It's 1992 in the Hasselblad booth at WPPI and "Big Daddy" is doing a live shoot of a model on a motorcycle. As with every program, he would have taught non-stop all day if we let him. I wonder how many photographers today once sat in a Don Blair program?
The fun of this image has nothing to do with Don, but the owner of the bike. At this point in my career I'd had a little experience with gas tanks, having battled it out with the crew at Javits in NYC when we had Ansel Adam's Cadillac as part of the exhibit on the trade show floor. So, knowing the challenge in Vegas with the Fire Marshall, I very politely asked the owner of the bike to make sure his gas tank was empty.
I'm not exactly petite, but this guy was huge and made me feel like a little kid. He just looked at me and said, "Don't worry about it!" Well, I wasn't going to give up and again said as nicely as I could, "Come on, work with me. We don't want a problem with the Fire Marshall." His response, "Don't worry about it, I got it covered!"
Okay, now I don't know what to do next, but took one last shot at it. He was the model's boyfriend and was doing all of this as a favor to her and "Big Daddy." So, one more time, "Look, the last thing I want is a scene, but we're going to be in hot water if you don't get that tank emptied!"
He looked at me and just grinned - then pulled out his wallet and showed me his badge. He was with the Las Vegas Police Department. Still smiling he said, "Who do you think you're going to have a problem with?"
He gave me a slap on the back and the prospect of having a problem with the Fire Marshall was history - all was right in the world once more.
Obviously this is just a grab shot, but often, it's not the images that are fun, but the stories and memories they bring to the surface. Don Blair and I shared one adventure after another. Throw in Terry Deglau and Tony Corbell, and for a decade it was the industry's equivalent of the Four Musketeers!
Wishing everybody a Happy Throwback Thursday - loaded with great memories and stories to share.
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