This story behind the shot is a little different than my status-quo. It is part story behind the shot and part remembrance.
These images are part of a series I shot in high school for my black and white darkroom class. We had to choose a photographer, write a report on their work and try to replicate what they did to the best of our ability. I chose a press photographer from the 1930’s and 40’s named Arthur Fellig. He earned the nickname Weegee after the Ouiji board for his seemingly psychic ability to get to a crime scene before any other press. The truth of it; he was the first press photographer to have a permit to carry a police band-short wave radio. He also carried a portable darkroom in the trunk of his car to expedite his shot-to-print time. Because he worked in Manhattan during the 30’s and 40’s he dealt with a lot of mafia and violent crime.
With two amazingly willing full blooded Italian grandparents at my disposal, I went to work. My grandfather-a former lawyer- agreed to have a fake gun pulled on him by my grandmother in front of city hall (before the days of terrorist worries). We staged a card game gone wrong with Alfred Hitchcock like techniques using chocolate syrup for blood. The project earned me an A and some great shots for the book of memories.
This past week I lost my grandmother. She lived a full life of 95 years, was a major part of my life and accounts for a good amount of my personality. My love of cooking certainly comes from her (along with my inability to rest until I’m done washing the dishes after dinner). She was an incredibly caring and humble woman. Everyone in the family knew she was a lieutenant and nurse in the Navy in a time when women rarely rose through the ranks. What we didn’t know until recently was she was asked to represent the Navy during the induction of the United Nations in San Fransisco 1945. She didn’t even tell my mother about that. As one not to toot her own horn, who knows what other untold experiences she had.
The effects she had on so many will continue to ripple outward and touch the lives others for a long time to come. You’ll be missed immensely!
In Loving Memory of Yolanda Falcone
January 31, 1919 – December 12, 2014