Being our first full year of service, it was suggested that I pull together a short list of memorable photos from 2013. While there are many photos that I have taken that I like, the following are the ones that stuck out to me as I thumbed through the photos that I have taken over the last year.
Donny Lowe locking the door of Lowe Jewelry on their last day was something that I never thought I would see. I’ve only been around for 44 years, but Lowe Jewelry had been in business for 66 years. Ivy Lowe was one of my science teachers in high school. I bought my wife’s engagement and wedding rings from Donny and Ivy. My wife worked there for a few months right after we got married. Sometimes, good things do come to an end.
Jones Colgrove singing the national anthem at the 2013 Senior Bowl in Mobile was an awesome experience. Not only did I get to talk to former Alabama linebacker Nico Johnson a few times and be on the field with and get photos of several current NFL players, I got to hear one of the best renditions of The Star Spangled Banner that I’ve heard. I’m not quite sure who was more nervous – Jones or me. My video camera felt like there was an earthquake happening from my heart pounding. But, Jones nailed it and it was very heartwarming to hear all those big, tough football players showing their appreciation to an eight year old boy as he walked off the field.
Tony Nicholson pinning an opponent during a martial arts competition was a sight to behold. Having lost most of his lower left leg due to a gunshot wound, Tony has proven that even when your circumstances aren’t the best, you don’t have to sit around and feel sorry for yourself. It does me good to see a young person, who has been dealt a serious mental and physical setback, make the choice to go on with life and make the most of it. Tony also played the part of the Cowardly Lion in Demopolis High School’s performance of The Wizard of Oz.
The West Alabama area lost two athletes to traffic accidents last year. Cody Webb of Demopolis High School was lost in May. Anthony Robinson of Linden High School was lost in September. These images are memorable because these are the last two images that I personally took of both of these young men. I didn’t know Anthony all that well, but I admired his work ethic and the fact that he was always smiling when I saw him. I knew Cody better, since I’ve been around his family for most of my life. Cody had already dealt with one accident that left him with physical scars. As strange as it sounds, I always smiled when I photographed soccer games and was close enough to hear Cody huffing and puffing down the field chasing the ball or defending another player. It was a reminder of the fact that he wasn’t going to let life’s complications get the better of him. He was there, giving it all he had. Some people don’t understand what it is to truly overcome.
As many of you may know, I’m a photographer, not a photojournalist. So, I don’t always get the images that portray a great deal of emotion. However, I happened to be in the right place at the right time at least once this year. After the Marengo Longhorns pulled off a perfect season, I was shooting some of the celebration that ensued. Wyatt Hale has had somewhat of a roller coaster during his last three school years. Originally attending Marengo Academy, he transferred to Demopolis High School for his junior year. He returned to Marengo for his senior year. Wyatt also has a younger sister, Ryan, who has been along for the ride. Also, Wyatt suffered a neck injury that threatened him being able to actually play in the championship game. Knowing the history and the fact that he was cleared to play in what would be his last high school football game, I wanted to get a shot of Wyatt after the game. I didn’t realize until after I started going through the photos that I had actually gotten a photo of Wyatt being hugged by his “little” sister. There’s a lot going on in that photo.