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Ringo, Love Me Do and the new doo — but it will grow back!

Staff Writer
Brownwood Bulletin
Steve Nash

First, some housekeeping.

About that photo that accompanies this column, for the my three faithful readers: it was a moment of weakness, against my better judgment, and lo, I didn’t really even know what I was doing.

Yes I am shocked — shocked, I say again.

To those who have been unable to contain their shock — shock! —as I have ventured out in public, I offer these four reassuring words: it ... will ... grow ... back!

In the meantime, I’ll miss being called Ringo and hearing someone begin singing “Love Me Do” as a paean to my formerly long flowing locks.

•••

I’ll be celebrating my 83rd birthday this coming week, and I’m sure my three readers will be wondering what — what? — they could get me for the occasion. That’s an excellent question and hard to answer, as most of the stuff I want tends to come from places such as B and H Photo and costs $1,000 or more per item.

If you’ll all just send me gift certificates for at least that amount, I’ll get my presents ordered. Thank you in advance.

As far as I know I’ll be getting visits this weekend from the two yoots and the yootette, and we’ll have a party, party. I can’t wait to see what they and Wifey will be giving me for my birthday, and it’s perfectly OK if they don’t get me anything from B and H.

And speaking of birthdays, the two yoots have October birthday. It’s their birthday too, yeah! Although not on the same day. The Elder’s is Oct. 3 (he’ll be 23) and the Younger’s is Oct. 11, when he’ll be 21. The privilege of just being my sons is all the presents they need.

***

I remember the first time I used a Canon big-bertha 70-200 f2.8 lens while roaming the sidelines at a football game. It was at Longhorn Stadium. It’s a distinct-looking lens, with its off-white color — beige? Tan? — with contrasting black focus and zoom rings.

This is so cool, I thought — until I saw several other people on the sidelines with the identical lens! Scandalous. You know that feeling you get when you go to a party and someone is wearing your outfit? Only in this case, there were a lot of people wearing my outfit, and I was never so embarrassed.

Years ago, I believe it was a MAD magazine segment that depicted a guy on sort of a round-the-world trip, and at every location, he was taking photos. After he returned to his home town, someone asked him if he’d enjoyed his vacation. He said he didn’t know, because he hadn’t gotten his pictures back! (This was in the days of something called “film,” obviously.)

That would tend to be me.

But I’ll admit, if I’m out somewhere being a tourist and/or spectator at an event, I’m a bit turned off at seeing eight out of 11 people toting a DSLR camera and big bertha lens. I’ll think, is that what I look like?

***

Like most people who ever touch a camera, I indulge in selfies — especially now that I have a GoPro. (Oh, and the photo that accompanies this column? It’s a selfie.)

If I ever think I’m a half-way decent photographer, that notion vanishes when I see photos taken by professionals, or remind myself that what I consider to be my very best work would end up in the trash at Nat Geo.

You three readers have probably heard me mention how enamored I am with one particular lens I own — a 10-20 mm. It’s what I would call an artistic lens and you have to use it on purpose, i.e., exploiting its ability to distort angles and close-up objects.

I had fun with it on a recent visit to Zephyr when photographed two very interesting buildings there — the community center and the Zephyr Baptist Church. I’ve used it to photograph other churches and interesting buildings in Brown County. The results might not be to everybody’s taste, but to my perspective, it makes buildings that are “interesting” look, well, really, really interesting.

If you’ve ever been to the Dallas Baptist University campus, imagine my dismay at being there without my beloved 10-20, and in fact, I didn’t have a camera at all. What was I even thinking?

***

There was a time when I felt somewhat intimidated to have my camera around highly skilled photographers, as I felt inadequate and embarrassed, a fake and a pretender. Without exception, all of the real photographers I’ve been around have been friendly, helpful and humble about their skills, and more than willing to give advice and critique.

Heather Nix has been marvelous. Before I ever met her, I was of course familiar with her name and her work, and I was terrified the first time I went around her with a camera. No need for that. She’s as nice as can be.