One of the more magical places that we visited in the summer of 2017 was the ancient stone circle at Avebury in Wiltshire. Maintained by the National Trust, it was our introduction to touring the English countryside after taking the Holyhead ferry from Dublin and driving to our accommodations in neighboring Hampshire. It is true that the stones are ancient but I found the contours … Continue reading Avebury National Trust Stone Circle
Our trip through the English countryside in the summer of 2017 left Jess and I terribly moved by the juxtaposition of its profound beauty with its deep and often troubled history. Reminders of the long human inhabitation of Britain are everywhere, punctuated by driving down a hedgerow hemmed lane only to round a corner into an eleventh century churchyard. A photograph that Jess took as … Continue reading Continuity
My old friend Peter lives in Mexico most of the time now, but when he came back before Thanksgiving, the two of us headed up to Convent, Louisiana so I could photograph the Oaks of St. Joseph that line a magical sweep of the Mississippi River’s front across River Road from the Manresa Retreat House. I was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough sun, but … Continue reading Oaks of St. Joseph in the Fog
For weeks I had thought that by a decade later that I would be ready to unpack memories and share my experiences of the massacre that unfolded on the campus of Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. As this day drew nearer, that old familiar pressure band built in my mind. I always imagine it being like how dogs feel when a tropical depression blows in off … Continue reading Decennium
Greta, the day I brought her home in 2002. Like many moments that somehow change your life forever, I ended up the owner of a bird dog entirely by chance. An acquaintance whose father-in-law’s hunting dogs had a litter called to ask if I would like a free German Shorthaired Pointer puppy. I wasn’t familiar with the breed, but he emailed a few pictures of … Continue reading Gentle Pointers About Life Learned from Life with a Pointer: Remembering a Special Bird Dog
From left to right: Sony SLT-A77 with 16-50/2.8 zoom, Fuji X-T1 with 23/1.4R, and Honeywell Pentax SLR with 28/2.8 lens – circa 1965. Photo taken with an iPad! “It looks like it is from the ’80s.” That was the first thing my wife said about my Fuji X-T1 as I excitedly handed it to her. She didn’t mean it as a compliment. The blow to … Continue reading Rediscovering Something Old in Something New: Thoughts About My New Fuji X-T1 and Life
My essay “Italian New Orleans and the Business of Food in the Immigrant City: There’s More to the Muffuletta than Meets the Eye,” appeared in the 2013 volume The Larder: Food Studies Methods from the American South. In it I discuss the methodology I developed in that became the basis for the Documentary and Oral History Studio at Loyola and how it came to shape … Continue reading The Larder Hits the Shelves
It “sneauxed” on the campus of Loyola University on December 5, 2012. Okay, not really. Every year, the Office of Student Life stages an event on the Horseshoe where a company comes in and makes a giant pile of fake snow. The process functions something like a snowball machine. Since the start of the fall semester, I’ve been organizing Loyola’s new Documentary and Oral History … Continue reading Merry Christmas!
(my apologies to the late Charlton Heston for the title) Sunday morning provided me with the opportunity to combine two interests – building implosions and cameras. I think I’ve recovered fully enough now to tell the tale! The old Pallas Hotel in New Orleans had never been a commercial success, and for as long as I’ve been coming to the city it has loomed over … Continue reading Gray Lady Down!
It has taken a surprisingly long time to get into print, but Fordham University Press has at long last released The Great Task Remaining Before Us: Reconstruction as America’s Continuing Civil War. I’m honored to join so many fine historians who have contributed to this work and would like to thank the ceaseless efforts of Paul Cimbala and Randall Miller to see it through to … Continue reading Essay Collection Now Available