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“Summer of ’41”

On this February evening, with temperatures already plunging well below zero, let’s imagine a hot & humid August 2, 1941 afternoon a long, long time ago. It’s that lazy & carefree time, just months before the U.S. entered W.W.II after the attack on Pearl Harbor. We’re just across the busy main line of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad at Eldridge Park in Elmira, NY, on a Sunny Saturday afternoon enjoying our Annual Outing as an employee of the Elmira Knitting Mills, who’s former building was just burned to the ground in a massive, multiple alarm warehouse fire on January 31, 2016.
Here is my Photographic Composite & Photoshop rendering of the Official Outing Photograph, shot 75 years ago, by Personius Studio of Elmira, and the Photoshop re-rendering by me. The print is so wide that in order to capture all of the original detail I had to shoot it in 7 different sections, which I then had to seamlessly paste & blend together.

Take a close look at all of these ghostly faces. The Big Boss in his woolen three piece suit complete with pocket watch & chain, with all of his underling “Yes-Men” sitting close-by. Then, the ladies, with their bobby socks & saddle shoes, and those ’40’s dresses & hair styles (just like my mom wore!) Then there are the young men captured here. How many of these young boys would soon be fighting in Europe or the South Pacific?  If any of these people are still alive, even the young children seen in this picture, they would be at least 80-85 years old today. And then look deeper into the park background…..after spending nearly every single Sunday afternoon at the park myself as a young boy growing up in the ’60’s I still vaguely remember those outing buildings, and that yellow, cinder block restroom building up on a hill, poised above the rest of the parks amusements.  Then there are all of those long gone, mighty trees that covered this area of the park with a dark, cool blanket of shade on these brilliant afternoons. I can almost smell the steamed clams, hot dogs, and beers in the air!
Let me know if you recognize or know any of the faces seen here….I’d love to know! I already had a childhood friend identify his Mom as one of the ladies sewing in one of my earlier images of activity at the mill.
*Make certain that you click on the picture a couple of times to pop it open to full size, and then use the slider at the bottom of the page to view the entire length of this massive print! It’s over 72 INCHES LONG!!!

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“Run of the Mill”

Last week I shot the images of the Elmira Knitting Mill as unforgiving fire roared through it’s long dormant shell.
Tonight, I shot these images of the very same location for the Heights Historical Society. Lets go back to the early 1940’s, while World War II was roaring, The Knitting Mill was humming with activity. How cool would it be, to go back in time and be able to walk though this place during it’s prime.
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Employment Application

Employment Application

Sewing Department - Pants & Polo Shirts

Sewing Department – Pants & Polo Shirts

Cloth Finishing Department

Cloth Finishing Department

Sewing Department - Infants Wear

Sewing Department – Infants Wear

Spring Needle Knitting Department

Spring Needle Knitting Department

Latch Needle Knitting Department

Latch Needle Knitting Department

Order Filling Department

Order Filling Department

The Shipping Department

The Shipping Department

The Big One! Elmira Knitting Mills Warehouse Fire – 01/31/16

Had to laugh….I was called in by my Buddy Horseheads FD Chief Artie Sullivan…so I dusted it off & grabbed my trusty old T&C Helmet with my nickname, the trademark BATMAN logo on it. When I got to the scene Artie and Heights Chief Mike Cadek gave me the OK to shoot away among the Fire Troops inside the FD crowd ropes…..while doing so a Heights PD Officer came up, thought I was just an ordinary civilian and was going to move me back….
I explained to him that I had permission to shoot there…..
He asked “Who are you?”
“I’M BATMAN”
End of story……..got lots of great stuff, and lucky for all of us….it was 54 degrees out this January 31st! Felt like a Spring Drill.

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Good Ole’ Bill Shaw, the gentleman in the Yellow Fire Police Jacket & who has been in the Heights FD since he was 9 years old kept saying all night long…”I’ve been waiting Seventy One Years For This S.O.B. to Burn Down!” Well there you go Bill!!!

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WWII Atlantic Memories

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Ned Morrow – WWII Veteran – U.S. Navy

“Forever Run….”

Well, for being born the runt of her litter with a heart murmur, and because of that all of the Vets we spoke to told us not to expect her to live more than 5-7 years.  So with everything seemingly going against her, our little baby girl outlived ALL of her siblings and made it to 15 years and almost one week. Over the weekend though, she had some neurological setbacks which took away her ability to walk, as well as a few other major issues, so today at High Noon, on this Spectacularly Gorgeous Fall Day in October, we helped our little girl get back on her Forever Feet, Gave her Kisses & Big Hugs, and Set Her Free to Romp and Play once again! You’ll always be our Special Little Chloe Girl! xoxo
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Rockwell

I shot this last week for the Rockwell Museum of Western Art in Corning, NY – Pretty Cool!

http://blog.rickbacmanski.com/gentleman-joe/

Fun In The Sun

Using the Best Backlight of all! SUNSHINE!
A couple favorites from tonight’s shoot….East Coast Girls having Fun in the Sun, in the oh too soon, dying days of Summer 2015.

🙂
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Wedding Day Flair of the Finger Lakes

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A Little Bit Country

Ashley & Ridge – June 6, 2015 – Wagner Vineyards
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“Raisin’ Cain”

The Muti-Talented Virgil Cain @ Tonight’s Music & Margaritas Party on the Terrace @ The Rockwell Museum. 06.24.15
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