Sunday, May 27, 2007

President Jimmy Carter and Mayor Howard Neu

By the early 1970's I'd given up on my long hair and the hippie look for suits and ties, and I wasn't so much travelling with a different crowd than when I was shooting for the paper, but I was becoming accepted by that crowd as one of them. The mayor became Howard (on the right in the photo) and his secretary called me Mr. Kaplan. In the next election this ex-hippie was Howard's campaign chairman. He won.

I forget why the president was speaking that day at the community center, but the place was packed. The Secret Service guys checked out my cameras and lenses but didn't really give me a hassle. My daughter Elena went with me. Her "job" was to guard my camera bag while I was shooting. She was maybe 4 or 5 years old a the time. After the speech I got to take the usual "grip 'n grin" shots with everybody shaking the president's hand. Then he got down on one knee and tried to get Elena to come close for a photo with him. Elena had this horrible irrational fear of older men who were turning grey and wouldn't go anywhere close to him.

Last year Elena, now an attorney, ran for house district 58 in Atlanta. In her campaign literature she mentioned that she got interested in politics as a young girl from going to city council meetings and such with me. I keep thinking that she might have won that election if only she'd had a photo of herself sitting on Jimmy Carter's knee.


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