"Thank you for kind wishes. Today is my 73rd birthday. It was my first day out after a three-week battle with a flu not covered in the flu shot. My usual shooting partner Peter Spangenberg is out of town with family, so my sweet wife Dolly came along to chaperone and watch for bad guys as I continued my 7x17 photo series in the industrial flats of Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River.
None of the seven items on my “to shoot” list looked right in a glaringly beautiful sunny day. I followed Emmet Gowen’s advice in a recent lecture at Cleveland’s Museum of Art. “Allow yourself to discover and enjoy chance.” As we past and postponed an interesting item on the list, another, maybe better one presented itself.
The Cleveland Marine Fire Department was kind enough to exercise all six water pumps on their fireboat for about an hour in the glinting sunlight against the background of multiple ancient bridges. A new stage of the six-lane bridge construction had been built since I was last here. All these overhead bridges cast wonderful striped and patterned shadows on the piles of construction material. A giant 600 foot Canadian combination cement ship and welded on tug boat had backed three miles up river to it’s cement company and was unloading. It took up half the river width. While it was there a second barge slowly steamed by pushed by a normal tug, leaving maybe seven feet on either side going through the opening. No doubt worried that I missed an image the captain of this last tug and barge combination steamed by again while I was waiting for the first ship to cast off. Two policemen drove up curious about the camera and suggested a site down a driveway where I hadn’t been.
Now comes Dolly’s wonderful birthday dinner and several days of film developing and printing. I hope your day is as enjoyable. "