Friday, May 31, 2013

John, a member of the journalist class at Newburgh Free Academy

In partnership with the Newburgh Free Academy, Newburgh, NY, I was awarded a grant this spring by Arts in Orange County to give workshops on the subject of Observation. The workshops began badly when I asked the class to give up texting and look at what was around them. I also told them that if they were observing acutely and constantly, they would loose friends, as only their best friends would understand what they were trying to do. When we go out with a camera or a note book (which we should always be doing) we have little time for anything else but looking, I told them. 

Photographer and his architect friend from Newburgh Free Academy

Two of my students from the photography class in my workshop on Observation. He is a photographer, she is not―she studies architecture, but she is a devoted friend who likes to be with him during her free classes. 

I could teach him nothing. He had been to many different locations in the week between classes to take landscapes and pictures of her. He had nobody to text―she being his only friend that mattered, and she understanding completely his quest.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ford Tractor 1946-

Sandy Saunders farms 150 acres of pasture in Garrison NY. His parents converted their herd of milk cattle to beef in 1942 when his father left to fight in World War II. His mother could not manage the milking alone. This is a segment from my proposed documentary about life on the farm.

He manages the farm almost single handed. He has help from a 26 year-old nurse, Shelley Scott, during the haymaking season, and she also feeds the four horses that have been taken in as guests and borders. She has worked on the farm since she was 14.

Sandy is also an engineer and aviator. He has a 1986 Maule M5 180C light aircraft, known for its short take-off and landing capabilities. "When I first had the airplane I kept it at Stewart with its gigantic heavy jet runways. I used to amuse the controllers by landing on the numbers at the threshold of the runway and stopping on the numbers." 

In the engineering field, when Sandy heard that the Tapan Zee Bridge was going to be rebuilt, he designed a tunnel as an alternative to the new bridge. The tunnel, he says, is cheaper by a billion dollars, quicker to construct, would include mass transit and heavy rail, and meet environmental standards.

"The Governor is hell bent on building these bridges which are going to be very useless and very intrusive, and he absolutely refuses to follow the more modern world and doing it as a tunnel."