Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dance, Dance, Dance the Night Away

Another year of dance classes for my daughter, and another 3 hour dance recital.  Whew!!  That's alot of dancing.  I got tired just sitting and watching.  It was a great event, though.  And I must add, my daughter was flawless on stage. She had the moves and she also sported the biggest smile of all during her performance.  Below are some pics that show her in action, another that shows a not-so- talented group of performers, and one of the few family pics that we ever seem to get.  A fun night.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

This isn't Walton's Mountain

Last night was a special night in my daughter's world.  She attended her 8th grade dance.  I guess these days, a big gala like the one she attended is pretty commonplace.  Since I've been on vacation this last week, due to the beautiful climate I live in, I was able to spend much time on catching up on "The Waltons" reruns (It appears May is a great time to run Waltons marathons since two channels were doing so).  And, as I'm sure many others agree, if you start watching the Waltons, you just can't stop till all episodes are run.  One of the episodes was about JohnBoy attending a school dance.  It was held in a library, cost a quarter to attend, had chaperones where not one could have been less than 80 years old, and served lemonade.  All the girls were on one side and all the boys were on the other.  Once in a while, a young man would approach a young lady and ask her to dance, in which case, she would either accept or decline(usually accept), and the two would proceed to the dance floor where they were closely monitored to make sure the appropriate distance was kept between "body parts",In other words, only hands could touch. The girls were all dressed in what was probably the one dress they had, the one for church.  And the boys, well, they wore the one suit coat they had that they wore to church, over their blue jeans and suspenders. Ahhhhh, a much simpler time.
I remember the one dance I attended in grade school.  It was held in a classmates unfinished basement. There was no charge to attend, lemonade and/or soft drinks were served as well as, I'm sure, chips and the sort. The dress code, I believe, was casual: Jeans and T-shirt.  And, if I remember right, all the girls were on one side of the basement, while the boys found an old motorbike in the garage, and were all trying to figure out how to get it to run. Chaperones? I think the host parents got out when they could because I don't remember any on the premise. Good times, good times.
These days, it's a little different.  As being the parent of a 14 year old girl I have learned, there is much to do before the big night.  First, shop.  Yes, you must have that brand new dress, shoes, and other accoutrements.  Then, get the nails done.  What done is I'm not really sure, but they must be done.  Then, hair.  Cutting, styling, coloring, curling.  Whatever getting your hair done means, once again, I'm not sure.  But, it does entail the above. And, of course, you have the pre-dance get together at a girlfriends house.  While this was supposed to involve no parents, besides the host parents, after much discussion, I was given special dispensation to at least get a few pictures.  Yes, I felt special.
The theme of the dance was "Hollywood". A full fledged red carpet event complete with limo parked out front so the attendees could get a picture of themselves exiting the limo for the grand event.  Inside the dance venue(my daughters school), you felt like you were walking into an after party for the Oscars. Red carpet, taffeta up and down the walls with strings of white Christmas lights brightening the scene, classic scene of movies on the walls, DJ's ready to play the hippest new music(I think Foghat's Slow Ride was a favorite at my aforementioned dance), and, some things don't change, lemonade.  And, of course, there were boys.  I had mentioned to my wife earlier in the day, "I wonder if any boys will show up for this event?".  Low and behold, there was a stunning number of handsomely dressed guys there.  Now, when I say handsomely dressed, I don't mean how handsomely we used to dress, the jeans and T-shirt thing.  I mean, bright colors, throwback hats and suspenders, and some unusual combinations.  But, good effort was made, none-the-less. Plenty of chaperones, too. Mostly teachers who by now know who to keep their eyes on.
Finally,  parents were ushered out of the event, to leave the kids on their own.  After that, we, as parents, had to rely on the occasional "selfie" pic that my daughter would send. After the dance was the required sleepover where all the girls were picked up a set of parents and brought to their house to make sure everyone was safe and sound.
 I'm quite sure alot of dancing was done, and sometimes even with a boy.
Here are a few shots:

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Last Sunday was the occasion for our yearly Easter Egg Hunt for our kids and other kids on the block. We use to go like lemmings to the annual Park District hunt, but after a year or two of seeing the people heading to the ER due to fighting over eggs(and I'm talking about the adults), we said no more.  So, actually easier and safer in our yard.  The kids come and go, via moving out of the neighborhood, graduating into a teen, or, we just don't invite them back anymore cause we don't like 'em.  Either way, there are always new friends around, and, it seems like, more kids on the block than ever. Sometime in the morning, my wife spends an hour or so filling plastic eggs with sugar and scatters them around the yard.  She also places some trinkets, i.e. hula hoops, bubbles, etc.  After breakfast we round up the available kids on our street and we set them off.  The biggest problem this year was the pesky squirrels  trying to make off with some of the loot, and, the biggest surprise:  the weather was decent, the sun was shining, and the chocolate was melting inside the eggs while we gathered everyone.  But, the kids had 10 minutes of scrambling for their loot and were laughing and having fun while doing so.  We had expected, as usually happens, that after all the stuff was found, some kids would be big winners and some would not do as well.  Usually the older boys do quite well, while the younger little girls not so much. If that happens, we have them pour all their junk into a pile and we split it up.  This year, not necessary.  Everyone won.  And this is what makes us want to do it again next year.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

How Brutal was this winter?

I'll "show" you how brutal this last winter was.  So brutal the guys are able to get some ice fishing April.  Sheesh!!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

In response to the warm day ahead....

After a brutal winter, we are poised to have our first 60+ degree day here in 5 months.  In honor of that I reached into the vault to grab a few shots from warmer days. Here's are some things to look forward to as spring/summer approaches:

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Take a moment...

Last weekend I had a great privilege to be a photographer for a large fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald Houses.  Great event with lots of rich people donating large gobs of money for a worthy cause.  I haven't really shared any shots here because most of them didn't have much of  a story with them.  There were candid shots and some posed portraits.  Not real exciting.  But, during the evening I did a little wandering around and shot some stuff that interested me.  At one point, I was "riding" up the escalator and in front of me was a father and his young daughter in his arms.  She was cuddled up close and they were having what seemed to be a little one on one conversation.  About what, I don't know.  But, it seemed to be a very personal, easy end of the night type of talk.  As they stepped off the escalator, the little girl pointed at the artwork on the wall. Being a good dad, I watched the man walk over to the picture, move up close to the wall hanging and they continued on with a discussion of the lines and lack of color and what the design was trying to convey.  It was a touching moment, and while I couldn't stand there and gawk at it since it was a private moment, I was able to grab a quick shot of the two and their moment as I stepped off the upward treadmill.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Role Reversal

Tonight's post will have to come from the vault.  Unfortunately, I went to use my camera last weekend and found it dead as the grass on the ground this winter.  Not sure what happened, but I do know cameras are not cheap to fix, if it can be fixed, nor is it fast, so new photos will not be coming anytime soon. Therefore, tonight I dug into the vault and found a shot that I did not take (I'm not sure who did), but it was on my camera, hence, I have the shot, of my daughter Ashley(Boogala) and me just chillin' while at a family members house for a holiday 10 long years ago.  It was one of those rare "snapshots" that everything just seemed to be perfectly setup for the pic.  I cherish it.  Thank you to whoever grabbed my camera and clicked the shutter button.