It was a grenade – a 12 volt grenade!

David Hobby, internationally known over at his blog, The Strobist has called me out by dredging up some ugly memories from a Florida vs Florida State football game in the early 80s.

David was a photo intern at the Tallahassee Democrat from the University of Florida.  While not as good as interns from Western Kentucky, we had several from UF none the less.

Back to the game, it wasn’t so much playing the Gators but the horrid rain that soaked the Doak that night.  I remember the rivers of water flowing onto the field from the stands, like a hundred salmon ladders.  I also remember the large grate covered drains on the sidelines spinning all matter of debris in several large vortexes around the field trying desperately to keep up with the famed Florida State-Florida rain storm.

1986 in the Toilet Bowl at Doak Campbell

1986 in the Toilet Bowl at Doak Campbell

Ok, so it wasn’t the rain storm so much that Hobby called me out on but his observations as to how newspaper photographers had to keep on shooting long after the last whiskey bottle had clanked it’s way down a 100 rows on the salmon ladder.

The staffers at the Democrat trained a lot of excellent future photojournalist back in the day.  Todd Stubing, Darron Silva (WKU), David Pollar and, of course, David Hobby to name but a few.

Now there are two ways to teach. One is teaching how to do something and the other is by teaching how NOT to do something.  It was the latter teaching method the photogs at the Democrat utilized.

How was I supposed to know that the motor drive I pulled from my old Nikon film camera and shoved into my pocket was going to short out deep in the pocket of my soaked jeans.  The motor was acting cranky so I pulled and stashed it so I could keep shooting with my thumb winder and ZAP!

It was a strong teaching technique and apparently it worked.  David learned that one shouldn’t shove a live grenade in their pocket without actually having to make that mistake himself.  Good teachers we were. I pulled that electrifying stunt just for your educational advancement David!

As soon as my moles inside the Baltimore Sun come through, I’ll have plenty on David Hobby!

Through the rain and flood and electricity, I still delivered!  Let’s see yours David ????

Go Seminoles!

Listening to: Gavin Rossdale – Love Remains the Same

2 responses to “It was a grenade – a 12 volt grenade!”

  1. David Hobby says:

    Moles? At The Sun?

    Fat chance. They laid off all rodents and lower-order primates in the last round of cuts. Muh-ha-ha-ha-ha…

    That was, indeed, an epic game. Biblical, even.

    Fortunately for me, my negs are long gone to who-knows-where from back in those days. Chalk it up to a lack of employer continuity on my part.

    So you will have to compete against my rose-colored memories!

    Thanks for the comment — will have to go back and insert a link to this in the original post.

    You’ve got my email now, so no need to be a stranger.


  2. David Poller says:

    Ahhh, this sure brings back memories of shooting at Soak Campbell Stadium – I think it rained like this every time I shot there. Maybe the gods were angry because, at the time, the Gators were losing most of those match-ups.

    I never had a motor drive explode on me in the rain like that, though. Like you said, sometimes you guys taught by showing how NOT to do something. Lesson learned. 🙂


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