Judith StClaire

Judith StClaire

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Later – JStC


Blog Post

Happy New Year 2019

The New Year was brought in last night by boisterous neighbors with questionable fireworks.  My tiny studio trembled, windows rattled and the ghost of my little poodle hid under the bed.  I’m not sure what 2019 will be like.  So far, it’s simply a lot of noise.  And, that’s without even turning on the TV.

This time of year brings on a national bout of introspection.  Turner Classic Movies mourns the deaths of movie makers and stars great and small.  News programs review the year just passed in snippets of 2018 events, most of which I’d rather forget than remember.  Some folks party and others retire early to their pillows.  When my children were small, I began an annual ritual that lasted many years.  Sitting in my rocker, I mended clothes until the rockets’ red glare faded away.  But this year, I had nothing to mend – except a couple of pesky programming errors in my new website.  So, I spent my time staring at code and testing remedies.

Fisherman Sculpture by Richard Crane for Blog
The Fisherman sculpture by Richard Crane is bronze sheeting over a steel frame.

“The Fisherman” sculpture commissioned in the 1970s by local Fishermen’s Wives group for a Memorial to Fishermen lost at sea. Sculptor was Richard Crane

Minutes before the New Year began, I fixed the worst of my programming problems.  I quit working, poured a glass of red wine and settled in my rocker, which for a while seemed to be powered by sound waves.  And, sparked by a photo I used for one of my cards, my memory flashed back in time.

Fisherman’s Memorial

My best recollection is the Fishermen’s Memorial was created in mid to late 1970s.  Maybe the early ’80s.  At least, it was started during the late ’70s.  I remember working with the Fishermen’s Wives Association to raise money for the memorial.  The artist/sculptor was Richard Crane and he was from the Santa Rosa area.  The memorial is located on the southern tip of the Woodley Island and to the best of my reckoning, faces northeast-ish.

The thing I love about the statue is its construction.  I remember our being very proud it was built like the Statue of Liberty with a steel inner frame and a pounded bronze exterior skin.  The nails sticking up out of its foul weather hat are to keep gulls from perching.  Great idea, in my estimation.  And the statue has the same gnarled knuckles I’ve seen on many fishermen.

The thing I don’t love about the statue is its face being tilted downward with a wide hat brim.  Its eyes are shaded most of the time.  This is annoying to me.  I know, a fill-flash could be used.  But I do prefer the natural light.  Which brings me to my confession.  I do hate that I am not perfect.  And I hate to admit that I am flawed.  That’s why I left it this late, hoping you would move on to the next post before finishing this one.  You still can go if you want to.

The Confession

One day last fall while playing around with Photoshop, I decided to see what I could do to improve my latest photo of The Fisherman.  Nearly hidden under that hat brim, his features, especially the eyes, are extremely difficult to see in person.   In a photo, nearly impossible.  What if …?

Before my brain could reinforce my long-standing rule for no tampering with a photo (a tenet left over from my film competition days), I had enlarged it by 2000 times.  Taking great care, I zapped a little light into each eye, saved the thing, and closed it down.  Then I sat here guilty as hell.  I could go in and zap the color back, but I’m going to keep the photo around to remind me of the reason I made that rule in the first place.  Even though the effort may be passable, I can tell the light isn’t quite right.  It doesn’t show up in a copy greatly reduced in size.  In fact, those dots disappear completely.  Which is a good thing.  Even though, this lesson is an excellent reminder that the greatest tekkie cannot replace Nature.

Today is the first day of the New Year.  I’ve made my confession and the slate is clean.  I’m good for the rest of the year.  How about you?

Happy New Year  -JStC

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