Tag Archives: family

…of Photography


Do you know what I love about photography and why it gets me so excited?  It is because there is power – and magic – in photography!!!

I did not take today’s photo – I was in it!  This is a family picture of years gone by.  What is the power and magic here?  The ability to transport me across the years (like being “beamed” somewhere in Star Trek) to a time and place that is no longer, but which still has the ability to stir my heart and emotions.  It’s magic…I can recall antics of the kids at this age, trips we took as a family, places we lived, things we ate, the sounds of their voices and laughter.  How precious all those things are to me!  More than anything, the magic is that I can feel afresh how I felt then about my family…and how I still feel about them.  Maybe this is proof that love is eternal…that it never goes away, nor does it diminish.  In fact, it grows and blooms every more beautiful!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  American drive-in movie theaters experienced their golden era during the 1950s, but some Floridians were watching movies under the stars in their cars even before then: The city of Miami got its first drive-in on this day in 1938. The Miami drive-in charged admission of 35 cents per person, which was more than the average ticket price at an indoor theater, and soon had to trim the price to 25 cents per person.

America’s first-ever drive-in opened near Camden, New Jersey, on June 6, 1933, and was the brainchild of Richard Hollingshead, whose family owned an auto parts company. The inaugural feature was a 1932 film called “Wives Beware,” and admission was 25 cents per car and an additional 25 cents per person. The sound for the movies was provided by three large RCA speakers next to the main screen. (The quality of the drive-in experience improved during the 1940s with the advent of the in-car speaker.)

Following World War II, the popularity of drive-in theaters increased as America’s car culture grew. By the early 1950s, there were more than 800 drive-ins across the United States. Although they earned a reputation as “passion pits” for young couples seeking privacy, most drive-in customers were families (parents didn’t have to hire babysitters or get dressed up and their children could wear pajamas and sleep in the car) and often featured playgrounds, concession stands and other attractions. Some drive-ins were super-sized, including Detroit’s Bel Air Drive-In, built in 1950, which had room for more than 2,000 cars, and Baltimore’s Bengies Drive-In, which opened in 1956, and claimed the biggest movie screen in the U.S.: 52 feet high by 100 feet wide. Over the years, attempts were made to develop a daytime screen that would enable drive-ins to show movies before it got dark, but nothing proved successful.

At their peak in the late 1950s and early 1960s, there were some 4,000 drive-ins across America. However, during the 1970s and 1980s the drive-in industry went into decline and theaters shut down, due to such factors as rising real-estate values (which made selling the land for redevelopment more profitable than continuing to operate it as a drive-in) and the rise of other entertainment options, including video recorders, multiplex theaters and cable television. By 1990, there were around 1,000 U.S. drive-ins. Today, they number less than 400 (states with the most remaining drive-ins include Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York).

New Jersey has the distinction of being the home of not just the first drive-in but also the first fly-in theater. In June 1948, Ed Brown’s Drive-In and Fly-In opened in Wall Township and had space for 500 cars and 25 planes.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  China’s “one child” policy has contributed to female infanticide and has created a significant gender imbalance. There are currently 32 million more boys than girls in China. In the future, tens of millions of men will be unable to find wives, prompting some scholars to suggest that this imbalance could lead to a threat to world security.

Too Important to Waste


There are many things in this world that compete for our attention. There are people who earn massive amounts of money for getting that attention and holding it and getting us to buy something.  Many of those things attract our attention, but they really don’t deserve as much attention as we give them.  There are things far more important that deserve much more attention.

Today’s photo is a picture of our youngest son (our middle child) and his lovely family.  On Saturday morning, we received a call that he was being rushed to the hospital in the Atlanta area with chest pain.  He is just 38 years young, but the words “chest pain” were deeply ominous due to the horrible Dalrymple family genes related to heart problems.

To keep from boring you, it turned out that he did, in fact, have a heart attack…one that was quite serious, with 100% blockage in one of the arteries on the right side of the heart.  As they did the angiogram and inserted the stent to get the blood flowing again, he developed atrial fibrillation.  The stent did its job and and medicines for the a-fib did theirs and tonight he is resting comfortable, his big brother (who flew in from California) there at his side in the hospital room.

Love is important.  Family is important.  Work…well, not so much.  As someone once wisely said, no one on their deathbed every utters these words: “I wish I’d spent more time in the office.”

No one knows our day or time or how it will come.  Life – that tremendous gift – is too important and precious to waste.  Make the most of it.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  on this day in 1775, just one day after restating their fidelity to King George III and wishing him “a long and prosperous reign” in the Olive Branch Petition, Congress sets “forth the causes and necessity of their taking up arms” against British authority in the American colonies. The declaration also proclaimed their preference “to die free men rather than live as slaves.”

As in the Olive Branch Petition, Congress never impugned the motives of the British king. Instead, they protested, “The large strides of late taken by the legislature of Great Britain toward establishing over these colonies their absolute rule…” Congress provided a history of colonial relations in which the king served as the sole governmental connection between the mother country and colonies, until, in their eyes, the victory against France in the Seven Years’ War caused Britain’s “new ministry finding all the foes of Britain subdued” to fall upon “the unfortunate idea of subduing her friends also.” According to the declaration, the king’s role remained constant, but “parliament then for the first time assumed a power of unbounded legislation over the colonies of America,” which resulted in the bloodletting at Lexington and Concord in April 1775.

At this point, Congress assumed that if the king could merely be made to understand what Parliament and his ministers had done, he would rectify the situation and return the colonists to their rightful place as fully equal members of the British empire. When the king sided with Parliament, however, Congress moved beyond a Declaration of Arms to a Declaration of Independence.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:   The largest crater in the solar system is found on the moon. Called the South Pole-Aitken, this giant crater is on the far side of the moon and is 1,550 miles (2,500 km) in diameter. The largest crater visible to Earth (on the near side of the moon) is the Bailly Crater, with a 183-mile diameter.


Advent candles at Perimeter Church
Advent candles at Perimeter Church

It is Christmas eve.  You have far better things to do today than read some weird guy’s blog, so I hope you’ll go do it.

You still here?  Go on!  Get out of here!  Go spend time with those you love!  Regular posts will resume either Christmas evening, or the day after.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  It’s been a delight to spend the last year with you all!



At the End of the Rainbow

They say that at the end of the rainbow one might find a pot of leprechaun’s gold.  If that’s true, I must have been at the wrong end of the rainbow each time!!!  But, it is fun to contemplate, isn’t it?  I mean, wouldn’t it be fun to actually find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow?  (Just this week, a couple people split a mega-millions jackpot of something like $658 million dollars, right?  That’s not a bad pot of gold…even if there was no rainbow!)

Well, the end of the rainbow can be far from where one finds themselves when they see the rainbow.  If we choose to believe there’s gold at the end, the journey to reach the end of the rainbow may be worth it.  If we choose to not believe, well, there’s not point even attempting the journey, is there?

I may have never found a pot of gold, but we just recently made a long journey…and today’s photo shows what we found at the end of the journey.  Is it a pot of gold?  Hardly.  In my estimation, it is something worth far more than any pot of gold, diamonds or precious stones.  It is my two youngest grandchildren.  Like the rest of my family, the are priceless and far more precious to me than anything else in this world.

_MG_8156ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1975, In Vienna, Austria, Carlos the Jackal led a raid on a meeting of oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). German and Arab terrorists stormed in with machine guns, killed three people, and took 63 people hostage, including 11 OPEC ministers. Calling his group the “Arm of the Arab Revolution,” Carlos demanded that an anti-Israeli political statement be broadcast over radio, and that a bus and jet be provided for the terrorists and their hostages. Austrian authorities complied, and all the hostages were released in Algeria unharmed. OPEC did not hold another summit for 25 years.

In 1949, Ilich Ramírez Sánchez was born the son of a millionaire Marxist lawyer in Caracas, Venezuela, and attended Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, where he became involved with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. During the 1970s and early 1980s, he acted as a freelance terrorist for various Arab groups and is suspected to have killed as many as 80 people in a chain of bombings, hijackings, and assassinations.

Nearly apprehended on several occasions, Carlos the Jackal managed to evade international authorities until 1994, when French agents captured him hiding in the Sudan. Secretly extradited to France, he was sent to a French prison, where he lived for three years before being put on trial in 1997 for the 1975 Paris murders of two French counterintelligence officers and a pro-Palestinian Lebanese who had turned informant. On December 23, 1997, a French jury found Sánchez guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  The nucleus of Halley’s comet is a peanut-shaped object, weighing about 100,000 million tons, and measuring about 9 miles by 5 miles.


When the Show’s Over

“Trees swayin’ in the summer breeze
Showin’ off their silver leaves
As we walked by

“Soft kisses on a summer’s day
Laughing all our cares away
Just you and I

“Sweet sleepy warmth of summer nights
Gazing at the distant lights
In the starry sky

“They say that all good things must end some day
Autumn leaves must fall
But don’t you know that it hurts me so
To say goodbye to you
Wish you didn’t have to go
No no no no.” – A Summer Song by Chad and Jeremy, 1964

This simple, wistful song has always touched my heart from the time I was a kid.  There is so much poignancy in it.

“…all good things must end some day…” and at least for now, that day is today.  For the past week, we’ve been fortunate enough to have some vacation (courtesy of frequent flyer miles and the ability to stay with some family) in Florida in the Orlando area.  This was a bucket-lister for my wife and I.  We always wanted to be able to spend some time at Disney Land or Disney World with our little grandkids.  Our two youngest grand-daughters (one turned 5 on Monday, the other turns 2 next Tuesday) were here with us (along with their mom and dad!), and we had a blast!  I don’t know how the little ones held up…everyone else is exhausted!  But what a grand time and what terrific memories!  Little faces all crinkled up with laughter, eyes dancing in wonder at the Disney princesses, gazes lifted skyward for the fireworks and imaginations dancing with the Disney electric light parade.

However, today it is over….a long travel day to fly back home to the west coast, getting to our place of abode probably in the wee hours of Monday morning.

Today’s photo is one I shot at the fireworks on Thursday evening.  The fireworks are, of course, the finale, the end of the show, the sign that it’s time to go home and back to “life”.  It is melancholy.  I think that we all want the fireworks in our lives to just keep on going, to light up the sky and space around us with joy and delight for all of our days.  That’s an impossibly tall order, I guess, unless we learn to live as little kids again who find delight in things as simple as a rock, a lizard, or a sticker we can apply to our forehead and wear as we walk around with a goofy face.

One other observation that really struck me on this trip: love is everywhere.  As we walked through the Disney parks and other places, you could see parents loving their children, children wrapping their arms around mom and dad and their siblings, grandparents kissing and cradling their little grand children.  It was perhaps the most beautiful thing about this trip to be reminded of the power of love and of a pair of little, encircling arms and the tiny fingers of a hand wrapped around your own.

_MG_6191ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1954, the famous picture of Marilyn Monroe, laughing as her skirt is blown up by the blast from a subway vent, is shot on this day in 1954 during the filming of The Seven Year Itch. The scene infuriated her husband, Joe DiMaggio, who felt it was exhibitionist, and the couple divorced shortly afterward.

Monroe made her last picture in 1961, The Misfits, which Miller wrote especially for her. She divorced him a week before the film opened. She attempted one more film, Something’s Got to Give, but was fired for her frequent illnesses and absences from the set, which many believed to be related to drug addiction. In August 1962, she died from an overdose of sleeping pills. Her death was ruled a possible suicide. Since her death, her popularity and mystique have endured, with numerous biographies published after her death. Her ex-husband Joe DiMaggio continued to send flowers to her grave every day for the rest of his life.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Gordon Sumner, the rock star and actor known as Sting, got his nickname from the yellow-and-black jerseys he used to wear, which fellow musicians thought made him look like a bumble bee.

Family Time

Holidays.  Family time.  Hopefully you’re getting some family time, too!  Due to the holiday, I’m just posting a picture that I shot Saturday without hardly any commentary ’cause I got family, too!

Happy and safe Labor Day, everyone!

_MG_5017ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: on 9/1/1985, seventy-three years after it sank to the North Atlantic ocean floor, a joint U.S.-French expedition locates the wreck of the RMS Titanic. The sunken liner was about 400 miles east of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic.

American Robert D. Ballard headed the expedition, which used an experimental, unmanned submersible developed by the U.S. Navy to search for the ocean liner. The Argo traveled just above the ocean floor, sending photographs up to the research vessel Knorr. In the early morning of September 1, Argo was investigating debris on the ocean floor when it suddenly passed over one of the Titanic‘s massive boilers, lying at a depth of about 13,000 feet. The wreck was subsequently explored by manned and unmanned submersibles, which shed new light on the details of its 1912 sinking.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the one extra room new-home shoppers want the most is the laundry room, at 95 percent. Only 66 percent of new-home buyers request an extra room to use as an office.


Love Remains

It was another tough day for me today.  Very tough.  But, that’s life.  It goes on.

As I was looking for a picture to use today, I came across this shot I took of my amazing 3-year old grand-daughter early in June.  We were together with our son and his family at the Renaissance Faire near Atlanta, it was a beautiful, nearly-hot day.  In addition to the craft and food booths, jousting and swordplay at the Faire, there were rides for the children to enjoy.

My grand-daughter wanted to ride on the rope swing that spun riders gently around in a circle like a merry-go-round.  How delighted she was!!!!

As I looked at this picture and contemplated the current events in our lives, I was struck by a truth that is perhaps deeper than space itself.  When all is said and done, love remains.  People may live long or die young, but if they were loved, and if they loved, some of that love must surely remain with the loved and the lover.  No matter how long people have existed, no matter how long they have loved, love is going to last longer.

I love the passage penned long ago by the Apostle Paul: “Yet these three remain: faith, hope and love.  And the greatest of these is love.”  Why did he say that?  Because he, and others like him, believe that the day will come when faith and hope are no longer necessary.  They require things we can’t see to exist.  But when faith becomes sight and hope becomes realization, the only thing that is left is love – and love won’t disappear nor disappoint.  Of that I am sure.

I love being with my family – every single one of them.  I love it especially when we can ALL be together to love each other, enjoy one another…even though the time of that being together can’t last on this earth.  The good news is that even when our family part from one another at the end of such visits, the love is stronger than it was before.  It grows to fill the universe.

Whether together or apart, love remains.  And nothing, no power in this world or in the world to come, can take it away.

The love remains…and even grows…

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1784, writer Denis Diderot, one of the foremost writers and thinkers of the “Age of Enlightenment”, died after eating an apricot his wife warned him not to eat.  His comment to her warning was, “How in the devil can it hurt me?”  Guess he found out.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: most of the 76-square mile island of Santa Catalina off the California coast, is a park.  When 85% of the island was given by the Wrigley family in 1975 to the conservancy, it was stipulated that those portions given would forever remain wild and could never be developed.

A Vision in White

Who is the proudest grandpa on the planet today?  I AM!  Of course, that’s nothing new.  I’m the proudest grandpa on the planet every day!  I just don’t understand why it is that one guy (me) should be so blessed to have the best wife in the world, the best kids in the world, and the four best grandkids in the world!!!  I mean, I don’t want to offend any of the rest of you that think your grandkids and kids are the best there is because you are obviously wrong (but you are more than welcome to continue believing in your delusion if you so choose!)  I promise not to be upset with any of you who disagree with my assessment of this situation regarding family…I’ll just continue to agreeably disagree with you!

Today our oldest granddaughter played Clara in her school’s production of The Nutcracker!  By the time it was over, there wasn’t a button left on the front of my shirt.  So today, I just want to say that I’m the luckiest guy ever in the history of the world, blessed beyond belief…and we’ll leave it at that.

Behold, the eminently lovely and talented Clara…


Clara, from the Third Grade production of Nutcracker


ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1804, Napoleon was crowned as Emperor in Paris by Pope Pius VII.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: When opossums are born they are so tiny that an entire litter of them can fit inside a tablespoon.  They then stay in their mother’s pouch for 3 months before emerging into the outside world.