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Chris Jumping

Chris Jumping (1978)

Fall 1978 Bethany Beach, DE


By Special Request (and, therefore, in honor of [ profile] new_brunette), I am putting in my entry to continue the jumping teenaged male photos started by today's entry by [ profile] ruralrob and then continued by [ profile] nalsa.  (Hat's off to Rob for posting one of his best images ever.  The last one in the series at his lj is just incredible)

Anyway, over at [ profile] new_brunette's lj I made the following comment:
Years ago -- and I do mean years ago -- I was at the beach with a youth group retreat and one of the guys in the group looked over the edge of the boardwalk. It was a good 15'-20' down to the sand below. After finding no one below he backed up several paces, ran at the railing and jumped!

I was just amazed! I pulled out my camera (my trusty Fuji ST-605 at the time) and took several pictures of him jumping. (One of them even got published in the youth group's sponsor's newsletter)

Then I tried it. It was an amazing feeling, shedding my inhibitions and doing something I never would have considered doing otherwise. I barely thought about the possiblity of not clearing the railing, catching my foot and tumbling down into the sand face, arm or other flailing body part first. Never thought about landing wrong or how my back would take the impact.

A few years later I was back at that same beach and looked up at the boardwalk from the sand and wondered how in the world I ever managed to do such a thing. I must have been absolutely out of my mind.

Either that, or young.
What I didn't write at the time was that for a while I had tried pretty well to convince myself that I didn't make the jump.  That I didn't repeatedly make those jumps.  It wasn't that I was afraid of trying it again, it was that a part of me was trying to convince myself that I'd never been that daring and adventurous before and that there wasn't any place for that in my life now. 

Looking at Rob's image today reminded me that once I was that young, that agile and that able to jump over obstacles, making a leap of faith into the air with the ground well beyond a safe distance beneath my feet.

It's a very good, very empowering thing to remember.

The image published, along with two others, resides just a clicky-thing away... )
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Stephe in Color

August 1978 Bethany Beach, DE


My father emailed me a few weeks ago and wrote:
"We finally cleaned out the basement.  We went through all your boxes from Conn.  Value Village and the trash people got most of the goodies.  I still have two heavy boxes of items which you may want to look through.  I will get around to sending them to you one of these days. "
My initial reaction was, if I've lived without whatever-it-is for the past 15+ years I can probably still live without it.

Still, I kept quiet and decided I was kind of interested in what the mystery boxes might contain.

The first box arrived late last week. There were two pages taken out of the old family photo albums that had pictures from my tenth birthday that had David ("The Axeman") in them. There were only two good pictures of him, but they'll be scanned and sent to his family along with some memories about him that I've been planning on writing for a while.

There were also a collection of songbooks from when I was first learning to play the guitar. (The bulk of the weight in the box)

And then, at the bottom, were a handful of photographs that I'd printed back in high school. Beneath them the bottom of the box was filled with small containers of slides from some summer camps that I'd gone to in the late 70s.

Back in the late 70s I bought a Fuji ST-605, my first SLR and a great, albeit simple, camera. Manual focus, there was a button I pressed to get an internal light meter reading and I shot slides because they were cheaper than film to process. I took pictures like crazy, mostly informal portraits, until I heard a professional photographer say that he was lucky if he got one good shot out of an entire roll of film. I couldn't afford that kind of failure rate and slowly gave it up.

The camera was stolen years later. I didn't bother replacing it until we needed a decent camera for the jewelry business. By then digital had come around and one good shot out of a "roll" was extremely affordable.

From time to time I'm going to be horribly self-indulgent here and post some of those 25+ year old pictures. (Now I just need to find a decent slide scanner)

These first two pictures are of my friend Stephe. Back in the day Stephe was a wild thinker/schemer/planner who, amongst other things, ran for DC City Council, worked with me at The Kite Site in Georgetown and went off to NYC to The New School and was along for the famous Spanish Harlem ride (although, by his own account, he barely remembers it).

Today Stephe is a husband, father of two and an assistant professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. He's also been a profilic writer on technology subjects and is the creative force behind the radio show "What the Tech!" (Mentioned here despite the fact that I'm no longer asked to do technology reviews for them)

He's also been a great friend for many, many years.


Stephe in B&W

Spring, 1978(?)


And Stephe today, from his RIT page:



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