Today's title is a lyric from “Just In Time,” a wonderful Black and Blonde/Off Broadway USA, Cliff Johnson/Mimi Betinis composition that I have embraced since first hearing it. It is indeed that time of the month again, now that I'm back on a “two week cycle” here at MBIP. When I last checked in, I was literally preparing myself emotionally for our daughter's move to college. I had picked up what has become a “traditional transitional” gift of the Dr. Seuss classic, “Oh The Places You'll Go!” when she graduated from high school last May, and instead of giving it to her then, I opted to wait until she left for college.
On the eve of the big move, I decided to sit down and write some of my favorite memories of some of the moments we shared together over the years, memories that I will always keep deep in my heart and soul. I actually dreaded the moment of putting those words on paper as the tears were streaming frown my cheeks, blurring my vision and splattering on the pages. I did find out that I could have turned it into a novel, easily shaming the “wordiness” of Stephen King along the way. I did it, and it proved almost therapeutic in a way. Not so much a closure of some chapters, but for the peace it provided as she begins a new chapter of her life.
That being said, those of you who may know a little about me, know I have been clean and sober 23 years last March. During that time, I have experienced a lot of emotional times and gotten through some difficult ones as well, but I speak of finding that “Peace Within.” To me, those fleeting moments of peace are what it means to be sober over the years. Two years ago, I found that inner peace regularly when I began taking photos. It has almost become an addiction as well, as when I am behind that camera lens, I find that peace. That particular addiction, albeit a much healthier one, needs to be fed as well.
It is what brings me to you today. I recently went to “Jalopy Fest” in Morris, IL, as well as a massive Cruise Night there the following weekend. To me, it was the best of both worlds, as a self proclaimed “gear head” it too provided me that 'escape' of sorts. From old school hot rods and 'rat rods', to the classics equipped with flame throwers belching out napalm-like fireballs from their huge exhaust pipes (always a great deterrent for tail gaters).
One of my favorites was a beautiful 1959 Cadillac shown here in part (note the melted taillight lenses and the “Majestic Incinerator” emblem on the trunk lid). It was my first attempt at photographing fire, and I was quite pleased with the results. The other thing I enjoyed about it, was in that settling, the crowd is literally surrounding those fire breathing monsters. The intense heat and noise is something to truly behold up close and personal, instead of watching it from a grandstand. It also gave me an opportunity to shoot some other unique “subjects” as Dashboard Hula Girls, Shrunken Head Hood Ornaments, and one of my favorites, a “Little Annie Fanny” radiator cap. (Get over it censors, it was a doll-like figure, think “Action Figure with Boobs,” Capisce?).
The Cruise Night provided an amazing turnout of close to 900 cars and trucks covering blocks of the downtown Morris area. There were some fine specmens on hand there as well, from old Gasser street machines, to me finding out what actually happened to “The Wicked Witch Of The East', courtesy of a “slammed to the ground” 1968 Pontiac Catalina convertible. I also experimented a bit with some HDR (high dynamic range) photography of the downtown historic courthouse in Pontiac, IL. The “Vice Squad” photo was taken in the “garage” of the Pontiac-Oakland Museum, also in Pontiac and across the street from that same courthouse. I highly recommend stopping in to visit if traveling down Route 66 through Central Illinois.
Curators and operators Tim and Penny Dye are some of those nicest and most knowledgable “Pontiac People” you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. I will certainly be doing a piece on the museum in a future installment here. In fact, this weekend they are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the GTO with a big turnout of 'Goats' expected. You can bet I will be there, Canon in hands. I am also including a “self portrait” today of the “Addict Behind the Lens.” So just sit back and scroll, I have a college student coming home for the weekend! Time to make a few more memories to hang on to.
P.S. Speaking of memories, with the final TWO episodes of “Breaking Bad” coming up, I will be hanging on to very one of those moments, as the pure genius of creator Vince Gilligan continues to throw us a few curves right up to the final credits. I'm hoping Marty does a piece on it here. “Heisenberg über alles.”