Wednesday, October 14, 2020

A Blast From The Past

 I was interviewed by a journalist named John Strubel in June 2007, just a few years after I retired from The Post and Courier newspaper.

Stumbled across this today and thought I would share. Hey, if you recall reading it back in 2007...I am impressed!

Chuck Boyd stood in a long line. As he waited, he was thinking. The longer he waited, the more devious his thoughts were. Little did he know it would be a defining moment in his life and his career.

After graduating high school in 1957, Boyd having "no desire to go to college," joined the United States Marine Corps during peacetime. In the wake of completing boot camp, Boyd wanted no part of what was coming next: MP School. He was now looking this option straight in the eye.

"They were all set to send me to Military Police school after boot camp but I lied and told them I had been published in LIFE magazine," remembers Boyd.

Straight-faced, Boyd told the Captain, "I'm a nationally published photographer, sir."

He laughs at the memory now. "There were 23 people in front of me, 25 behind me and only one was assigned to the Camp Lejeune Base Photo Lab." That one person was Charleston native Chuck Boyd.

Then he hesitates, considering the decision he made 50 years ago and says in defense, "It wasn't really a lie, it was a premonition because, six years later, I WAS published in LIFE, the full-back page called Miscellany." (He admits in his personal blog. "I would have been a skinny, lousy military cop.")

That is a fact.

In 1962 Boyd landed at the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper as an "inside guy," a photo lab technician, but within a year, he was covering and photographing events.

In 1964, he stumbled on an interesting aerial photo assignment.

"We were flying back from the beach where we had been looking down on surfers," remembers Boyd, and I glanced down and did a double-take because there was a word carved in the ground that was large enough I could see it from the air. I hefted my Speed Graphic camera and shot two pictures as we passed over it.

QUIET. That was the word carved in the ground below me.

Back at the paper, I offered it to the photo editor and he said "Nah, we don't want that." So, as all we photographers were doing back then, we were calling TIME and LIFE," remembers Boyd. "They said send us a copy and I did. Then they called back, not mailing a written rejection slip,  and they said they need a caption! I said, "Wow, this sounds good!"

Boyd jumped in his Triumph TR3 and tried to find the site of where the word was carved. "I could not find the damn thing and had to rent a plane for $90. We circled around and I spotted it again, noting several landmarks. When we landed, I drove to the site and knocked on the man's door.."

"He asked how I found it and said I was the first to ask about it. He explained his orchard is near the end of the runway at Miramar NAS in San Diego and he was tired of the jets making noise and rattling everything in his house. 

He decided to send a message to Mirmar by plowing the word QUIET in his field. He added, he never measured it out or anything, he just eyeballed it," added Boyd.

"I think now they use it as a target to kick in the afterburners and the sound is worse, added the farmer.

Boyd informed the Tribune editors that photo was wanted by LIFE magazine and suddenly the throwaway image had a new value.

His 8-year run with the Union-Tribune placed Boyd - and his trusty camera - alongside people and in places he never imagined possible when he first started snapping family photos as a kid.

Boyd photographed President John F. Kennedy, the Beatles, Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Raquel Welch, Liberace, Lyndon B. name it, if it was in San Diego in the 1960s, Boyd most likely photographed it.

He actually photographed Kennedy twice, first as a University of San Diego student photographer in 1960 and again in 1963 with the Union-Tribune.

In 1960 then Senator Kennedy campaigned for President in downtown San Diego. "I worked my way through the crowd, showed my USD ID, said I was the official photographer from the school, and asked a cop on the platform if I could come up there? Moments later I was up there on the stage with him."

Boyd paused one photo showing Kennedy at the microphone, on the computer monitor. He said "innocent times."

Boyd photographed Kennedy again in 1963 when the President received an honorary degree at San Diego State University, just five months before he traveled to Dallas.

The newspaper work was exciting and always new. Every day was another location, another subject. His most memorable assignment did not involve a celebrity, remembered Boyd. "It sounds really weird but a 4-day search for a missing boy in the desert had a happy ending! He was found alive, healthy and I was in the front row taking pictures of him and his smiling face, on the stretcher." 

After leaving the newspaper in 1969, Boyd caught on as a researcher for CBS-TV National news and was assigned to cover the Charles Manson trial in Los Angeles.

"For four months I was seated in the media front row and never wanted to make eye contact with Charlie. I was about 15-feet from him and he looked out in the courtroom crowd a lot. He was just eerie."

During his coverage for CBS, Boyd had the unenviable of seeing Manson at his worst. Boyd returned from lunch early one afternoon, making his way past the Manson Family girls parading and chanting at the entrance.

"The trial had already started and I was the only newsman back in the courtroom.

I was watching Charlie in his usual rubber shower shoes and he did something different. He kicked off the shoes and tucked one leg under his butt. Then he got his other leg under him so he was crouched sitting on his feet in the chair.

Before anyone knew it, he leaped across the defense table toward the judge with a pencil grasped in his right hand, shouting some gibberish!

"I made the mistake of standing and stepping into the aisle and was knocked aside as bailiffs rushed forward, one tackling Manson in the air, smashing him to the ground, then they hauled him out of the courtroom."

This all started when Boyd started taking family photos as a kid. Using a Kodak DuaflexII camera, Chuck snapped pictures of Mom, Dad, and his two brothers. He still has that late 50s Kodak camera.

"You'd expose a 12-shot roll of film. bring it to Walgreens and come back a week later to pick up the prints.," Boyd remembers, thinking of how far technology has advanced since his earliest photography efforts.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Fact, Fiction and inbetween...

Lots of serious discussion going on about voting in the upcoming election.

First, mainly the military who were out-of-state were able to use an absentee ballot. Makes sense, they probably would have preferred to be HERE I am sure. 

Then, with pandemic fears of infecting each other at the polls, absentee ballots could be sent out to people meeting certain guidelines, and, as I am over 65 years old, I could get one.

Wisdom then decreed that EVERYONE could get a safe-at-home voting process mail-in ballot. OK, made it easy-peasy to vote!  And people started sending them in.

OOPS, not so fast. First we were told someone had to witness us actually signing the ballot. Hmm, my bank lobby is closed so can't go there to seek a notary public to officially be my witness. But, I have a cousin who has the stamp and is licensed as a Notary.

Then we were told anybody could be a witness but a witness was no longer required for our ballot. YAY!
BUT, then the witness requirement came back as people were mailing in votes.

I received my absentee ballot but I waited to see if things would flip-flop again. The Berkeley County voting officials I called said after October 17, I could take my ballot to the Hanahan Library, have someone there witness my signing and then I deposit it in an official ballot collection box!

Fears of mail tampering also would be eliminated so my vote would be valid and counted.

Just like in a true democracy.

Growing up here in Charleston, I often heard about our two rivers coming together to form the Atlantic Ocean. 

Hmm, must be true, I just saw it illustrated on the Internet...

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

"Wait for a break in traffic..."

A few years ago, I bought a newer version of a Canon P/S (a camera called a Pont and Shoot) that was light, compact, and small enough to slip into your shirt pocket.

A buddy showed me how to attach a circular holder on the front of my new Canon S90 so I could experiment using various lens filters.

A yellow filter makes a blue sky darker and clouds stand out more. A Polaroid one lessens glare as you rotate it, say reflections on the water.
The Neutral Density (ND) filter comes in a wide range of degrees of darkness, sort of like putting sunglasses on the camera.

I have used all of these but the most fun was attaching a very dark ND filter so I could slow down the shutter speed to several seconds and take sharp photos on a very bright sunny day.

Then I positioned my camera on a sturdy tripod and looked down on a typical busy San Diego Freeway from atop the Cabrillo Bridge leading into the beautiful Balboa Park.

Cars are speeding along, almost bumper to bumper below me, BUT the camera's slow shutter speed only captures something that stays still for several seconds.

A shorter exposure would show blurred images but this filter and shutter speed setting presents a completely empty roadway!

In the middle of the day, on a wide-open, multi-laned California freeway ..... zero cars. An impossible scene., but, there's the photo.

Closer to home, with less ND filter and slightly faster settings, I merely slowed down the waves to show the smooth ebb and flow of the white water sloshing and retreating on the rocks, looking out at the iconic Morris Island lighthouse at Charleston's Folly Beach in South Carolina, my hometown.

Hey, the camera doesn't lie but the truth can be altered!

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Friday, September 18, 2020

Grass spreads at its own pace...

If the grass in my yard grew as fast as my hair, the bare spots would be covered by now!

But, I still am digging up patches of grass - roots, dirt and all - and re-planting them where I want grass. 

I was hoping the tendrils that reach out would speed things along, but Mother Nature sets her own pace. I am patient though and will continue to do plug-ins for a while longer.

***Just found out that, after 14 years of using Blogger for my 1100 postings, It has cancelled the "old way" and either they will have a new layout or I will have to switch..probably to Word Press. 

Unable to easily create new postings, fine tune my blog, go back and correct things,  so am VERY glad I have ALL of my blogs in 6 volumes, hardcover, expertly created by Blog2Print. Yay!

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Boy, it's another hot one!

Just finished my hour on the machines downstairs. I'll rest a bit until Friday...3 exercise sessions per week on M/W/F.

I have 3 oscillating fans and a huge shop fan moving a LOT of warm air. About 80+ degrees downstairs so I also sweat off weight.

My dad never installed AC even after he doubled the size of the house.  

But, he also never saw the upstairs expansion finished out either. 

Years before, during a visit up from Tallahassee, I put a window unit in the kitchen and another one in their bedroom.

Ornery cuss that he was, rather than toss and turn and complain about "being cold," he started sleeping in the second bedroom! Mom had no comments on that change!

When he went into a nursing home, Mom asked if I would move in as her roommate because she did not want to stay there alone.
I agreed and one of the first things we did was split the cost of installing central HVAC. 

We also had a contractor finish my side of the house into a neat bachelor pad. 

We were roommates for 10 years before she went into the same nursing home where she used to visit dad.

In her will, she left me the house, after informing my two brothers of her intention. They were in Florida and Oklahoma and quickly agreed I was here and able to help her stay in her home for a decade.

I had noticed she had a chair and a small table on the landing of the stairs outside the kitchen. 

She liked to relax out there when it wasn't too hot.

Hey, now there were TWO of us to sit out there so I had the stairs removed, a deck built, and had ceilings fans installed to cool her.

She loved the deck and would have REALLY enjoyed the added screen porch enclosure.

No bugs.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Making choices during pandemic...

Feeling better now that the big box stores are clamping down on enforcing the Wear A Mask rules.

Still feeling more comfortable at COSTCO than at Sam's Club.

Uh, Wal-Mart...not so much.

I am older, have been hunkering down at home for MONTHS but have to venture out now that I have been emptying my freezer. Need to refill it a bit

I DID pause a moment just to make sure I saw the price correctly for two  New York steaks at COSTCO...$130!

Yeah, I had heard of expensive "Kobe Beef" made from pampered grass-fed critters but, never been to Japan so had not tasted that treat. Still have not!

I opened the freezer door, stuck in my phone cam and snapped a shot before my lens fogged.

Coming back to my senses, I bought TWO pepperoni pizzas for $12 and the first one looked great, was tasty and very affordable. The second one has found a place in my freezer.

Oh, here's an update on the fine screen porch enclosure I had assembled on part of the deck on the back of my house.

I enjoy sitting out there, bug-free, reading or just nodding off beneath the cooling ceiling fan.

The cat loves to be "outside" too. after almost a decade of being an inside cat.

Now she goes to the door first thing in the morning, sits there staring at the closed French door.

I am doing other things but eventually, I see here stationed there, give in and crack open the door.

She does NOT contribute to the cost of air conditioning but my feline friend provides me company in these lonely days, weeks, and months of coping safely with Covid-19.

She's a cool cat!

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Monday, August 10, 2020

Same photo....50 years later.

I sent this photo story to a newsletter I receive every day from San Diego.

The editor, Jack Reber, does a fine job of cajoling us former editorial employees of the Union-Tribune metro newspapers to send in articles of interest, asides, whatever-happened-to, and remember-when memories to share with about 500 of us.

CHUCK BOYD writes:
I'm not saying I have HUGE photo files but I do have some classics that never grow old.
Some are worth being printed in a newspaper...twice. This time it was more than 50 years later.

In the 1960s, we staff photographers at the Union-Tribune were encouraged to keep an eye out for some good caption-only photos. 

Editors could drop them in to fill spaces, families were impressed and pleased when their children were the subjects and it was particularly special when the children pictured were your own!

I know one year Phil McMahan and I worked on a Halloween picture of our two young boys with scary masks taped to a large mirror. 

When the boys turned and saw themselves reflected as if they were wearing the, click, we had a shot the editors could run in October!
Fellow staffer C.R. Learn brought his young daughter to meet us and our son Chris, ready for a Valentine's Day photo in Balboa Park on a quiet Sunday morning. 

His young daughter was posed holding a tiny bow up in the air - a "Cupid's Arrow" had been stuck into a large red cardboard heart held by my 3-year old son - and the final picture showed her hugging a protesting youngster. 

Bull's Eye. Those ran as a 3-photo combo.

Now, more than half a century later, my photo of my son and seven neighborhood kids splashing in a small inflatable pool for a hot weather" photo, appeared in a newspaper again.

My hometown paper, The Post and Courier, runs a Sunday feature photo of a given topic, and this week it was “Play.”

I recalled the cute summertime photo that ran in San Diego all those years ago and thought it presented the "Play" topic well. I submitted it last week and the editors agreed.
I sent a clipping to my son and to some local members of a photo group I founded here about 8 years ago.

My son knows I have others of him that appeared in the 1960s San Diego papers.
          REBER: I love this photo, and it reinforces what I’ve always said: The best photogs do a lot of their work before they even pick up the camera. Getting seven kids in one small pool and keeping them there for a photo is an accomplishment.

(The caption I added this time was "One kid brought a face mask. I might have misstated how large a pool it was!")

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FINALLY, a safe haircut!!

So I had my last regular (every5-6 weeks) haircut in Early February.. just before COVID-19 became an everyday reality in our lives.

Man, that was a long time ago.

I am doing my part to flatten the curve. More than likely, saving lives!

Wearing my mask, doing social distancing, and washing my hands or reaching for my handy small bottle of Purell.

Have not gone out much, mainly nearby Food Lion for groceries, I miss indoor music venues, restaurants and visiting our amazing varieties of Charleston's terrific Craft beer breweries.

My timing actually was very good as everything shut down and people hunkered down at home.

 I moved forward with my plan to add a screened porch addition to a part of the 35-foot long deck across the back of my house.

In addition to having a delightful place to sit outside on a balmy evening (with NO bugs), my 8-year old INSIDE cat Wallis now can wander around - almost outside - watching squirrels scampering and react to birds singing to her.

The virus shutdowns encouraged me to replace the treadmill downstairs in my mini-gym.

I have a small tv monitor showing ROKU entertainment as I do my 30- minutes treading.

Then some weights activity, and finally, on my ExerCycle for 10 minutes. Whew. Sweaty.
But feels so GOOD!

I wanted to share my elation with having my hair cut at a nearby salon that followed all the Virus mandates!

I was comfortable that virus safety rules and regulations were observed with both the cutter and the cuttee (me) wearing masks in a client-restricted and controlled sterile setting.

The owner was a neighbor and I had felt sorry she had to shut down for a LONG time before the OK was given to re-open with certain safety restrictions.

I hesitated for a while and watched daily reports on coronavirus activity that were charted daily.

She is on North Rhett and I suggest you check out the fine service - and style - she offers at her small Revamp Salon shop.

I used to go to a national chain every 5-6 weeks or so to keep my hair neat and short.

Casting Directors seemed to like my neatly-trimmed white beard.

I was chosen for many Extra roles/Background actor times on set at various tv show shooting here and in movies down in Savannah.

BUT, it's a hiatus on The Righteous Gemstones, Season 2, on HBO, so I opted to shave my face.

Nothing was shooting on any sound stages.

Easy to grow another beard when casting activity starts up again.

Of course, I took out my Pixel 3XL phone- cam to capture this months-long awaited tonsure-cutting adventure.

I joked that they might want to use my white hair clumps on my lap and all over the floor to make a fluffy stuffed pillow.

The 4-room salon had a waiting area for me to sit and browse a book on The Beatles. Saw a shot of them in 1964 on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Always interested in photos of the Beatles and this one covered the early years quite well.

I had attended a Beatle concert in San Diego in 1964 and saw Paul McCartney a few times.
Then I was taken alone into the hair shampoo station and, finally into the 2-chair styling room when the other chair emptied.

Everything was cleaned and I settled in for my long-awaited trim.

Snip, snip it all was done with scissors.

Oh, it felt good to be neat and tidy again!

I have been sending out photos as my hirsute situation slowly grew worse and worse.

I plan to send these out to family and friends to show I was once again the face they remembered before I grew the beard

And fought the virus by staying safely at home.

Now, I just need a cold beer!

(Hey, you know the drill on the photos and links to see more details.)

Thanks for stopping by.  Please come by again.

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Sunday, August 02, 2020

Great Company and OUTDOOR fresh air...

 A dear friend and I have just had a second meal together during the pandemic.

We agreed on a time and place (her house in West Ashley) and I arrived on time with a bottle of white wine.

Again, we sat outside on her cozy patio, seated at least 6-feet apart on a cool Saturday afternoon.

Joan had set up a large fan,  directed toward me, and a smaller "personal" USB fan covering her end of the table.

Apart, we removed our masks and felt safe conversing as we dug into the Philly Cheesesteak hoagies that had been delivered to her front door just after I arrived.

Oh, great, she had them add french fries too!

When we dined like this before, I did not take any photos of the very large brown bear in her back yard,

She had just painted it and was going to get some blue paint to clean up the base. I asked about the glaucoma-white eyes and she said some of the blue paint would add back the missing pupils!

This is her largest "guest mascot" but she reminded me she has a full-size mermaid in her house.

Trying to figure the "size" of a mythical figure, I let that comment stand.

Joan added there was a real wooden Cigar Store Indian in her garage breezeway.

This fun friend likes her 2nd new house after leaving a longtime residence on the peninsula.

The empty discarded beer cans and finding her driveway often blocked were some of the downsides she said of living in the Historic District.

A very nice backyard here was a great setting for our outside visit and meal.

I commented on the cute storage shed she had a local craftsman make. The added stain glass window at the top utilized another of her varied keepsakes.

Joan and I were "fellow bloggers" for a few years after I started but the sparse fans of my efforts were minor compared to her huge audience!

Lately, she has found that her posting on Facebook boosts her already gigantic gang of followers to dizzying proportions!

I always learn new things from her so I will explore her suggestions on how to reach more people with the 7 or 8 postings a month that I write and place online.

I said I had just ordered my 2018-2020 postings to be Volume 6 of the series I started with Blog2Print bound books quite a few years ago. Joan laughed and said she had too many to even consider doing that...but she did jot down the online link.

I drove home, very pleased to have spent some relaxing time with Joan again.

During this pandemic, she and I have also shared a meal at my house, sitting socially-distanced, on my new screened porch addition to my deck.

Isolation is not that bad when you can share it with a delightful, interesting friend.

My cat liked her too.  (You know how I do on the photos and links for more details.)

And, please, wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing!

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Friday, July 31, 2020

Oh, shipping and handling fees....

Today I received a vague email that THE ITEM I had ordered  MIGHT be delayed because of the Covid-19 situation. It neglected to say WHAT item I had ordered, when and from whom?
So I answered that, while I appreciate that happens,  I doubt they are the only company undergoing these stressful times. I added if they had mentioned what product was in Limbo somewhere  (maybe overseas?), it would help lessen my concern that whatever it is had been lost...or stolen from me by Porch Pirates. 
A detailed response showed me that maybe S/H added costs are not just a simple greedy ploy to get more money from buyers. Here is what I was told:

Estimated date of arrival at the post office

Today, 31 Jul 2020 - 31 Jul 2020, about 1 days 
The forecast is not 100% certain, and is based on 250 packages 
delivered in the last 60 days

  • 31 Jul 2020
    • 30 JUL 2020 08:48
      Delivered by Shipping Partner to USPSNORTH CHARLESTON, SC 29406

    Arrived Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting Item. Shipping Partner:  PITNEY BOWES. Your item arrived at a shipping partner facility at 11:29 pm on July 30, 2020 in ATLANTA, GA 30349. This does not indicate receipt by the USPS or the actual mailing date.ATLANTA, GA 30349

  • 30 Jul 202022:29
    In transitATLANTA, GA 30349-3623

  • 23 Jul 202003:40
    Delivered to FDR facilityATLANTA, GA 30349

  • 22 Jul 202013:37
    Departed Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting Item. Shipping Partner:  PITNEY BOWESMONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ 08831

  • 22 Jul 202013:22
    Arrived Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting Item. Shipping Partner:  PITNEY BOWESMONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ 08831

  • 22 Jul 202012:37
    In transitMonroe Township, NJ 08831

  • 22 Jul 202012:22
    Enroute ProcessedMonroe Township, NJ 08831

  • 22 Jul 202011:47
    Enroute ArrivedMonroe Township, NJ 08831

  • 22 Jul 202005:37
    Your item departed a shipping partner facility at 1:37 pm on July 22, 2020 in MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ 08831. This does not indicate receipt by the USPS or the actual mailing date.

  • 22 Jul 202005:22
    Arrived Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting Item, July 22, 2020, 1:22 pm, MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ 08831

  • 17 Jul 202001:44
    Pre-Shipment Info Sent to USPS, USPS Awaiting ItemCHARLESTON, SC 29406

  • 16 Jul 202018:19
    Arrived Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting Item. Shipping Partner:  PITNEY BOWESMONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ 08831

  • 16 Jul 202017:19
    Arrived at Shipping FacilityMonroe Township, NJ 08831

  • 16 Jul 202010:19
    Your item arrived at a shipping partner facility at 6:19 pm on July 16, 2020 in MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ 08831. This does not indicate receipt by the USPS or the actual mailing date.

  • 16 Jul 202010:19
    Arrived Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting Item, July 16, 2020, 6:19 pm, MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ 08831

  • 16 Jul 202007:42
    JFK-NEW YORK Arrive at destination airport

  • 12 Jul 202001:35
    Assigned destination country post tracking number 4202941092748927005303000024749861

  • 11 Jul 202023:35
    Departed from Yanwen Facility

  • 10 Jul 202023:57
    Electronic Shipping Info ReceivedJamaica, NY 11434

  • 10 Jul 202018:32
    Process completed in Yanwen Facility

  • 10 Jul 202016:57
    We have been notified that an order has been received by the merchant for your item at 12:57 am on July 11, 2020. This does not indicate receipt by the USPS or the actual mailing date.

  • 10 Jul 202016:57
    Merchant Order Receipt Notification, USPS Awaiting Item, July 11, 2020, 12:57 am

  • 10 Jul 202015:31
    Picked up

  • 10 Jul 202012:30
    Label Created

  • 10 Jul 202010:30
    Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item

  • 10 Jul 202005:30
    Shipping Label Created , USPS Awaiting Item00000

  • 10 Jul 202002:30
    Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item, July 10, 2020, 10:30 am
  • So, I think it is at the Post Office in North Charleston as of right now. The photo I included is NOT the package I am awaiting...this was a shipment of beers I received last week.

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