Wednesday, February 13

of fishes and fires and finish lines...

local high school courtwarming. the candidates for king had a dance-off with a stuffed trout.

a car caught fire inside a garage. reproduction woes killed this photo for print, but it lives on in blog form. god bless the digital clip contest.

the last-chance qualifying swim meet at hickman. there was a sliver of light from the windows still spilling onto the edge of the pool. it disappeared by the time the competition got started, but i snagged a few frames during warm-ups. it gave me an idea for a sportrait.

Our Town

The latest Our Town...

Ah, mom! Now?!”

It’s Thursday night at Hickman pool and Jill Cinciripini just wants to get back to the water. She dries off a finger and holds it out for the pinprick. “Ouch,” she says, pushing the crimson drop to the surface.

“OK,” says mom Judy, “you have another half hour.” Jill smiles and walks hurriedly back to her lane. She pushes off for another lap.

Twice a week the 24-year-old comes to Hickman pool to swim with the Columbia Parks and Recreation Adaptive Sports program. Jill knows she has to keep on top of her diabetes, but still, she hates to interrupt her swim time. Shooting her hand high in the air, she’s always the first to volunteer another round of laps.

Cinciripini has been swimming for 10 years and has been competing for Special Olympics teams in Columbia for almost as long. Summer, fall, winter. Bocce ball, bowling, swimming. “She has a different group of friends in each sport,” says Judy. “She likes the social part, but when she gets to those state games she turns on the competitiveness.” Between quality time with friends and winning competitions, Jill’s priorities are clear. “Winning!” she says. “She’s got a shoebox full of medals,” her father, Dale, adds, beaming.

After an exhausting workout of conditioning laps, Jill leaves the water and wraps a bright towel around her floral suit. “It’s cool,” she says of her participation in the swim program. She’s a woman of few words tonight as she explains where her favorite swimming spot is, “The Ocean!” Mom Judy looks surprised. “Why is the ocean your favorite?” she asks. Jill’s eyes light up, her smile broadens wider. “Dolphins!” she exclaims. “One day,” her mom says, “one day, we’ll swim with the dolphins.” Jill nods, her smile still radiant, her eyes alive with the thought of it.

Flurry of Slideshows

spent some time making slideshows this past week.

the first was an idea i'd like to revisit when there's more time. missouri crowned its first poet laureate ever this year. walter bargen lives in ashland, just down the road from como. he's been inundated by media requests since the annoucement and has a heavy load of speaking engagements all over the midwest.

i checked out the previous media coverage and was underwhelmed by their portrayals. i was scheduled to make a portrait in his office (yawn) but rescheduled for a nearby park he visits. it's not perfect, but making this image made me much happier than a terrible photo in a cluttered, sterile office.

i took one of bargen's poems "to keep going" and shot photos to accompany his voice in an audio slideshow. i scrambled to find bird photos and spent a few sub-zero dawns and dusks driving dirt roads with a 400mm out the passenger window.

i'd like to try this again with a poem that's a bit more visually interpretive, and one that describes, i dunno, summer creek swimming instead of icy winters. mayybe once the hype dies down i can collaborate with bargen some more. it could also be an interesting video challenge a la richard koci-hernandez. you can see my thang here.

columbia had its first polar bear plunge. hard to believe a town with as much costumed weirdness as como hadn't had one before. but huzzah, one more reason to dress like an american gladiator in winter.

i had fun wandering around in waders. i didn't feel so weird looking once the people wearing diapers showed up. this is the same lake i swim in when it's above 80 degrees.

see the madness here. next year: underwater housing + dry-suit.