The Long Vigil, A Great Read!

     Over the years, I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of books, but I’ve only read three cover-to-cover in one sitting. The first was To Kill the Potempkin and Mexico Bente Uno, both written by Mark Joseph. The third was Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil, written by Jerome Charyn. Someone once asked me how I could tell a great photograph, and I said to them it’s when I bite my bottom lip and under my breath I scream “I wish I made that photo!” That’s how I feel about Jerome’s latest book. I wish he wrote this book 30 years ago. It would have really helped me understand Joe DiMaggio the Yankee clipper as applicable to my relationship with him as a photographer and member of the press. I found myself screaming “Oh My God I understand now!” Hell, if Joe D. was alive today, he’d understand himself a whole lot better! (A quick antidote- I was photographing a Gerry Cooney fight in San Fransisco for Sports Illustrated and somewhere around 3 o’clock in the afternoon in an almost totally empty cow palace. DiMaggio walked in ringside, sat down in his seat alone. I was approximately 40 feet away setting up a remote camera. I looked over, smiled, no particular response. I went back to where my camera bag was, took out a 300 mm 2.8 lens, focused on a chair near DiMaggio, flipped it to a vertical, looked over the lens before I moved it, glanced at DiMaggio-we made eye contact- and I made 3 frames. Before my finger hit the shutter release to make the 4th, DiMaggio, without saying a word, mouthed “THAT’S ENOUGH”. It might as well have been an earthquake.) Mr. Charyn, thank you so much for clearing this up for me. You have written one hell of a great book. I’m going to buy a dozen copies as gifts.

Joe D.

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