I don’t know when Throwback Thursdays started but since I’ve been feeling more and more nostalgic lately I thought I’d participate. College days have been going through my head more and more lately. Maybe it’s because in a few short weeks it’ll be 25 years since I graduated from SAIT or maybe it’s a sign of old age. No matter what the reason, I feel the memories come flooding back . That in itself surprises me as I had to work my ass off to get through college but I usually enjoyed the experience immensely.
School was never my thing when I had to go. Art and drama were my best subjects in high school and the only thing I was better at was not attending class. That’s probably why it took me 4 years to graduate.
When I decided to go back to school I had been out of high school for 5 years so I was considered a mature student. Mature, baahahaha. Even then I found it funny.
While I was there I thought I’d made a few friends but I only keep in touch with one. And I don’t get to see her very often. She was the subject of more than one assignment and I believe this photo is from the first time I had her pose for me.
I got to go to so many different events while I was in school but one of the few things I paid to go see was the Masters at Spruce Meadows. I had heard a rumour that Ian Millar’s horse Big Ben was due to retire and I really wanted to see him before that happened. Turned out it would be a few more years before it happened but it was nice to get to see him jump.
As part of one of my assignments I did a practicum at the Calgary Aerospace Museum. I re-did a few of their brochures and made a portable display for them. As part of it all I took photos of all the aircraft in their collection at the museum. I learned they had a de Havilland Mosquito as part of the collecting located at CFB Cold Lake. I was told it was being restored and would be ready to fly soon. I arranged to go to Cold Lake to document it for them. As this was during the first Gulf War, security was pretty tight on the base. It was a bit disappointing to see the actual condition of the aircraft. Wood rot had been discovered in the main wing spar and it would never fly on it’s own without a total rebuild. It was a bit surreal taking photos of a WWII bomber pushed into a corner of a hanger full of CF-18s.
I did actually shoot a photo or two at school. I miss having a studio to use.
I had been invited to take photos for the SAIT Rodeo Club and happily took about a dozen rolls of film at the event. The very next day we got a sports assignment and I thought I was golden, having a head start and all. My instructor told me I could submit 2 photos from the rodeo. I was hard pressed to find 2 to submit (indoor rodeo in an old arena is a hard thing to shoot) and this is the only one I liked.
My roommate, Lanny Fleming, and I scored media passes for the Husky Men’s Downhill in Lake Louise and happily went out and shot some mediocre photos of men on skies going by very quickly. Neither of us had a long enough lens to do justice to the racers even though we were perched at the last corner before the finish line. One of the skiers (and I honestly don’t remember his name) was a bit wide on the turn and crashed through the safety fence not far from our location. While he didn’t seem too worse for wear, he did injure a 13 year old girl standing at the fence. Safety staff were there right away and I never did get a good shot of the victim, I took a photo of the skier that I was happy with.
I also got a media pass for the 1991 Red Deer International Air Show. I was to take photos for the Airdrie Echo and drop off my film to them. Was a good plan till I found out there was no place to actually drop off film after hours. I took quite a few photos I liked that day but this is one of my favorites. Sailplane Magic over Bower Ponds at Red Deer.
It wasn’t all sunshine and roses while at school though. I had to borrow money and get a job just to stay in school and that was only 1/2 way through my first year. Twenty-seven of 90 of us failed our advertising class and Joan and I were part of the 9 or so that were allowed to write a make up test (we both failed that miserably). Once I realized I would have to take an extra year to finish I organized my classes so I only had photo classes in the final year and that helped me a lot. Over the Easter break both my roommates and I were out of town when we were robbed. Over a year later the police caught the culprit red handed and it turned out it was my roommate Shelley’s ex-boyfriend who was supposed to be watching our place while we were away. He seemed so successful with so much nice stuff. Apparently it was because it wasn’t his stuff. But as far as I know we didn’t steal a plane and go on a joy ride the night he took us up for some touch and go landing at Springbank.
As my final year of school was coming to a close my class got to do a practicum for a month. Since I didn’t drive I knew it would be hard to get a chance to have many pictures published to show my work so I chose to work in the photo lab at the Calgary Sun. For an entire month, pretty much every photo that was published from Monday to Friday n The Sun, I printed in the darkroom. I got to shoot a few things around the building, like documenting part of the new press getting installed. I got out to shoot a Calgary Flames game (NHL hockey is crazy fast at ice level). I got to use my brand new light meter on a food shoot with Stu Dryden. They didn’t need my photos from the shoot but I got to use them for my portfolio.
Joan once told me I was a really nice guy but I spent too much time living in the past. While that is still true at times (I think I’m a nice guy) I don’t worry about living in the past anymore. I look forward to the future almost everyday, but sometimes I like the feeling of nostalgia. While the future often holds promise, for me, the past often holds comfort.