Thursday, January 24, 2013

Every Picture Tells a Story

"Dad, watch, I'm going all the way up!"
I believe most actions called courageous are triggered by fear, stupidity or both. I've never weighed the laws of self preservation with the appropriate balance. I either over think a situation until my head spins ceaselessly or I recklessly dive in without checking the quick set up "might be thin ice here" brochure that comes with most dilemmas.

Tommy scared of horses sings away his fear
As a boy, I'd climb trees in Central Park never looking down, go up as far as I could, then I'd look down. My heart relocated to the outside of my chest and I'd freeze with fear. Rory, a half monkey, climbed over me, under me and around me, telling me I was going to fall and die, and then, I'd be sorry. I'd stay up there overlooking the Great Lawn, Sheep's Meadow or Poet's Walk until Mom a little worried, bored or tired sitting on the bench below told Dad "go get him."

While Rory continued to circle me like I was a prize banana, Dad ascended the height easily as if he was an Indian who's day job was building expansion bridges over great rivers. Forcefully, he unhinged my arms wrapped around the tree limb I didn't want to leave. Ever. He'd start down carrying me like a beer barrel tucked into his chest with his right arm. Back on Earth, he'd say don't do it again, I'd lie and say OK, as Rory giggled above us and Mom shook her head slowly side to side lighting a Marlboro from her soft pack.

I fear heights, riding a bike (early on), diving, horseback riding, flash bulbs, singing in public, getting my breath cut off, dark spaces, needles and certain vegetables. On occasion, I muscle through blindly to get it over with or to avert the shame of having someone push me. I'm confused but grateful when my actions are mistakenly identified as courageous.

As you see from my facial expressions in the photographs on this page:   Every Picture Tells a Story.

I'm still that clumsy anxious boy but I've learned it's safety first!  Going forward, I wear my "William Holden Drinking Helmet" all the time.

Cornelia Street Cafe is mounting my first photography exhibit, "New York Scenes from a Bicycle." It opens February 5th and runs through March 31, 2013. All my Stoops to Nuts friends are invited to the opening reception on February 5th @ 5:30pm.

Hope you can make it! We'll have fun.

My book of photography, "River to River: New York Scenes from a Bicycle," is available at Amazon @ $12.95.

Tommy's first two-wheeler ride on Xmas Day 1960
Wee Gee visits Pryor family with flash bulb

Tommy recovering he lost head at beach

Tommy wearing his "William Holden Drinking Helmet."

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