Veteran’s Day

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that ALL of my brothers and sisters would like to thank you for your service. Without the heroism of all of the armed forces, we would not be able to live in the greatest and freest country in the history of mankind. I thank you and everyone in the country thanks you. To all the ships at sea, the next time you see a man or woman in uniform, thank them for their service. They will give you back the warmest and kindest smile you’ve ever seen.

 

Jess Weiss A Hero Forever

Jess & Joyce Weiss © Joe DiMaggio

Jess & Joyce Weiss © Joe DiMaggio

To All the Ships at Sea

Anyone that follows my blogs knows I’ve only done two blogs since August 5th. One blog was on the birthday of my son Joseph and the second a tribute to a great photographer Bill Eppridge, one of my heroes and a friend.  I’ve taken a hiatus for my blogs for a very specific reason which I will announce at the end of next month.
I just received a phone call from my friend’s daughter, Susan. When I saw the name on my phone my heart stopped. She said “Joe,”, ” I said please don’t tell me ,” and “she said yes.” I know Blogs are not meant to be about the dead. They should be about the living and in my case they should be about photography and filmmaking. If it wasn’t for my son Joseph and photographers like Bill Eppridge and visionaries like Jess Weiss my ability to make a photograph or do a film would be hindered to say the least. These are people in my life that have inspired, motivated and helped me understand the meaning of being on this blue marble for a short period of time.  Fifteen years ago my phone rang and it was Jess Weiss. He asked me to write his eulogy.  I was surprised, horrified, and frightened. Like Jess would always do, he put my mind at ease. He wasn’t sick he just wanted to make sure I’d be prepared for this day.  First a short history –  Jess was 97 years old the last book he wrote was –

Warrior to Spiritual Warrior the autobiography of Jess E. Weiss, one of the few living combat soldiers who survived the D-day landing on Omaha Beach. His experiences in Europe’s most famous battles were only the beginning of Weiss’ amazing story. He returned home from war to find himself facing a new battle, with the trauma that is known today as PTSD. A debilitating condition unrecognized in WW II, that led him to the most profound and transcendent spiritual journey imaginable.

Warrior to Spiritual Warrior is the post war memoir story of the journey Jess took as he rebuilt and reshaped his life. From the battlefields of WW II to his attempts to build a new spiritual foundation, Jess Weiss’ story is an unvarnished and stark portrait that will horrify, shock, illuminate, and ultimately liberate your faith in the strength of the human heart to heal and transcend the past..
If you follow my blogs you know I use the same expression over and over – you know I’m the luckiest man in the world.  I’ve always had people to go to –  a go to person for sports, for photography, for filmmaking, for writing and so on. Jess was my Go to Person for spiritual advisement and support.  He guided me through some of the darkest days in my life.  In a seven year period I lost my mother, father, brother, my son and nine close friends. His guidance, words, and beliefs helped me deal. I was honored to have him use one of my photos at the end of the remake of one of his books “The Vestibule”  The photo below was an original tribute to my father’s memory.  I think that Jess would be fine with it being repurposed in his memory.  He is still with us and will continue to be with me and in my heart forever. Thank you my friend,  you are a true American Hero.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

Jess and Joyce Weisss © Joe DiMaggio

Jess and Joyce Weiss © Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio  All Rights Reserved

© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

Private Jess Weiss June 1941

Corporal Jess Weiss and Herb SiegelJess E. Weiss Director and philanthropist David Lynch and author Jess E. Weiss attend the meditation at The Paley Center for Media on December 13, 2010 in New York City-1e
David Lynch & Jess Weiss Transcendental Meditation Conference

Award-Winning Photojournalist Bill Eppridge Dies October 3, 2013

Photographers Joe DiMaggio and Bill Eppridge © JoAnne Kalish

Photographers Joe DiMaggio and Bill Eppridge © JoAnne Kalish

To All The Ships At Sea

On October 1, my friend Johnny Iacono called to invite me to have lunch with him and some of our old cronies from Sports Illustrated.  He mentioned Bill Eppridge would also be there.  I said if Bill’s coming I would surely come as well, as I hadn’t seen Bill in a while. He’s one of my heroes.  A day and a half later I was watching the news and saw a portrait of Bill Eppridge on the screen and some of his photos and guessed he had passed.

Bill was a beautiful, human being as well as an extremely talented and great photojournalist. He was humble about what he’d accomplished over the last few decades.

For the record and for those not familiar with Bill’s work , Bill made the very enduring historic image of mortally wounded Senator Robert F. Kennedy lying on the floor of a Los Angeles hotel in June 1968. Mr. Kennedy had just won the California primary and was delivering an acceptance speech when he was shot by an Assassin.  Both JoAnne and I had an opportunity to go to his retrospective at the Fairfield Museum a while back. I had no idea about how many other great iconic photographs, that I remembered in my minds eye, that he had made. The depth and scope of his work at that show really brought it home about how important his contribution was as a journalist.

Art It’s All About the Art

Peter Fiore and Phil Rachelson

Peter Fiore and Phil Rachelson

  • Both JoAnne and myself have been extremely lucky over the years.  We have many artist friends, some play the blues, others play jazz, some work in pen and ink, oil, watercolor, photography, some are illustrators, some are poets,others are authors and the list goes on…Over the years we’ve been to many gallery openings all over the world. Last night we had an opportunity to go to Phil Rachelson’s  The Forge Gallery in Milford, PA. It was like walking into a high end New York City Gallery and studio. The space was amazing. To make it better there were three artist showing there – a father – Peter Fiore, a son Paul Fiore and daughter Lisa Fiore each with their own distinct style. It was obvious in the DNA that they were all accomplished and had a passion for their work. Talking about DNA, I left out the matriarch of the family Barbara Fiore is also an artist as well and works with ceramic sculpture.
  • To All the Ships at Sea, if you’re anywhere near the Upper Delaware stop by and visit Phil at The Forge Gallery – you won’t be disappointed.
Paul Fiore and friend

Paul Fiore and friend

Son-Daughter-Father Show at the Forgee

Amy Bridge Publisher and Editor of Milford Journal, JoAnne Kalish & Eileen Rachelson

Amy Bridge Publisher and Editor of Milford Journal, JoAnne Kalish & Eileen Rachelson

Eileen and Phil Rachelson

Eileen and Phil Rachelson

Son-Daughter-Fathere

A Time to Close Your Eyes and Wish

Toshi Seeger 2169e

Toshi Seeger © Joe DiMaggio

There comes a time when my words are just not important . The last time I saw Toshi Seeger was June 9th at the Strawberry Festival in Beacon.  She looked absolutely beautiful next Pete’s side as she’s been for almost 70 years.

I did not know Toshi but respected her. In an interview on Thursday Pete Seeger called his wife of almost 70 years “the brains of the family” and said it was she who figured out how to turn his artistic concepts into a commercial successes. “I’d get an idea and wouldn’t know how to make it work, and she’d figured out how to make it work,” he said.

My dear friend Jerry Beaver who is the director of the Black Bear Film Festival and owner of the Milford Theatre, after a Pete Seeger concert at his Theatre came across a piece of rolled up paper with words on it by Toshi, which he believed belonged to Pete.  He knew how much I loved Pete and gave me this piece of paper on loan to be used for a future blog.  When he gave it to me he did not know it would be used for my blog tribute to Toshi Seeger.  I am posting it for the world to see.

Pete Seeger © Joe DiMaggio

Pete Seeger © Joe DiMaggio

Words by Toshi Seeger

Words by Toshi Seeger

Toshi Seeger & JoAnne Kalish © Joe DiMaggio

Toshi Seeger & JoAnne Kalish © Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

ticket.edit

If I am not mistaken, the cliche is “no good deed goes unpunished”. As a matter of fact, if I’m not mistaken, I’ve used that in a blog recently. Well, let’s be perfectly honest; I do tend to repeat myself. I would like to share an experience with you and for purposes of discretion and for purposes that it’s unfair to speak ill of someone who cannot defend themselves, we’ll make this blog hypothetical. I was brought up to believe that all men and all women are created equal and I should never, ever presume that I am better than anyone ever. And to be quite clear, I still believe that. The problem with that philosophy is it leaves the door open for people with a particular agenda to take advantage of a good thought, a good intention. A psychologist one time tried to explain to me the difference between an A personality and a B personality. Artists tend to think with their hearts, and if you’re dealing with people that are interested in in their own personal agenda, you could get caught between Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro and there’s a very good possibility that the spot that’s left is your heart and soul. The problem of course is there’s another cliche; “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”.  So no matter how much I try to take my beret off and put on a business hat, invariably it doesn’t work. I guess you can’t change the DNA of the good guys, or for that matter the bad guys. The part that most make believe macho men never want to admit is how much it can hurt. You know what? It hurts. And then when you belly up to the mirror and look straight in, you damn well know whose fault it is. It’s my fault. I can’t blame anybody else. No producers, no creative directors, no corporate moguls, no buildings that are a city block long and a mile high. Ultimately I’m responsible for myself, and when I allow it to happen, I do it to myself. I think the line in the film The Godfather is “don’t take it personal” I wish I had the ability not to take it personally. So to all the ships at sea, moderate your pure heart and thought and your art, but don’t trust the s.o.b.s. Get it in writing. The world does not revolve on your sense of right and wrong. You had better learn the rules, and then you had better be ready to break them.

Pete Seeger is one of the greatest living human beings in the last millennium, there will only be one Pete Seeger.  

Thank God for putting him on the planet. 

Joe DiMaggio’s Personal Tribute to the 4th of July

Intro by Weir McBride

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

For veteran New York photographer Joe DiMaggio, July 4th remains a time for gratitude. “I am one of the luckiest people in the world. Many of my friends are artists, whether they be painters, writers, poets, musicians photographers or what have you. What’s the term that is used-  starving artists? Every once in a while, I tend to complain and moan about the state of the union. Several friends have reminded me if you don’t like the state of the union you can go somewhere else. To be honest, I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the world a couple of times. Every once in a while, I remember to get on bended knee and kiss the ground as I’m fortunate enough to live in the greatest country in the world. Think about it…

“The photograph of the model’s hand was a silhouette done on a transparent white background with 4 electronic flashes on the white background. The photo was originally done on Kodachrome 25 with the Singh-Ray UV Filter. The film was  rewound and reloaded back into the camera and a 2nd front lit image of an American Flag with a fan blowing on it was shot over the silhouette. The original photo had no help from photoshop because it was actually done before photoshop existed. Well what do you know — this older image has just been selected as a magazine cover and the client asked that the transparent white background be changed to blue as it would not work well with their logo. Hmm, have we heard this before? My photoshop skills are minimal at best and I intentionally keep it that way. Twelve to fourteen hours a day is enough work. An assistant gave me a hand and we dropped the blue into the background for the client.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

“This second photo was inspired as I was splitting wood for my fireplace and saw the inside grain of one particular piece of wood. I picked up a my EOS 5D Mark III, 100mm Macro with the Singh Ray Hi-Lux filter and made several frames. I then  shot one of my small American Flags and my assistant was kind enough to blend them together.”

To keep track of all that Joe and JoAnne are currently involved in, you need to visit their frequently up-dated website  You can also learn more about their workshop projects and fine art photography.  http://www.dimaggio-kalish.com and http://www.dimaggio-kalishworkshops.com

Bob Gilka R.I.P.

Robert Gilka in 2007
Photo by Bruce Dale

R.I.P. to all the ships at sea. Repetition is part of my DNA. To the point; repetition helps you became a more complete photographer, artist, musician, and business man.You have heard me say I am the luckiest man on the earth. Bob Gilka was one of my instructors at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. As I walked in, (a wet behind the ear want to be photo journalist) I met Bob. He said to me, “do you play football?” and I said yes. He said, “We’re going to have a touch game, I want you on my team.” I said fine. That was pretty much the last nice thing he had said to me over the next week. I watched him and the other great instructors literally tear people to shreds. little did we know he was not tearing us apart, he was actually building and rebuilding us. The experience and the teaching is with me every day, and it never goes away, It never will go away. When you entered Bob’s office at national geographic, there was a sign on his door that said ” Wipe knees before entering.” To be quite honest it’s actually impossible for me to put into words the power, the expertise, and the strength of someone like Bob. He did not live through the golden age of photography. He was the golden age of photography. The whole photographic community is in mourning. The next time you get on your knees to make a photograph, think of Gilka.

 

Copyright Joe DiMaggio

Copyright Joe DiMaggio
Under the fear and tutelage of Bob Gilka