Recent Posts
7 years, 11 months ago 1

In this blog you have heard me sing the praises of Scott Kelby on several occasions. Scott is one of the most talented, funny, engaging people I’ve ever known. There should be a law against having as many talents as Scott does. He is an acknowledged Photoshop (Adobe) expert and incredible teacher of these programs. Scott is a truly talented shooter and a kick butt musician. Last year, as you may recall, Scott pulled the GAPW’s fat from the fire by doing a workshop with me that allowed us to pay off a very large debt. Scott would except no compensation, even refusing to let me pay for his flight up to Savannah. A friend is someone that, at your lowest moment, shows up with his sleeves rolled up, ready to do anything he can to help. Scott Kelby more than fills that bill. If that were not enough, I’m honored to call him a close friend.

The real benefit from last years workshop was the great friendships that were made during the weekend. Most workshops involve some personal attachment, I should know, I’ve taught over 400. This one though, was something very special. The group was a conglomeration of great people from all walks of life and interests. This group came hungry to learn and as always Scott Kelby was in top form. No one left disappointed. We had such a great time that we are holding a Reunion event in early October in Moab, Utah. So far it appears that over 90% of the original group will come back for this get together.

My father once told me that to have a friend you have to be a friend. Jesus told us to treat others as you would want to be treated. If you want friends, this is a pretty good formula. When it is all said and done, possessions and accomplishments will pale in comparison to the few friends we can claim at the end of our days here on earth. Thanks Scott for making my cup run over.

the pilgrim

7 years, 11 months ago 0

The image above is one of my favorites. It was made over 30 years ago. This is my middle son,
Wesley. We took the kids to a state park close by and you can see the sheer joy on his face being in the outdoors. I was talking to Wes not long ago and I asked him why he has such a great love for the outdoors, (he and his family are avid hikers and campers). He reminded me of all the great times Sherelene and I provided him and his brother and sister on trips to the outdoors.

Often we don’t know what a big impact the simplest things will make on our children. All my kids are grown and have children of their own, my six grandchildren. All our family are outdoors folks, and all the grandchildren are too. I never realized that Sherelene and I were laying down such a strong tradition.

Everything we do and say influences someone, usually more than we realize. This is why I want so badly to exemplify His Love in my life. I know sometimes I fail, but it is always my goal. Being imperfect and attempting to approach perfection may seem like a senseless goal. The reality is we don’t have to do it alone. He promised that if we dedicated ourselves to Him, He would provide the power we do not have. It’s a good thing, because without Him I couldn’t even get close to my goal.

It’s not for me though, it’s for the little fellow sitting on the rock, and now his children and Scott’s and Catherine’s as well. It’s worth the effort………

the pilgrim

7 years, 12 months ago 0

I’m a watch collector. I’ve always been fascinated with watches and about ten years ago I started picking up ones that I liked. Not many of my watches are expensive, most are just watches that I enjoy wearing. I’m sorry to say I’m up to over 30 watches. I heard a quote form a friend that is actually quite funny, “A man that owns a watch always knows what time it is, a man that owns many watches never knows what time it is.”

Do you know what time it is? Years ago a wonderful song was very popular. Cats In The Cradle was first recorded by Harry Chapin, in the last few years it was re-recorded by my dear friend
Ricky Skaggs. It’s a great song, read through the lyrics and see if you agree with the message.


My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say “I’m gonna be like you dad
You know I’m gonna be like you”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home dad?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, “Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let’s play
Can you teach me to throw”, I said “Not today
I got a lot to do”, he said, “That’s ok”
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m gonna be like him”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

Well, he came home from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
“Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for a while?”
He shook his head and said with a smile
“What I’d really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please?”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you”

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

So what time is it? It’s time to spend time with your spouse, to nurture and love your children, to listen to your neighbors and friends. It’s time to do those things you always intended to do, but haven’t taken the time to do. It’s time to face the fact that God is real and He loves you and He has been knocking at the door of your heart. He’s waiting for you to open the door, so He can come in.

What time do you think it is?

the pilgrim

Ricky Skaggs at the Derby, shooting with his Nikons. Photo by Skip Dickstein

7 years, 12 months ago 0

O.K. I’m sitting at the Kentucky Derby and I’m showing airplane pictures, to make it even worse I will confess I don’t really like horses, and I hate women’s big hats. Can you imagine a person being in worse place than here with those opinions? Don’t get me wrong, I think race horses are beautiful, I just think their dangerous and unpredictable. I have ridden horse a few times, and I never really liked that either. I love baseball caps and have collected many to remind me of great adventures I’ve enjoyed, but I probably look worse in a baseball cap than any man alive. By contrast I’ve never seen a women, no matter how beautiful, that I thought a huge flowery hat made her look even better, at least not to me……

Now this is what makes life wonderful, you can love women’s hats, and horses, and mint juleps
and still be o.k. by me, but just don’t ask me to join in on your enthusiasm. I’ll be happy for you, just let me smile from a distance. I’m so glad that every photographer is not interested in shooting the same things. My personal career took off when I started flying and shooting from the air. Not many people were doing it and the look is very different. Some people love it, some could care less, and both are fine with me.

I’m sorta mellow today, spending time with a lot of old friends and some new ones as well. These kinds of events are filled with flurries of wild activity followed by slow times as the shooters are out at the track photographing the current race. This is a great place to catch up with some friends you seldom get to see. Skip Dickstein one of very best racing shooters, Bill Frakes, a true legend from Sports Illustrated, Dan Dry another legendary newspaper and magazine photojournalist. Tonight Ricky Skaggs will join us and the good times will continue to roll. All are truly dear friends and it’s great to get to see them and visit. I know I way over used the legendary term there, but these guys really are at the top of the mark.

Well, I went through all that to say, “Thank You Lord, you’ve blessed me beyond measure. I work with great people, I get to serve great people and great friends. I do for a living what I do when I have day off! Every once in a while I tell Bill Pekala, who hired me, thanks for the job. I really mean it, this is a great way to ride toward the sunset…….”

the pilgrim

….and people think I’m crazy! This is an Kolb design from the early days of ultra light flying.

This is the gorgeous Electra 18B like the one Emelia Earhart flew.