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Paparazzo by Request

Discussion in 'People' started by Uncle Frank, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. A friend's son and his wife came to San Francisco last weekend. He was competing in the Alcatraz Swim or Die event, and they invited me to join his party for dinner the night before.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Nancy and I were delighted to visit with Derek and Heather, and his brother and sister-in-law. I was Cody and Nicci's wedding photographer over 2 years ago, when they only had eyes for each other.

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    I'm glad to report that is still the case :) .

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    Derek was hoping I'd take some pictures of the event (duh), and I was glad to be his personal paparazzo for the weekend. He and Heather are a beautiful couple of kids... and speaking kids, they are expecting a child in just 3 months. This will be her third, so Heather has the "expectant mother's glow" thing down pat.

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    We had an early evening on Saturday, because Race Day started at 6:15AM on Sunday at Crissy Field. Derek had his game face on...

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    ... and Heather was there to support him.

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    At 6:30, Derek finished dressing and jumped on a San Francisco style shuttle to pier 41.

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    From there, the contestants were ferried to the shores of an ominous Alcatraz, where they inexplicably leaped off a perfectly good ferry into freezing 60 degree water for a 2 1/2 mile ocean swim back to Crissy Field. There was a large group of spectators waiting to see if their loved ones survived the cold... and the sharks :eek: .

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    The strong tides pushed them around, so they starting popping out of the water at various points up and down the coast...

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    ... and then running to the finish line. As you might expect, there were some impressive physical specimens among the leaders.

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    Derek is a sculpted 6' 4" 230 pounds... a studly ex-NFL tight end... but he wasn't in the lead pack. I'll enjoy teasing him about this order of finish.

    09:01:20 AM - OMG, she did it without a wetsuit!!!
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    09:02:14 AM
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    09:02:53 AM
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    09:03:45 AM
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    09:07:48 AM
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    But anyone who completes an Alcatraz swim has my complete and utter respect. Derek richly derserves his trophy shirt!

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    BTW, Crissy Field is my new favorite place for pictures of the GG Bridge.

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    Hmmm, I wonder if I could get any business if I advertised myself as a Personal Paparazzo for Hire?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2007
  2. Such a lovely series and witty captions. Feast for my eyes. You are the best Uncle Frank.

  3. Thanks, Sam. Glad to have at least one happy reader ;-).
  4. Incredible shots Frank.... Now thats a gutsy swim !!
  5. I like the way your pictures usually carry a story Frank. Makes for interesting looking/reading.

    BTW, what team did he play for?
  6. I'm glad you like the narrative presentation style, Roy. Derek blocked for Barry Sanders, but due to a spinal injury, had a very short NFL career.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2007
  7. rbsmith


    Apr 13, 2005
    Saltillo, Ms
    Nice series Frank. Thanks for sharing
  8. Thanks Jim and Rex. I appreciate you taking the time to comment!
  9. Having worked in that city for 8 years I know all too well the challenge this was for your friend. Well done to him and to you for capturing it all on film (OK on sensor).
  10. Sweet series Frank - we have the "Wanderlust" section for travelogues - maybe we need a "Storytelling" section (is that what "Photojournalism" is?) - that was a fun story with fun photos.
  11. Excellent work!
  12. I've got to admit I wasn't sure if I should put this thread in people, PJ, or sports. I decided it has too much portraiture to be PJ, and not enough athletics to be sports, so I gambled on people.

    Note: I mis-stated the distance. The swim is "only" 1 1/2 miles. But this article shows how challenging that swim was.

    Associated Press - August 5, 2007 9:24 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The body of a 51-year-old woman who was competing in the 1.5-mile Alcatraz Challenge Aquathlon was found dead today.

    Sara "Sally" Lowes of Houston, Texas was pulled from the water by a Marin County Sheriff's patrol boat early this morning. The cause of death has not yet been determined, the San Francisco Medical Examiner said.

    The annual race begins at Alcatraz and finishes at Crissy Field in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

    Race director Gary Emich said the 569 swimmers were registered in the event and that Lowes' death was the first in the race's 27-year history.
  13. srwatters


    Feb 27, 2006
    Plano, TX
    Great story and images UF.

    That is indeed a great event and I'm saddened to hear that one of the participants died.

    The swim is one of the most awe inspiring events I've ever done. To jump off the ferry into the bay and look up to the SF skyline is truly something you just have to see to believe! I did the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon back a few years ago and will always remember that view!

    Thanks for jogging the old memory cells with your images!
  14. Seth


    Jun 6, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Very nice series, Frank.
  15. DTrain

    DTrain Guest

    Dam fine work Uncle Frank! Not only did you manage to capture the images of the event but you caught the essence of the whole weekend. I am impressed and thankful of your gift. Great captions, and by the way I said hello to your favorite "homeless person" the next morning. I reminded him of the picture you took of him and he erupted with joy all over again. Thank you. Derek
  16. Hey, very cool of you to show up over here, Derek! I hope my snapshots make it easier for you to share the weekend with your friends back home.

    This was my favorite picture of you and Heather. I think it captures your personalities and your great relationship :cool: .

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Btw, I hope Cody, Nicci, and the suitcase full of beauty products made it on the plane this time.
  17. Hey, I think I know that guy at 09:03:45 AM. He might work on my floor @ Apple.
  18. Well show it to him. If it's of him, tell him I've got a print to sell him ;-).
  19. Will do!
  20. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    Personal Paparazzo ...great concept, Frank. i love this series, the story, everything about it...just super pal ...thanks for sharing...;-))
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