
They were kind of surprised – especially the women (I got some nice attention after that). A couple of formerly-clique-ish 13 year-olds became very friendly 32 year-olds.
When I graduated HTS, I was 5’2″. When I graduated high school, I was 5’11”. I think I went from the shortest guy in this class to the tallest – at least amongst the guys who showed up.
As the fun wound down, I set up the group shot, using the timer so I could run around and stand in the back (on the far right). Even without my Afro, I’m taller than everyone else.
I even got a date out of the deal…………..that already makes it better than any of my high school reunions could have ever been.
I shot this sharp-dressed man in the annual Ridgefield Park Fourth of July parade. I lived about 3 doors away from it, so how could I not?
I used to shoot for NYC rock powerhouse WNEW-FM, which used to hold annual Bike-a-thons for cerebral palsy in NYC’s Central Park, so I shot while the GF biked.
The first picture shows three of NEW’s DJs: (l-r) Scott Muni, Meg Griffin and Tom Morrera. Tom and I became friends and it was very sad when he passed in 2012.
As the event was winding down, popular DJ Pete Fornatale asked me and the GF if we could give him a ride down to the station so he wouldn’t be late for his show.
He gave us a tour of the studio and I took a picture of him that did NOT turn out well, but I’m including it because I was proud to know him.
Unfortunately, he also died in 2012.
Fortunately, no one died in the wings of the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ, thanks to these helpful signs. That second sign plants a scary visual in the mind.
November 8, 1979: my last day running the physical science labs at the college I worked for…………the last day of using the chemistry degree I put so much effort into getting.
I had shot concerts for the entire 6+ years that I was there and this is when I dumped security and chemicals for full-time passion and music – probably the best decision I ever made.
In the picture, I’m shown at my desk wearing a “Wave” button from Patti Smith’s 1979 “Wave” album, as I waved bye-bye to this aspect of my life.