Saturday, March 04, 2006

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter had been elected and the Democrats were in control. Everybody figured that at last they'd finally legalize pot. I guess the drug dealers were as afraid of that possibility as the Republicans had been. Time to switch to the next drug, the one less likely to be legalized. Bales of cocaine replaced bales of marijuanna as the favored contraband aboard planes and boats alike. Jimmy was a likeable kind of guy, very down to earth in person. Here he was speaking at the Gwen Margolis Commuity Center in North Miami. Mayor Howard Neu with a sylish shag haircut is a bit out of focus on the right. The secret service guys got really antsy as I picked up my "big gun" to get some tight shots. I had a Leica M with a Visoflex II, which sported a 150mm f/2.3 Astro Tachar, a really huge lens in black crackle finish. They made me remove first the lens and then the Visoflex and examined each piece carefully. They were familiar with Leica cameras and your standard run of the mill Canon or Nikon SLR, but the Visoflex rig was new to them. Finally they decided that it wasn't about to explode and let me get ready for the president's arrival. The photos I made the most money with were all the shots of various people shaking the president's hand. Anybody of importance soon had a framed 8x10 of themselves smiling next to Jimmy. This shot was the one I liked best and appeared in a couple of publications at the time. About 10 years later both the 150 Astro Tachar and my 19mm Canon were stolen. My two favorite lenses! I really loved the bokeh of the Astro Tachar although the term wasn't used outside of Japan back then

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