Susan Feinman Houghton was celebrated by several family and friends who congratulated her on her amazing accomplishment of receiving her PhD from The Brandeis Heller School for Social Policy and Management. This was an amazing day full of joy and inspiration. Also receiving degrees were students from over 70 countries and some of the stories told as part of the festivities were tremendous. These are photos span 24 hours and include many family images.
Here are two men that I have thanked many times over the years, but they still deserve many more thanks. I think it is safe to say they saved my life. I am not sure if they realized it at the time, but my life and my family was upside down, sinking fast. I was a resilient kid, but still could have easily slipped off the face of the earth. I met Mr Frank Pagnotta (on the left) when I was in the seventh grade. He was a strong, firm disciplinarian, expected your best, and was a fabulous music teacher. From eight grade until graduation, I worked for him in the band room, cleaning and organizing. I had keys to the school and practiced my tuba til very late in the evening, being the only one in the school. The band room was my place, my sanctuary. If it weren’t for music I never would have made it through high school. Mr Pagnotta would bring me in leftovers from the previous night and I must say his wonderful wife Marilyn was quite the cook, specializing in Italian. His many timely gestures of kindness towards me and my family was so far beyond his duties of a music teacher. His lessons of music, sensitivity, and life are still ever-present with me on my journey today. On the right is Richard Lundgren, my photography teacher. Quiet, patient, brilliant. With me, he had to be! He taught me darkroom, and the basics of the camera, F stops and shutter speed, and composition. But more importantly, he set me on a course that has brought me so much peace and happiness. He made photography amazing to me. Walking the streets with a camera in my hand is still my way to meditate. It is my way of seeing the world and meeting people. I took this photograph last month when they showed up at the same time to my recent exhibition. This is a very unusual photograph as I have never seen my two favorite teachers in the same place at the same time. I had another opportunity to thank them again.
I was invited to photograph “Tales and Ales,” an evening at Swett’s Tavern in historic Newbury, Mass. This was an evening of 17th century fun, particularly if you like lots of laughter from readings of scandalous stories from real court records from the past. It’s educational, hilarious, and memorable. And, guests get the royal treatment with the world’s very best ale from Ipswich Ale, a fabulous catered meal, and music from local group “O’Carolan Etcetera.” Hosted by Bethany Groff from Historic New England, presented two weekends a year, every evening is sold out well in advance. Here I present some portraits and fun photos from the evening.
This was Julia’s first lesson with a “real” camera, talking about F stops, shutter speeds, and composition here! She has a great art background for a 16 year old, and you can see here, she has a natural eye. We found some wonderful serendipity, as it was raining hard and we had to change plans. So we ended up in a beautiful church, my favorite restaurant, and my favorite farm.
The House of Blues was THE place tonight as Needtobreathe packed the place and gave everything they had for 2 hours. Based in South Carolina, led by brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart on guitar and vocals and Seth Bolt on bass, it was clear to see why this band has such a loyal following.
I invited myself, as I have a way of doing, to take a few snaps of Clarissa before she departed for the Newburyport High School Junior Prom. It was really fun to see a really nice bunch of kids having so much fun with each other. And, to see Clarissa, so beautiful and so poised, an elegant young woman. I was so happy for both Clarissa and her “great” aunt Debbie. This beautiful day was so precious. I was so glad I was there! Here I present 23 photos of Clarissa with some of her friends…
I was honored to be the photographer along with my fabulous assistant Juliet Truesdale at Meaghan and Jeff’s wedding. Meaghan was THE calmest, most gracious bride I have ever photographed. It was classy, spiritual, thoughtful, and centered around their beautiful child Jake. Here I present 24 images from this beautiful evening.
I grew up in Lynn, Mass, about 15 miles north of Boston. But I have always loved going into “town.” I was a paperboy when I was 9 years old and earned enough monet to take myself into Boston on Saturdays to see the Red Sox. Fifty cents round trip on the bus to Wonderland, fifty cents roundtrip on the subway to Kenmore, and $1 for a bleacher seat. Damn, I guess that makes me old! I sold the Record American for 8 cents. Yes, 8 cents. My profit was a half of a cent per paper. I always loved Boston. It was so big, so busy, always something new to see. I still feel that way. One of my very favorite things in the whole wide world to do is go to Boston, walk for hours aimlessly with a camera in my hand, grazing my way across the city. I usually park on Newbury St, go up to Berklee, back down Boylston St, through the Boston Public Library, Copley, stop at the bridge at the Public Garden, then reload with coffee at The Wired Puppy. Then I find a church. I am not religious but I do love churches. Sometimes I get lucky and take photos in a church while the organist is working on a piece. Can’t get enough music. That’s why I love Berklee College of Music. If you love music, there is never a reason to be bored in Boston as there is something beautiful playing everyday somewhere in Boston, usually at Berklee.
The tragic events of Boston made me think a lot about the city and what it has given me. So much fun, so much beauty, so many great memories, many of which I have included here. I have many wonderful memories of the Boston Marathon, starting around 1972 when a bunch of friends would go to the Sox game in the morning and watch the runners in Kenmore Square when the game got out. I ran the marathon in 1983 with a time of 2:52. I must say, I have thought deeply about how much I do love Boston since the bombings. I am proud to say that I am from here. The stories of healing have been profoundly inspiring to me.
But, of course, it is the people that make up the city. Here I present some of my favorite Boston photographs, including some of Boston’s greatest healers. When I think about my times in Boston, these are the moments that are most precious to me. I hope these bring a smile, if even for a moment…
Matt Patterson’s story: http://www.itemlive.com/articles/2013/04/24/news/news81.txt
I had the honor of photographing Aino and Vern’s 60th wedding anniversary party, having been invited by their daughter and my longtime friend Donna Dugas. It was a perfect day for this surprise party, filled with heartfelt sentiments and thank you’s from all the guests who were so grateful to be present. It was very clear that Aino and Vern were genuinely touched by having so many longtime friends present, including many from the original wedding party from April 19, 1953. I would like to that all the guests for making my job easy by being so gracious!
Hot Club of Cowtown rambled into the Me and Thee Coffeehouse in Marblehead, Mass last night and gave an unforgettable performance. The sold out crowd was engaged from beginning to end, and I think the band broke the Marblehead curfew by about 30 minutes! Led by fiddler Elana James on fiddle and vocals, this band is in the Texas Swing Hall of Fame and it is clear to see why. With Jake Erwin on bass and Whit Smith on guitar, their incredible musicianship, comradery, and technical proficiency was superb. But beyond that, it was their genuine joy of the music and love of performing that was so mesmerizing. I would travel to their home base of Austin, Texas just to see them. Here are a few of my images from the night.