80 And My Life and Research Goes On —   

🔘   I write a bit about myself in the Ladder because I believe you,  if young enough to learn,  sometimes need encouragement to not be afraid to buck the system, I call it Seek And Discover (SAD not SAT).  I suffer from restless brain disease, called CURIOSITY which started me on my lowly voyage.  I wish to share that encouragement for those out there who might need a little push during these trying times and this is not an ordinary site — It has been my passion to research all my life.

🔘   I have a CHALLENGING HATRED for  bad people and bad things, bad politicians and their weak-minded supporters, bad theologist fakers, bad food companies, crooks, swindlers and those who are bigots, prejudiced, secularists, fake evangelicals, two-faced liars, scumbags and those who take advantage of the poor and weak.  

🔘   I was from a middle class family blessed with hard working parents, and lots of cousins who were education wise financially able  —  But it was not in my cards,  nor DNA, it seem to follow in their footsteps,  I had to and made my own path and had no choice.  I had to earn and pay my way growing up —  I have no regrets — 

🔘   You push through at 80 outliving most of my tribe,  I handled a recent heart attack, three stents, small skin cancer, and the usual Golden Years for some are when you transfer most of your gold to the Doctors, Insurance plans and Repairs.  The young are being turned into drones and worker bees by the politicians and their rich corrupt affiliations, greed,  and cheating.

🔘   And it would not happen if Americans were not so gullible and naive.  We are breeding stupid, electing stupid, acting stupid, being taught by stupid,  and if you mix them all together we most likely create a stupid cake.  



🔘   The Failure Of George W. Wingate High School — The first school in NY or the nation slated to be held at 50% Black and 50% White  — As an experiment in ghetto resolving and it did not work.  I begged the staff to transfer me to Erasmus Hall, one of the best in the nation, two buses to get there but I was willing, they declined.  

🔘   Their  racial experiment failed when they should have focused on staff improvements, we needed the cream of the crop and we got the bottom of the barrel — and mentoring.   Wingate was located on a borderline of the chaos and gang warfare, Bedford-Styvescent.  It was a critical point in my life as I discovered many of those in control and power were totally screwed up,  true to this day especially, haven’t a clue and some they couldn’t run a free water store in the Gobi desert.  Sounds basically similar to our government.  It was our Government!   

🔘   I had the convenient Brooklyn Public library at 1044 Eastern Parkway, at Schenectady Ave and my school library.  All the books and insight and I was a very early reader.  Two years ahead of my classmates so they advanced me and I graduated two years early.    I occasionally speak the Kings English, preferring Brooklyn based meta-phonetic syllabication aka “ Street English, Brooklynise” , Slang and that explains my poor writing skills.   

🔘   Two of my high school teachers called me names,  and would have strangled me if the law allowed, and I felt the same towards them, but I stood my ground,  I was convinced of my righteousness and proved it.  College was better because we were left to our own devices and allowed to think.

🔘   I majored in survival through detention and cutting classes, I relished it.  Most of what was being discussed in classes was inaccurate, nor relative to things current,  nor scientifically correct.   And I had my books to read, which were advanced for my classes. I was learning in detention more than in the class.  And in a dream I found an image of a detention chair with my name on it.

🔘   Detention Commentary — My English teacher and my Earth Science teacher, were new enemies, and boring. The battle in English was Shakespeare, I questioned the value of Shakespeare, her favorite subject. When asked what was he contributed to the class, I replied “ Nothing, He was quite dead and good riddance,  He talked funny”.  Off to detention --

The battle in Science was over the Dinosaurs, Man and Creationism.  I somehow cracked, and went ballistic when hearing her version, the Biblical Big Bang, the Apple and the Snake Bullsh*t.  And the Neanderthals ate Dinosaurs, I humbly mumbled, she heard me,  “ That's Bullsh*T”     Off to detention — 

🔘  To this day I do not regret what I had to do, to learn,  as I learned first hand on site, live and in living color and became a self-proclaimed reporter creating illustrated,  and signed by curators book reports as evidence of my learnings.

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🔘   My mental survival was the escapism afforded by the library — Camera stores,  Tours of  Newspapers, Hospitals, learning all about a myriad of things first hand and on hand  — My simple approach with confidence,  My newfound professional looking camera and a School Newspaper ID,  Radio Shack recorder got me into a lot of places  —  I beat the truant officers  —  they never checked the libraries.  I looked so official they never got me and was tall for my age.

🔘   Finally I got called on the carpet, truancy, and they were talking expulsion, I was outnumbered. Their team, the Dean, the Principal, One of my teachers, my Parents, a Student Class President Advisor Witness and just me.  It was about my attitude and my excursions.   Bullsh*t,    I stood up and demanded to express my self and produced “ My Reports and Findings to the one sided jury of my peers”.   

  1. I explained I did not feel the curriculum offered by these two teachers had any substance at all in making of my success in life. 
  2. My reports, carefully preserved, chronographed, dated, timed, presented and displayed — on Oaktag exhibits— 
  3. Pictures from Earth science and taken and developed with my camera,  sketches, maps and time charts  — 
  4. Some new poetry I had written whereas the english Teacher wanted to kill me  — 
  5. Medicine, courtroom sketches etc.   
  6. Four of the kids in my class whom I had been helping with their work helped me, dragged the props in  — 
  7. My work on dinosaurs was over the top and even had the curator sign my work as accurate.  
  8. It must have impressed the Dean and Principal.  Actually the Dean applauded my work saying it was college level, the Principal agreed.   —    
  9. I had already skipped the second grade and the eighth and that resulted in  Graduating High School, two years earlier than most.  
  10. They made me a student assistant in the Earth Science classes after we got a new teacher.   
  11. The solution was simple, the 16 year old rule on students traveling unescorted on field trips.  That was the legal problem -- I had my parents sign a consent form allowing me to do so as long as I notified the school, ahead and where or when.

🔘  THAT HAD RAMIFICATIONS —  I was younger in a school of higher learning, and the good part was as the youngest I was adopted by several of the older girls in my college classes,  again a giant step in education .  Much was not exactly on the curriculum, you grow up real fast when adopted by pretty gals plus I had a job and a few bucks.    I also had to get a better job,  working part time in the culinary world, it was noticed  and I went from busboy to the head breakfast line cook.   Later years, I paid my way working weekends as a Wedding Photographer, working from a Wedding Mill in The Bronx.  School and work, school and work,  I survived.  And like Sinatra sang,  “ Did it my way” to this day

Metal Shop — Machinist and Good With My Hands — the Good Thing At Wingate 

Chemistry labs, wood and metal shops were my favorite classes as I was  engaged hands on.  History I got from the libraries, I am quite the WWII buff in military parlance as sooner than later I would become part of it --

I remember the first tools I made at Wingate in the metal shop on my own.  I learned to work with my hands on drill presses, soldering, welding, and basic millwork. I appreciated the knowledge and ingenuity from the shop teacher.  I stayed after school helping the shop teacher as the first mate.

It was the tools I designed that got me the fame I deserved with the Jacobs Hubcap Remover —   Recognized by hubcap collectors as the best in the business —   My classmates were good too at what they made — they were more interested in knife's and zip guns — 


🔘  Culinary Didn’t Pay Much Till I Became The Number Two Breakfast Chef  But — Wedding Photography did.   Over 450 weddings during almost sixty years with camera and with my crews.  I am still alive though some of the weddings got very testy, like Romeo and Juliet, Mr. Cro-Magnon and Mrs Neanderthal,  Drunks, Morons, Past Lovers, Heart attacks and a Baby being born.  

🔘  Aviation Was My Passion —  I Flew As Owner And Pilot In Command — My aircraft, I bought Pipers and Cessnas, and  serviced them, had a few good scares, and flew planes for thirty-three plus  years and discovered that a boat is a hole in the ocean you pour money into —  but owning an airplane proves the sky is bigger than the ocean.  Some things also you don’t cheat or take shortcuts at  —  

🔘  My Military Training, I Like Weapons  —   I am certified, and Qualified as a certified Range Officer / Instructor in IPSC Competition… and competed three guns, Rifle, Shotgun, the .45 Pistol and competed in State competition and - never a first, but facing supported and sponsored teams, I was happy with my results.

This shot above taken at MacDill AFB couple of decades ago was then for the trials of the shorter generation two  M-16, new scope and rails, front vertical grip, laser,  adjustable short stock, new barrel designed lands  for issue to our troops —  

I’m firing the prototype,  I voted yes, this was a great adaptation and upgrade to the M-16 . I believe it was Knights Armory made the prototypes.  They would not let me take it home —  I had dark hair then before 911, this was in the early nineties.  Many decades ago, I was young and handsome then — 

🔘  Worked With Sales And Business Training —  Performed lots Of Corporate Development Work — Almost becoming a hatchet man realizing corporate ebb and flow, promotions and money are not always fair and the importance of good leadership which many do not understand and actually harm good organization —

🔘   Am A  Foodie By Choice  —  My mother was a wonderful creative chef who never used a cook book.  I asked her once what she thought when cooking with no recipes, and she showed me a spoon, “ You taste it, and it will tell you what it needs”.  In the top pen pocket of my chefs jacket there is a spoon bent correctly for tasting, no drip, and a  key retriever and a digital thermometer.  

I use those Culinary lessons today creating good food for my friends and patients with Stem-Cell Cancer Multiple Myeloma transplants.  Super saturated easy to digest soups and entrees using their likes and dislikes and camouflaging good stuff hidden in the food,  like Kale which is very healthy but bitter.   

Foodie skills later in life working with the press covering stories with the Restaurant Police was eye-opening. We are totally a tourist state and eating out is very popular and threatening as there is a lot of bad food out there.
Critics are hated because they tell the truth and if you saw what I have seen you might eat in more often.  I take no prisoners on my food site.  Just like here —  


🔘  PHOTOGRAPHY —Divine Guidance, Finders Keeper  —  I have for better than sixty-four years being, creating, owning, designing, and manufacturing, doing my own Photography via partnership in a retail  camera store, lab owner,  local area photojournalist and a writer.   

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I designed invented and manufactured in house and sold my own products for the Photography industry for fifty years.   I still have customers I help - And at the same time stayed in the game - I worked as a reporter in Commercial and Humanitarian, Journalism, Wedding and Corporate Photography - 

And my favorite thing is mentoring  children, many from far away lands and… the kids 8-9 grade are incredible and even with minor language difficulties, you got to love them, they want to learn so bad but I have to help knowing it was two Librarian ladies who helped me — And the TV and computers killed the joy, attention and mental insertion,  and love that good books bring. 

 It started for me when someone left a camera paper bag left sitting on a park bench in the Zoo area in NYC’s Central Park.  I stayed with photography and graphics all my life, I repaired and designed  flash cables, brackets and product shooting tables. I designed and built the S2D slide to digital machines that translate Kodachrome and Ektachrome into digital images suitable for use on TV ’s Computers and cellphones— 

🔘   The most important thing I picked up because I am inquisitive, was learning to use the five “ W” points of light in journalism.  Who, When, What, Where, and Why, they open doors…  you ask the questions,  to get answers, which were the most important thing in my world, I researched everything, still do,  and made my own decisions.  I just call it being independently nosy and secure only with truth.  I am a hunter of those who lie in the food, the political arena and the greatest lie of all, the theology business. I was on a path —  

🔘  The Good Fun Bachelor Years  —  The  Playboy Club  —  Being the local photographer for the Playboy Club in St. Petersburg Florida had its benefits.  I got a chance to meet and work with David Chan who was their Art Director and Head Photographer that year.  May he rest in peace, kind, funny and a pleasure to learn from.

Mr. Hefner was selling franchises at that time and who would ever believe the Playboy Organization would ever franchise a club in St. Petersburg.  It's remotely part of the Bible Belt though closest to the Bible Socks would be a better description. 

Why socks because many of the so called speakers with GOD were the dirtiest cooks in the region.  Dirty socks.

Socks, are closer to the dirt and ground. Religion with a fair dose of crooks and pedophiles, with  contributions from The Catholics vs. The Southern Baptists. 

Right out in the open.  The president of the Local Southern Baptist Organization went to jail for twice for stealing and they forgave him and took him back and he did it again. 

🔘   While the club was open, life was good.  Good food, good entertainment. And almost every night someone of significance popped in.  Many great bebop, blues, groups from the 70-80’s, nightclub acts, and the music of the past brought back.   The Corporate Playboy crew, and an endless supply of Bunnies.  When the club opened over 1500 girls applied for Bunny school.

🔘   My job, catch what I could while being as far in the background as possible.  Also to cull pictures of certain folks who were never there.   Like the preachers, politicians, businessmen,  and laymen who frequented,  but were never there.  They were the best customers. 

🔘   Ha, what a joke, Lucifer wasn't an only child.  If they only knew several of the brothers of the cloth had their own nights there, all hell could have broken loose.   The club was great and anyone who thinks wrongly of the girls, shame on you, I got to know a few and they were like they used to say,  you wish she was the girl next door.  

All of the clubs are closed today to my knowledge, another era.  I managed to salvage my last paycheck by running a big, big, tab at the restaurant and bar with dinners for friends and scooted.  That was the end. They closed up.  Bankrupt.  I had a 2300 dollar farewell party.  End of story. 

🔘  Note: I Have Two Pictures Left From That Entire Time  —  It was  a gift from God — Every other negative and photo got stuffed in a garbage can and burnt.   First wife syndrome, Woman scorned on drugs will do that to you.  Twenty or so years work and pictures went in seconds. I divorced her just as quick.  Knowing a judge or two helps.

🔘   GOD paved my future — He sent me the greatest gift —  Five years later, after subjecting myself to dating half the town,  I met my true love, her name was  Dolly, it was like getting hit with a baseball bat, and she was real, a good person and we were together for thirty-two  years from that day on.  

🔘   She moved in with me after thirty days, we lived together for eighteen years, and one day, I got up and I asked,  " Can you get off on Thursday afternoon about one o’clock.   She said, " Yes whats up?   I said, " I thought we should get married”.  She said, OK. 

🔘  Sometimes life is good  —  And you damn well knew when it was real  —  And no one else had to approve, it was ordained. I asked if she wanted a wedding?   She said, “ Why I help you shoot them, no way they’re nonsense,  lets go on a cruise for a few days.”  Not only pretty , sweet , considerate, but smart too”.  

🔘  Charitable Exercise —  So the nice lady on the phone asks if I photograph women and children,  at the time I was doing some work for the Playboy Club. I replied “  Women yes, children not really".

She replies: "Well you were referred to us by so-and-so". Since so-and-so was a good client of mine, in that case, I said “ Drop by the studio and I'll see what you have in mind and perhaps we'll put something together".

🔘  At that time shots of women bare backed with children in their arms, sometime called the "Madonna Shot" was getting popular and OK maybe I had to throw one up on the wall.

Now I always had a way with women, the wrong way. But this was love at first sight.  It was her eyes that caught me off guard.

This kid had more brass and confidence than any kid I ever met. 

Her name was Shana.  I shot and we chatted for two hours and learned Shana's story. Shana told it to me.  She was diagnosed with MD I believe, and goes to school main stream under a program they were trying at that time. This was a radical idea in those days.  If you look carefully at the bottom picture Shana was to graduate to braces and crutches with a little more work and get out of the chair.

🔘  Well, Oh, the pictures?  They were exclusively used for the AD Campaign called “ Care, Then Share" for the United Way of Florida in Pinellas County and became part of the billboards and media blitz that went statewide  —   Later on, I was to find out that Shana did not have what the Doctors had diagnosed and instead had a treatable condition.  I learned She did very well in school and then I lost track of her.   I know she has a wonderful life.  Meeting her was a blessing for me — 


🔘  Journalism and Aviation The Two Dreams Come True  —  And aviation was a big interest, I loved airplanes playing hooky got me to airports and the Naval Air Station at Floyd Bennett Field with its Corsair fighters, Dakotas (DC-3’s) and Catalina Seaplanes.  I worked at the soda stand on weekends and I drew a love of aviation, drew pictures, and shot pics with my new found camera, and it grew.  I bummed rides on the planes there whenever I could and made playing hooky worth it. I was tall and big for my age and got away with it.

🔘   Later in my thirties, books I read about aviation came to the forefront of my goals.  I also was earning which coined an expression I wrote.

“ If you think boats are a huge hole in the ocean you pour money into, go take up flying  —  the sky is a hell of lot bigger and so is the hole”.

🔘   I made up my mind and became a pilot. It was a simple action, the library had the books,  I bought headsets, manuals,  researched aircraft for sale, bought and paid for my first real airplane, a Piper Lycoming powered 140.  

🔘   Now I need an instructor.   By now you might have figured I don’t follow to many conventions.  It went fast, because I studied on my own, nailed the written exam, nailed the verbal conversations and went for my check-ride.  

🔘   Forty days of training and saturation.  My plane, gas was cheap, and I probably had hours and hours more than I needed.   Passed and licensed by a guy with a reputation of being precise and very tough, who had failed two check-riders before me.  I approached it professionally.  


On my check-ride, cleared to land on a 90 degree runway to the main,  we were almost hit by instrument  pilot who called a missed approach and instead of a right turn out,  he turned left  (We called that having the approach chart upside down) and I’m staring at a Beechcraft twin coming head on and I am on final, GUMP  ( A Check for  Gas, Undercarriage, Mixture and Prop,  Speed and Flaps set)   A he was climbing I dove under him — 

The check-ride pilot was getting paperwork ready, when I powered up and dove the plane under the Beechcraft as it cleared us by twenty to thirty feet.  I reset the approach,

He commended me on my check-ride and subsequent life saving action, signed me off,  and I had my first ticket (We call Licenses and Ranks Tickets)  

I parked my plane, I was about eighty yards from the tower and I heard the screaming. My instructor and I  went to lunch and I ordered the biggest steaks Outback had — quite a few thousand hours later I still think about that day —  

🔘  Photo ABOVE right…Thats little bird — My First —  I owned Cessna’s and Pipers as a Pilot In Command for 32 years… this is little bird my first, self taught, in the books at first, with my instructor, I soloed in five hours, aced the exams at the same time, no school, self taught, and had my first license at 40 hours, the legal minimum needed in under 90 days.  They got bigger and more expensive. Training got tougher and well worth it  —  Then middle age set in  —  


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