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  • 25 Year Celebration of the Berlin Wall Demise

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     NOVEMBER HISTORY: Twenty-five years ago in early November, 1989 the historic and tragic Berlin Wall came tumbling down. I was in England in 1989 producing the European VHS copies of a movie that I had directed & produced. It was cheaper for me to fly to England and have them convert the NTSC American version to the PAL European distribution version. I was almost finished with the conversion of 6000 copies when I heard the news about the Wall coming down!

    I let them finish without me, as I had to go over and join in Germany's celebration. It was such a historical moment that I wanted to climb the Wall and chip off my own pieces of this horrendous barrier. I took photos, two of which I share here with you.

    The first one is a jubilant East German man happily destroying the barrier that had restrained him all of his life. The world applauded with him! I love his passion and I also applauded him for his freedom now.

     

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    I borrowed his chisel and knocked off some pieces for me to bring home also. Then I took 4 menus and a black marker and wrote the words FREE on them. I stood with three German students for this photo of us showing "FREE" for the world to see.

    When I got home later, I wrote a story "Welcome Back Berlin" for a magazine. I made all the photos in this story in B&W to best illustrate this major event for history. 

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    Berlin had been a scary place for me in the 70s when I went over from Grad School in England. I had two men shoot guns (Yes, real live bullets!) and run after me down the street while shooting at me. I can still hear those "zings" of the bullets hitting the walls & ground around me. Probably the scariest moments of my life! I ran for several blocks until I ducked into a youth hostile to hide. I stayed there for probably 20 minutes as my heart rate slowly subsided. 

    To this day, I am still puzzled as to the reason they were shooting at me. I developed the film when I got home and saw nothing that showed me the reason. All I can think is that I was taking photos of some illegal black market deal (they happened a lot there behind the Wall) and they didn't like my camera being around. Later I saw a sign on this youth hostile door and it said" Greetings to the Youth of the World". Boy, it sure saved me. 

    For that reason I wanted to be part of the rejoicing when the Wall came down. I have been back to Berlin many times since then (including last month) and the small remaining parts of the wall still remaining in the city are special to me.

    Thought I would share this moment in history with you. Being a photographer & writer, I have been so blessed to experience so many special moments & places. I could definitely have missed the bullets flying incident, but most of the others have been really special. Hope you enjoy this 25th anniversary of this moment in history celebration in a week. I know I will again!

  • ALL FIFTY STATES IN 12 MONTHS!

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    I am doing something I have NEVER done before. In the last 12 months, I have now shot in ALL FIFTY USA States! I had worked in all the USA states before many times, but I took three trips around the country this year covering all 48 Continental states. I've had two flights to Alaska and now just returning from a flight to the last & 50th State, Hawaii. Really fun to do all that in one year! Several magazines are interested in doing a story on this trip soon.

     

    Here I am with my trusty Escalade ESV at Mt Rushmore in SD this summer. I did not do this trip fast, by the way. I took a total of 17 weeks to travel the 48 states. Gave a few lectures, stayed often with good friends instead of hotels, played a lot of golf with buddies, shot Video & Stills for stock, ate great food and saw all the sites. Really a fun, fun year. MY extra long SUV allowed me to hang clothes, store tripods, cameras, golf clubs, etc, etc with no problem at all.

     

    A special year for me indeed. I love traveling around the USA and enjoying the many scenics, traditions, foods, events, etc and seeing so many dear friends & family. I hope all of you get out to see this vast and grand country! Get your suitcase packed and get out and explore --- you will not be sorry. 

  • Visiting the Berlin Wall

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    Well, guys, I am almost at the end of a 5-week European trip. For two weeks I shot for a big cruise client and we went from Bergen, Norway all the way up way past the Arctic Circle to Cape North and then even farther to Kirkenes on the top Russian border.... including the very highest city in the world. Stopped at many beautiful ports, saw and photographed so many spectacular fjords, and ate so much fresh, fresh seafood! The salmon was out of this world -- probably swimming a few hours earlier! Then I had two rental cars -- one for a week in inland Norway and the other rental for 3 days in Copenhagen, 4 days in Stockholm, and thru the rest of Sweden & Denmark. I was going to drive to Amsterdam, but changed my mind and have been "Kicking Butt" on the absolutely exciting German Autobahn and finishing up in Berlin. I will fly home out of Germany on Wednesday.

     

    Trip has been fabulous. Have so many great stock images and stock video footage. And, maybe the best part, I entirely missed all the RAIN, RAIN, RAIN in Florida all thru September. Heard about it from everyone there and sure am glad I had sunny & cool Fall weather on my trip here.

     

    This I-Phone picture is me in front of all that is remaining of the horrible Berlin Wall. I myself have quite a history with this Wall. As a grad student in the 70's, I was shot at (yes, bullets) and chased by two men while taking photos in (then) East Berlin. Long story there, and I still don't know the reason (I guess I was filming near a black market money deal... scary!!). I then came over from England in 1989 when the Wall came down and hammered chucks of the Wall myself and celebrated with the Germans. I have been back several times since, and Berlin is definitely a cool world-class city again. This section of the Wall is all that is left and they call it East Side Gallery now. They saved this section have allowed artists to paint on the remaining section of the Wall that caused so many deaths and grief.

     

    So greetings from Berlin and I send warm thoughts across the pond to all of you.