Monday, June 11, 2007

Donna Tiger ~ We Love You

When I took this photograph Donna was probably 17 years old, a student at Palmetto Sr. High. A year or two earlier she'd cut her nearly waist length hair so it was now just below her shoulders. She, and most of the other Miccosukee girls, had started wearing make-up and wore the same fashions as the other girls. In addition to her beauty Donna stood out because of her height. She was probably about 5'10"

Color negative films back then were nowhere near as good as they are now. Color slides ruled and some of the big New York mail order places were importing "grey market" English and French made Kodachrome II and selling it for only $3.79 a roll including processing by Kodak. One big advantage of Kodachrome films is the long term stability of the dyes. Projecting them often would cause fading but stored in the dark the colors stayed true. On the downside the slide films in general had about no exposure latttude. You had to expose exactly right. For things like landscapes you could bracket your shot, making several exposures at slightly different settings. For photographing people or action there'd be too much chance that the best photo would have the wrong exposure, and there was no Photoshop back then to try to save one with a computer. Hell, nobody had a computer either!
I'm pretty sure that this shot was taken in my back yard in open shade. I was probably using a 105mm f/2.8 Vivitar T-4 lens on a Pentax body, shooting wide open. I loved the way that lens rendered the out of focus background. The last time I saw Donna was maybe a dozen years ago at her dad's funeral. I found out from Florence a couple of days ago that Donna had passed away earlier this year.
Florence also told me that her husband Spencer had died in 2005 and the oldest sister Linda had died in 2004. Of the five brothers and sisters that only leaves Janice, still living on the Brighton Seminole Reservation by Lake Okeechobee with her husband John Wayne Huff.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes I just surf, and a name pops up in my head, a name from the past. Today it was Donna's. I went to school with Donna for a short time at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe in 1980-81. We also knew her as Ivy Tiger at that time. I am sorry to have learned of her passing. Life is weird and too short.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous RWM said...

I had been a long time friend to the Tigers; especially, Donna, Robert and Spencer. It was my understanding that Donna was not a fullblood Miccosukee, but had been abandoned somewhere in the Carolina's by her Cherokee mother. Donna's adoptive mother, Louise, was Cherokee and had married Bobby Tiger, a Miccosukee.

Donna always had a bit of sadness around her, even though she was accepted and treated as a true sister by her brothers. I had met her when she was but 15 and she was bright, caring, and all the things a young lady should be. I miss her and her brothers . . . very much.

Robert W. Morgan

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew Donna from South West Miami HS.
She was gorgeous..I had a crush..
Thought of her today and found this.
She is making haven a beautifuler place.
Mark Landers

3:15 PM  
Anonymous CougarWitStyle said...

I too, went to school with the Tigers. If I remember correctly, Donna had a twin brother (Larry).

The news of her passing is tough to hear. She was a beautiful young woman, with a beautiful spirit.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Oh Dear God, Donna you Spencer and Robert, when we were young. I went to High School with Donna at Coral Park, I knew Spencer Robert her mom and dad. Donna was a gorgeous girl inside and out, a great spirit, great friend, athlete, caring sister, daughter and cousin to all her family.
I am so glad to have seen you when I returned from NYC. May God bless your family you will be missed and know that it was our blessing to have you in ours lives. Our friendship and times spent together are close at heart and know you are loved and missed by all. Ali Bravo

2:05 AM  
Anonymous Carmen said...

I too knew Donna in HS, we went to Coral Park together, I would spend weekends on the reservation with her an her family an she would stay at my house, she was a great friend and person. We had great times an i have very fond memories of her. You will be missed my friend!

3:22 PM  

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