Sunday, August 05, 2007

My Last Wish - A Specific Florida Location

Having had an absolutely God-awful July, where I lost two of my favourite people, I've been left the past couple of weeks to contemplate my own mortality. Knowing that there's no life without death leaves me with no conclusion other than: I'm going to die, too. Like the famous blues song in which the protagonist states about cocaine, "the Doc says it'll kill me but he won't say when," I figure it could be any day now or it could be another forty years... who knows?

But if I were to die tomorrow, then there's some unfinished business I'd like to attend to; and that leads me to think about all the things I'd wanted to accomplish and, especially, those things which I have not. So, what's left? Well, aside from the obvious hopes for a better life for my children, etc, etc, there's one more thing I'd really like to do in my lifetime: I want to photograph a Space Shuttle launch.

I've come close in a way, having photographed astronaut training, but it's not the same. You can sort-of get a feel for the desire to be there if you've ever seen one, even on television. The noise, the smoke, it's the best expression of American power. You see that shuttle take off and you know you don't want to mess with people who can make that much fire. (Doesn't Osama bin Laden own a television?)

My other semi-close encounter with space flight occurred when I was an assistant. I was working for Alan Kaplan on some cigarette campaign near Tampa, Florida. We were taking a break when the shuttle was launched and, from clear across the state, you could feel the earth shake and hear the noise and see the smoke. It was awesome!!

So, my last wish: would somebody, anybody, any client with a decent budget, PLEASE, send me to Florida to shoot that thing before NASA shuts down the program? Then, I'll gladly go quietly.


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