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Goodbye ’08

Dec 31

In Uncategorized at 10:42am

The horse’s name was Bill, as I recall, and this little girl’s mom had been called up to serve in the Gulf War and she was staying at a neighbor’s for the duration. Shot if for LIFE back in ’91 and its one of those rare frames that kinda stick around. Figure we could all use a hug right about now, with 09 getting pretty damn big in the viewfinder.
On the last day of some year, I got gas at a filling station on Manhattan’s West Side, just off Riverside on 96th. The station’s gone now, of course, as most are in the Big Apple. An elderly African American gentleman was tending the pumps. We stood, staring out at the cold, saying nothing (hey, we’re guys), listening to the gas moving and the meter ticking. The dollars and cents wheels moved much more slowly back then.

He finally looked over at me. “How you doin’?” he asked. I allowed as I was doing okay. I said something along the lines of “Made it through another year.”

He snorted and looked at his watch. It was about 4 in the afternoon. “Few hours left. Don’t get cocky.”

Been a little light on the blog lately, but for a good reason. My final final deadline for The Hot Shoe Diaries is this weekend, and ink hits paper in late January and the book ships in late Feb. Done. Out the door.

Lots of thanks to offer for making it through this year, to lots of folks, certainly those who stop by this blog now and then. I’ll post again with some notes, thanks and thoughts in a couple of days. Happy New Year to all, and let’s keep pushing pixels in 09…..more tk.

60 Responses to “Goodbye ’08”

Brian Carey says:

on January 2, 2009 at 7:57 am

That is a lovely photograph Joe. One of the true strengths of photography I believe is that is can show us (remind us) that the simplest images can be very endearing and remind us what is really important. Too often they are the things we take for granted. A good reminder as we enter the new year.

Brian Carey

Brian Struble says:

on January 2, 2009 at 11:21 am


Great post, great blog entry as always. All the best for a better 2009 – look forward to catching you at an Adorama Workshop again soon.


Mark K. says:

on January 2, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Happy New Year, Joe! Thanks for the great blog, the great information and the great inspiration. All the best in ’09 to you and Annie.

Robert Cluck says:

on January 3, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Happy new year Joe and Crew!
Hey Joe you better save those old crusty SB-800′s….. They are going to be worth their weight in gold before long! They are selling for $20 more than the SB-900′s right now on Amazon……

Those 800′s must be awesome units to be worth more than the 900′s – Gosh! I could only afford 3 of the 900′s…… :)

Bill Rogers says:

on January 9, 2009 at 5:48 am

Great story! “Few hours left. Don’t get cocky.” ROTFLMFAO.

Andrea Strudwick Bender says:

on January 12, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Hey Joe, I thought I’d lost you but I realize that was more me than you since I don’t think that is possible to become lost in this day and age! (insert witty comeback by Joe here) I found you through a photographer friend’s face book page. Boy, do you get around.(insert another witty comment by Joe here.)

A whole boatload of pigs are flying around here these days. Two kids, a husband, a house with an icerink out back and another foot of snow coming down. Life is truely grand in Minnesota. (I’m just lobbing them to you, Joe.)

Hope all is well. Seems so from my 5 minutes of voyeurism. You have always been an inspiration to me, too, you know that, especially your Mickey Mouse immitations.

Your pal from Illustrations, andrea

lance C says:

on January 13, 2009 at 1:11 am

you really do hold to the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” You inspire me to teach writing through photography!!!! Being an educator makes me inspired to know that people like you put words to the shots they take. Keep it up!!!

This is a great shot and a better story!!!!

ShaolinTiger says:

on January 14, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Happy new year Joe!

Tracy de Jongh Eglin says:

on July 8, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Please help. I studied for a while with Andrea Strudwick Bender, 1983-1984. We’ve lost touch. I have seen that she has contacted you. Can you put us back in touch with one another, please?

Kind regards


Breanna says:

on August 15, 2012 at 1:28 am

I just had a question for you so hopefully you are still on this blog so you can answer me. :) I really love this photo so I drew a few different versions (the same image but different variants of black and white and color) and I changed the horse’s coloring a bit. I think they turned out so great and I would love to put them in my online digital art portfolio. Would you be alright with me doing that? Please let me know. Thanks! :)


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