On December 14th I once again participated in the Photographers Adventure Club’s Help Portrait event.  This year it was held in conjunction with the DSNetwork’s annual Christmas party at The Venue in Scottsdale.  The PAC’s role was to provide free family portraits for the guests at the party.  There was also a station that was open to the public for those in the community to take advantage of the free portrait offer.  It was quite an event.  Food, music, dancing, face painting, a balloon twister, carolers, the ASU cheerleaders, the Arizona Cardinals’ mascot, and of course, Santa Clause.  My job was again to be a behind the scenes shooter which gives me the opportunity to shoot candid shots, which I enjoy taking very much.

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On a side note, this was the 3rd balloon twister I have met that looked at me in utter confusion when I said “make me a bicycle, clown!”, one of the great lines from Wedding Crashers.  I guess none of them saw the movie.


In addition to all the wonderful photographic opportunities that PAC offers through the year, PAC has a weekly photo theme.  A member photographer can submit one photograph a day that best represents the theme, or the more adventurous can enter  the weekly contest.  The winner gets a free print of his or her work courtesy of Vivyx Printing.  Last week’s theme was RED.  This is one of the shots I took.  The image is pretty much SOOC.  The only light source was the string of 100 red miniature Christmas lights I had plugged in.  Probably my favorite out of all the images I took.



Several Facebook friends are posting their favorite Christmas movie.  Mine is The LOTR – Return of the King. But it wasn’t the first movie I thought of.  The first movie I really associate with Christmas is Camelot.

December 1967, my junior year in high school, brought the great blizzard to Prescott, AZ.  We hardly, if ever, got snow around Christmas time.  Nature made up for it by dumping 4 feet of snow that winter.  Although the town was paralyzed for a few days, eventually with the use of chains people could get around town a bit.

It was during this time that I and my friend Panther Man had committed ourselves to going on a double date.  This was our first time going out with either one of these young ladies, so we really didn’t know them that well.  We were to pick the girls up at the same house.  It was dark, dark and bitter cold, with maybe three other cars on the road.  The house we were going to was  about a half mile up this dirt road.  I tried to drive up to the house, but even with chains, the road was so iced over and steep that I couldn’t get any traction to get up to the house.  So I parked the car next to an eight foot snowbank on the semi main road and we walked up to the house.

Prescott had two theaters in town, The Elks and The Studio.  Panther and I, being the polite, suave juniors in high school that we were, and wanting to make an impression on our first date with these young ladies, asked which movie they would like to see.  I know that Panther and I wanted to see what was at The Elks, but the girls wanted to go to The Studio and see Camelot.  Never heard of it.

“Never heard of it.  What’s it about.”

“Oh, it’s about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table .”

Man, oh man! Are these girls great or what!  First date and they want to go see a movie about knights and sword fights and bloody body parts and all that cool stuff!  Believe it, we couldn’t say “YES” fast enough.

Get to the theater, find some seats.  It’s me, then the two girls and then Panther Man.  Us two guys leaning forward, ready for the action…the blood, the guts, the swords, the axes, the hacking!  The curtain goes up (yes boys and girls, the theater had curtains in front of the movie screen back in the day).

The movie starts.  A very young Dumbledore, excuse me, Richard Harris, is talking about war and battle and hoping he wouldn’t die.  And before you know it, the first song begins.  Hearing the tune and words of “I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight?” the girls now lean forward rapt with enjoyment.  Panther and I lean way back, turn and look at each other with faces that said it all.  We. Had. Been. Played.


After 3 hours of watching people sing their way through the Dark Ages, we took the girls home.  Much colder, much darker, much icier, and I am talking the road and weather conditions, not the mood in the car.  We drove to the road that led to the house.  The car still would still not go up the road, so once again I parked as close to the snowbank as I could. We walked the girls back up to the house.  As soon as we entered the house,  the phone rang.  One of the girl’s answered the phone, listened and then looked at me and said “it’s for you.”  It was my dad informing me in a very loud and ominous tone that “the police were at HIS car and ready to tow it away and… ” I think I may have said goodbye, but I wouldn’t swear to it  as I grabbed Panther Man, bolted out the door, sliding and tumbling down the icy dirt road  to make sure the police did not tow the family car away.  Apparently, the snowbank had covered up the No Parking sign which my car was parked next to.  It all eventually worked out for Timmy.  There were 3 NOs.  No ticket, no towing, no car keys for the next 3 months.

That’s why I think of Camelot when I think of Christmas movies.

I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.  And I hope you create some memories that make you chuckle 47 years down the road.

Here is a link to a great article about the 1967 blizzard.

These are the rest of my favorite images from the Study in Red.  Enjoy.

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    • Thanks for checking out the blog. Got to admit that I did look at the first few minutes of Camelot on YouTube to be accurate. Before I always said that the first song was “How to Handle a Woman.” Have a good New Year.

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