Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Presidents Day

I seem to be one of the few here in the Wailuku Business District that didn't receive the memo that today was a holiday... Presidents Day. Banks, Post Offices, Courts, State & County Buildings, etc. are all shut down for the day, which suits me just fine. No traffic, no calls, and a chance to get some much needed editing and paperwork completed without the usual distractions. So far, I managed to complete the final edit for the new CD project for Phil & Angela Benoit (the final shots having been finished last evening) and make the bank deposit. I've also managed to make my final selections for submission to ART MAUI, one of our state's most prestigious juried art exhibitions and always a source for weeks of controversy in the local art world afterwards. Future potential controversy aside, my three submissions have been selected and printed and now await transport to the frame shop. Let's pray they can get all three framed and ready by receiving day on Feb. 25th. It's been more than twenty years since I last submitted work for this show and I have some new work I am very excited about. Let's hope this year's juror, Ken Bushnell, feels the same way. Suddenly I'm feeling a need to get my personal, non-commercial work in front of potential patrons and this is certainly one of the best shows for that sort of opportunity.

And, in keeping with the holiday... I shall take advantage of the opportunity to post an outtake from a day I spent following former president George H.W. Bush when he visited the island back in 2005. Several days prior to the event, I received a call from the PR Director at one of Wailea's mega-resorts asking for some very personal information for a Secret Service background check. The client would not tell me who I was to be photographing when the appointed day arrived... everything was being kept very hush-hush. Certain I would fail the security check for any number of very good reasons, I turned over the info and forgot all about the possible assignment, figuring there was no way in hell I would make it through that sort of scrutiny. Strangely enough, a couple of days later, the PR Director called back and told me to be at the resort at the proscribed day & time. Still no word on who the subject was to be... I was told to "just be there and be ready".

OK... I am, if nothing else, a professional. I show up as directed. Shortly after my arrival, a motorcade of shiny, new SUV's pull up to the porte cochre of the hotel. From those SUV's came a small army of Secret Service agents, all dressed in matching Hilo Hattie's blue floral aloha shirts, shorts, black socks & black wing-tip shoes. Each agent sported a wire dangling from their ear. Ostensibly, we can assume that the hideous aloha attire was an attempt to blend in and appear inconspicuous. Word, fellas... you all stuck out like a sore thumb.

Anyway... after "securing" the immediate area, one of the agents signaled what must have been the "all clear" and out of one of the center SUV's, former President Bush stepped out into the sunlight, stretched his legs and proceeded forward for a quick meet-n-greet with the small group of assembled hotel administrators. I spent the rest of the afternoon following the President around, snapping pics of him with VIP's and getting oriented to his new tropical surroundings.

The funny thing about this whole event is that my mother, who has never really quite understood what it was that I do for a living, was now suddenly very proud and apparently spent the next week bragging to anyone who would listen about how her son had gotten the opportunity to hang out & photograph an ex-President.

Finally, some parental validation!

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