Sunday, July 31, 2011

Waiting for the Next Premier

Never let it be said that bar talk is idle and unproductive. I was enjoying a killer piece of rare tuna at the completely awesome Krista's when I overheard that a young guy had bought "the theater in Porter and was going to work on re-opening it". I never even knew that the little village of Kezar Falls/Porter had a movie theater, but I was intrigued. If you follow this blog, you know I like to photograph local things, off beat things... old things. I immediately thought "I want to make photographs in that place before they clean it up". So, I got involved in the conversation and before long RJ did what all good bartenders do... he hooked me up.

I met Silas Hagerty for the first time when he drove up to meet me in front of his very own movie theater. Formerly called The Playhouse Theater, and a host of other names, the building in the village of Kezar Falls was most recently a discount store. It hasn't shown a movie in years.

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Silas was leaving for the Philippines in the morning but agreed to meet me and was generous with his time, showing me around his new purchase. I've driven by this building many times and never knew that behind the asphalt shingle siding shell is a pearl of American culture.

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Silas is a movie maker himself with Smooth Feather Productions and his enthusiasm for this place is inspiring and contagious. He told me about wanting to use the building as a studio and a place to teach. He talked about wanting to show movies for the community again. As Silas handed me the keys and told me how to get them back to him, I was still trying to mentally piece together everything he had shown me in this non-descript building across the street from my dentist's office. I lost all sense of time and stayed in the building making photographs for almost four hours on this warm night. This is an amazing place that can offer so much to this small town. Good luck Silas!

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This wallet was found in the theater. It belonged to a 17 year old local boy who apparently still lives in town.

Theater Cash Register

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Kezar Falls Theater Back Room

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These projectors still work and according to Silas can run modern releases with minor modifications.

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace... The Name Says it All

It's been a while since I blogged on a favorite local joint and a post on Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace is long overdue! I get to Columbus, Ohio several times a year and inevitably, I ended up here sampling a tasty hot dog and enjoying friendly company. This time around, I was late getting in to town because of a delayed flight and still hadn't eaten dinner. Dirty Frank's seemed the perfect answer.

Located downtown where there isn't a whole lot else going on at 9:30 at night, Dirty Franks is always full of folks enjoying over 30 different hot dogs, including tofu dogs or brats for those who roll that way. I'm partial to the Whoa Nellie dog with brisket and bbq sauce as well as the Beano (think a hot dog gone loco, taco style with refried beans). Tonight Chili Dogs got the call. My favorite dog on the menu? Probably one I'll never order... The Glenn Beck... aptly described "just a plain, old wiener"

Dirty Frank's is more than a hot dog joint. It's a cultural experience with ONLY local music on the stereo and stylized artwork painted by the owner's brother on the walls. Apparently the artist's cultural references are the same as mine with paintings of athletes from the late 1970's and heavy metal stars of the 80's. Check it out... it's a great local place!







Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hundreths of a Second to the World Championship

I love pouring over images from the running races I photograph. Things often happen fast and you can shoot 1,000 or more images during a race. You don't always realize the stories you are capturing until you piece the information together.

At last week's US Mountain Running Championship in North Conway, NH, the top spots were won by fairly large margins. In the women's race, Kasie Enman of Huntington, Vermont took first place by almost two minutes over Longmont, Colorado's Michelle Suszek. For a photographer, that mean's capturing the finishers at a pretty leisurely pace.

A minute after Suszek crossed the line, I could see Brandy Erholtz leading Megan Lund and Amber Moran as they pounded down the final pitch of the Cranmore Mountain course and on to the flat that approached the finish. It looked like Megan had a chance to catch Brandy, but she had some confusion on the most direct line to the finish and had to course correct in the final 100 yards. Things were getting interesting fast.

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Brandy dug in and left everything she had on the final flat. In three steps, she opens a lead on Lund and Moran. Body language tells the story. Megan is throwing herself forward in a final effort to catch Brandy.

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Megan's effort is strong, but by now Brandy is crossing the line. Erholtz takes third place and secures a spot on the US National Mountain Running Team. You can't help but wonder how Lund's error impacted her ability to pull together the mental strength to catch Erholtz.

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Megan Lund takes fourth place and the last spot on the National Mountain Running team. Amber Moran of Skyline, North Carolina crosses the line fifth and realizes she's just missed the National team. Only the top four women go to Albania in September to compete in the World Mountain Running Championship.

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An amazing finish by unbelievable athletes. Looking at the results, you see how close it was with the reward of going to Worlds at stake.

3rd Place 0:35:12 Brandy Erholtz Evergreen, CO Team New Balance
4th Place 0:35:13 Megan Lund Basalt, CO Team Montrail
5th Place 0:35:14 Amber Moran Skyland, NC Team Inov8

Despite the hard finish, the athlete's mutual respect is evident after the race with hugs and smiles all around. Congratulations to all three runners for an amazing race. See all of my photos from the US Mountain Running Championship Cranmore Hillclimb at
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