I ran across the print on the right recently, and it's perfect for Throwback Thursday. Throwbacks aren't just about old photographs, but the stories they remind you about.
The year is 1991 and the photograph was captured by my great buddy, Terry Deglau. Terry was a part of some of the very best adventures in my career, and this was taken during one of them. That's Ansel Adams' Cadillac behind me and a Hasselblad on a tripod on the left.
With Hasselblad's support, I bought Ansel Adams' 1977 Cadillac from the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson. I was on their Board then and Ansel's widow, Virginia had donated the car to the Center to help raise money for their visiting scholar fund.
As I was sitting in the Board meeting, I was thinking about Victor Hasselblad and Ansel Adams being close friends. So, I bought the car and then we sold it as a fund-raiser for Photographers + Friends United Against AIDS, another non-profit I was involved in at the time.
PPE, back then, had a sister show, Photo West, which was held at Mosconi Center in San Francisco. I picked up the car at Ansel's home in Carmel, just before the show, and had enough time to get a shot of the moment with me and Virginia Adams. That week we had it exhibited on the floor of the convention. Immediately after the show, Terry and I loaded up the car with two Lightware cases of Hasselblad gear and drove it to Yosemite.
We spent three days driving through Yosemite and pulling out the Hasselblad gear at every opportunity. And, when we didn't have a camera in our hands we were playing Ansel's car horn. He had a horn that played the first few bars of 75-80 different songs. There's something unique about interrupting the solitude of Yosemite early in the morning with a few bars of Dixie!
Terry was then the senior manager at Kodak responsible for support to the industry and just about everything to do with print film. He brought enough film to feed our creativity for the entire trip. It was early in the season, so water levels in the park were nice and high. In fact, we stayed in a small motel next to the river, which roared with the winter runoff throughout the night.
The car was sold the following October at Photo East (now PPE) in New York, but I kept Ansel's keys and his original rear plate. In addition, I'm convinced I'm a better photographer because I put my tush in the same place Ansel put his, driving his car for a week.
As recently as a few years ago the Cadillac was still active and somehow wound up back in Yosemite. There's one ironic aspect to all of this. When I bought the car, in the glove compartment was a small record-book where Ansel kept track of the gas mileage. If you think about it, Ansel was one of the early environmentalists, and it makes me laugh that in his handwriting that '77 "boat" was only getting 9 miles to the gallon!
Throwback images are all about memories, and in a few minutes, I'm going to pick up the phone and call Terry. As with past calls we'll laugh about the good old days and what could easily be a movie, "Skip and Terry's Awesome Adventures!"
Whether you post throwbacks on your website or just enjoy them for a trip down Memory Lane, don't let the day go by without one quick trip in the wayback machine!
Happy Throwback Thursday everybody!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.