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Army Days

Memorial Day, brings back memories from long ago, when brave young men & women went off to fight in World War II, the “War to End All War’s” or so they said……so what a perfect day to post a few more Army & Air Force themed personal favorites from this weekend’s moving Return of the Red Tails event honoring the Heroic Tuskegee Airmen of WWII, held at the Wings Of Eagles Discovery Center. As the Events Official Photographer I had the honor to spend the day amongst these hero’s, and also with one of the only two remaining P-51 Fighters that are still flying today.  It was a true honor. My thanks to all the Period Re-En actors featured in these great shots.

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I’ll Be Waiting….

Memorial Day, what a perfect day to post a few personal favorites from this weekend’s moving Return of the Red Tails event honoring the Heroic Tuskegee Airmen of WWII. As the Event Photographer I had the honor to spend the day amongst these hero’s, and also with one of the only two remaining P-51 Fighters that are still flying today.  It was a true honor. My thanks to all the Period Re-En actors featured in these great shots… our Fly-Boy Calvin, and the lovely, vintage Miss Racquel, who looks like she just stepped out of Hollywood in the ’40’s. Great Job you two!

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Saturday Night Hits

Here’s a couple of shots from Saturday Night’s Jackals game @ First Arena. In the Second Period forward Danny Hobbs caught a Wheeling slapshot to the side of his face, just below the eye. Last reports are that it was nothing too serious other than stitches to a cut that isn’t even bleeding yet,in this shot taken only a micro second after the hit. Next we have Corey Bellamy getting up from the ice after an altercation and banging his head against the dasher boards at ice level. Good news is no concussion, & Corey’s all stitched up & ready to go for the next game! Old Time Hockey! The Hobbs shot, I’d have to say is one of my best action moments from this season.

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“Sparly, Very Sparkly!”

Kinda cool, some of the “Hardware” I’ve gotten to photograph so far over my 14 seasons as Elmira Jackals Team Photographer . Last night it was Kacey Bellamy’s 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Silver Medal for The U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey Team. Then, a few years back in 2010, it was opposition coach, Neil Smiths 1993-’94 New York Rangers Stanley Cup Champions diamond clustered ring
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Olympic Silver Medalist visits First Arena!

Two-time US Olympic Silver Medalist Kacey Bellamy dropped the Ceremonial First Puck & was signing autographs & greeting Jackals Fans during the first intermission at SplitRock Brew Pub at tonight’s big Jackals win over Evansville.

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“A Soldier’s Special Surprise”

Here are a few of my favorite shots from Saturday Night’s Surprise Reunion between Brittany Daghita and her Husband, Army Specialist Joey Daghita! She didn’t have a clue that he was back home to be a part of this recognition ceremony during the first Intermission of the Elmira Jackals hockey game @ First Arena in Elmira, NY ….

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“LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING OUR GUEST OF HONOR TONIGHT, BRITTANY DAGHITA. BRITTANY, A NATIVE OF ITHACA, WAS MARRIED TO HER HUSBAND, ARMY SPECIALIST JOEY DAGHITA OF TRUMANSBURG, IN MAY 2013 JUST MONTHS BEFORE HIS THIRD TOUR OF DUTY TO KUWAIT. BRITTANY AND JOEY GREW UP CHILDHOOD FRIENDS AND THEIR FAMILIES SPENT A LOT OF TIME TOGETHER. UPON JOEY’S DEPLOYMENT TO KUWAIT IN SEPTEMBER 2013 BRITTANY MOVED FROM FORT RUCKER, ALABAMA TO ITHACA TO BE CLOSER TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

TONIGHT WE HONOR AND RECOGNIZE BRITTANY, AND ON BEHALF OF ALL MILITARY FAMILY MEMBERS, FOR HER COMMITMENT TO AND SUPPORT OF THOSE IN OUR ARMED FORCES.

(THIS IS WHERE BRITTANY WILL POSE FOR PHOTOS FROM RICK BACMANSKI AND MUG FOR THE CAMERAS SO THAT WE CAN SNEAK JOEY UP BEHIND HER)

WAIT, WAIT LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. I’VE JUST BEEN PASSED A NOTE THAT WE HAVE ADDED A SPECIAL GUEST OF HONOR FOR TONIGHT. BRITTANY, IT TURNS OUT THAT WE NEEDED YOU HERE TO HELP US WELCOME HOME, FROM HIS TOUR OF DUTY IN KUWAIT, OUR SPECIAL GUEST OF HONOR TONIGHT – YOUR HUSBAND, ARMY SPECIALIST JOEY DAGHITA!!!!!!

“Every soldier deserves a hero’s welcome,” says a popular ad on TV.

In that spirit, a soldier just back from the Middle East was saluted at Elmira’s First Arena on Saturday night, and his wife was given the surprise of her life.

Army Spc. Albert “Joey” Daghita, of Trumansburg, and his wife, Brittany, of Ithaca, were reunited in an on-ice ceremony between the first and second period of the Elmira Jackals’ hockey game against the South Carolina Stingrays.

Brittany, who was told she would be recognized for her support of those in the military, said later she was taken completely by surprise when her husband walked up behind her in his camouflage uniform as the crowd — which included about 25 relatives and friends — cheered.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It was amazing.”

Asked later how he felt before the ceremony, the 22-year-old soldier said, “Very nervous. I didn’t know how she was going to react.” Then he added, “My heart was beating a thousand beats a minute.”

“Mine was too,” said Brittany, who is 23. “Mine was, definitely.”

Although everyone was able to keep the reunion a surprise, the evening didn’t go exactly as planned. Originally, the script called for Brittany to drop the ceremonial first puck before the start of the game and to then be joined by her husband.

But Joey Daghita was delayed getting from Alabama, where he’s based at Fort Rucker, to the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport. He said he had to drive to Atlanta, where there was a slight delay, and then had a layover in Philadelphia. After he arrived at Ithaca, he was driven by a state trooper directly to the arena, a trip that he said took about 20 minutes at speeds of over 90 mph.

Joey returned to his unit at Fort Rucker on Feb. 20 after completing his third tour in Kuwait. He was deployed in September, just four months after the couple was married. He said he spent some time in Afghanistan during his deployments.

When he was shipped out this time, Brittany returned to Ithaca to stay with her parents, Debbie and Frank Lupo, and to be close to other relatives and friends.

 

First Arena Faces – 02/22/14 Gamenight

Lots of Faces in the crowd this Winter Saturday Jackals Gamenight….from Coach, to the Jackals Army, The Flagman, Dr. Jackal, Our Boys on the Ice, Zamboni Guys, Jackals Laundry Men, Blade, The Organ Donation Folks, Strobes & the Jersey Auction Crew, & finally Capt. Borb’s wishing his Biggest Little Fan a Happy Third Birthday…..and she says she’s sure that’s the reason why he scored the Hat Trick on Friday Night! Three Years, Three Goals…..Sounds Good to me! This Folks, is Elmira Jackals Hockey Night @ First Arena!
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Polar Vortex Fire & Ice

Made a Midnight Run tonight up to Seneca Lake with my buddy A.D. Wheeler to shoot the Northern Lights. Well, so much for the plans of mortal men! Once we got up there we found fully overcast skies just killing any chance at all to see this great celestial feast. So after sitting in the car and polishing off our DD hot chocolates, we walked out to the lake on the Clute Park Breakwater Wall, and we played around a little in the balmy 18 degree January morning glow at 1:00 A.M.  And ya know what? After looking more closely at these shots, maybe just maybe,  perhaps we did manage to capture some of that Aurora Borealis after all?
Kinda Kool, Huh? Had a lot of fun Andy, It was a real pleasure! 🙂

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Home Again In Horseheads NY One Hundred Years Later

Here’s a neat story about another addition to my collection of “Treasures”.
Last month a family friend, Marcie Baer came up from her home in Maryland & spent the weekend. For a few years she had mentioned that she had a surprise for me, something that she had from a long time ago. She brought up with her an old piece of oak & glass furniture, an old retail umbrella sales & display case. It was in her Dad’s basement for many, many years until he died only a few years ago.
This case was manufactured by the Oscar Onken Company of Cincinnati, Ohio at the turn of the 20th century. Umbrellas were used a lot more back in those days, and were considered a vital and necessary part of every well dressed persons wardrobe. These cases were usually found in most clothing stores and haberdasheries. They were also commonly found in the general stores or local gathering places of smaller communities that sold tobacco, confections, newspapers, etc. So much for the description of what this piece was in it’s past life.
So Marcie knows I collect and appreciate historical items, and knowing that she did not have any practical use for this thing…it now became mine!
It was in terrible shape. It was watermarked, dirty, full of cobwebs, had 2 broken panels of glass. Despite all of this, I saw a real gem inside!
Over the past month, I cleaned it up, hand rubbed it all with Tung Oil, had the missing glass panels replaced, and in general brought this beauty back to life, as these images beautifully show. I actually use it now to hold the many umbrellas that I use here in my Studio. But the neatest thing about this whole story is that this case started out it’s life in the early 1900’s in one of those above mentioned little shops….a place called H.A. Messings – A store selling men’s furnishings – tobacco, magazines & books. It later was sold and changed names into Rudy Baer’s Corner, right on the corner here in Hanover Square, just two blocks away from where my Studio stands today, and where that case will now call home, at least until I retire!
Welcome home to an old friend, back home in Horseheads, NY…..where you began….where you belong!
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Frame From The Fog

All day today I had the pleasure to shoot & chronicle the delivery, installation & final mounting and presentation of a remarkably beautifully piece of art at the Rockwell Museum of Western Art in Corning, NY. This great painting, Mt. Whitney, painted by Albert Bierstadt,  got a brand new custom made, period accurate frame that reflects the period accurate style & grandeur of the 1860’s- 1870’s when this painting was created. A group of talented Framing Artisians from Manhattan NYC, who themselves hand crafted this one of a kind $70,000 Masterpiece Frame, were on hand to handle the painstaking set-up, fitting and installation of this remarkable piece of art. It was a very interesting day watching this collaboration all come together! A job well done by everyone involved!
PS: After looking at that next to last image of all the guys raising that painting up on the wall….the way some of them have their hands and arms outstretched reminds me of the famous flag raising shot from Iwo Jima in World War II.

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