JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 06.19.21

A busy, eclectic week.

Finally shot some music.

And musicians.

Coached some baseball.

Shot some baseball.

Summer is here!

_______________

What I Watched This Week: Basketball and baseball

What I Read This Week: Ugh. My reading was been way, way down this week. Hard pass.

Joe McNally: Read: Leo in Layers

Dan Bailey: Watch: The Most Useful AF Setting for Fuji cameras.

Behind The Shot podcast: Perspective and Composition with Sal Cincotta

Dan Milnor: Watch: Notes on Photography: Miami

WSJ: National parks are overcrowded and closing their gates.

 

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2021

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Happy Father’s Day, Pop

My dad’s pocket knife.

“All what we have learned about manhood is what we have seen and what we have heard from our fathers. My father was my hero.” ~ Bruce Springsteen.

Been trying to do this post for a few weeks now.

But, work got in the way.

Life got in the way.

Things got in the way.

Or so I told myself.

Tribute posts are tough.

Tribute posts to the person who quite possibly molded and shaped you into much of who you are are really, really tough.

Not sure how this will go, but let’s give it a try, on this Father’s Day 2021.

Last month, on May 4, my dad passed away.

I hadn’t seen him since March of 2020. That length of time did not deaden the impact of the phone call, from my Mom, when it came it.

I’m also 51. I knew Pop (he was Dad for 85% of my life. At some point, in my 30s, maybe, I started calling him Pop. Not sure why. But then my kids started calling him Pop. So, he’s Pop.) was in decline these last few years.

The quadruple bypass surgery a few years ago decimated him. He never fully recovered.

It was a slow wind-down. And the clock struck zero on May 4.

I was ready for the call, to be honest.

I want to say he had a good life, but, honestly, I don’t know.

I mean, he had a loving wife (and caregiver) for many long years. My sister is doing well with her family. He had five grandkids that love him.

But, did he set out to do what he wanted in life? Was he happy? Fulfilled? Content?

I’m sure he had dreams and aspirations.

I’m not sure I/we were ever privy to what they were, though

Vince Krajnak did his job in this life. He worked a challenging, stressful job but never brought it home.

Didn’t drink, didn’t smoke.

Cut the lawn on Wednesdays. Went to church on Sundays.

Ate what was put in front of him.

He was a lunch-pail guy. He toted it and did what he had to do to lead a good life and support a family.

He wasn’t a Springsteen fan (did like Sam Cooke though), but after he passed, it dawned on me he WAS like a character in a Springsteen song.

The type of man Bruce describes in during his Springsteen on Broadway rendition of My Father’s House (click the link above) > blue collar, doing what he needed to do to help his family, no fuss, no muss.

Just a man living his life. And, hopefully, one that made him happy.

Dad’s pocket knife – no idea where he acquired it from – hung in our shed for years. He used it when the time came.

I coveted it, and often, he told me “Go ahead, take it. I won’t use it again.”

I always said “Nope, not until you won’t be able to take it off the hook anymore.”

That day came on May 4, 2021.

I went home, then, for a few days, to help my mom out with things.

Later that week, coming back to New Jersey, I brought the pocketknife home with me.

A pocket knife as a metaphor for my Dad:

Low key.

Resourceful.

Able to help out no matter what.

Depended upon.

Solid.

I can’t write a good remembrance, Vincent P. Krajnak, a man of few words.

Too much to say. And I’m not good enough to say it.

But on this Father’s Day, I’m just remembering Vince.

Dad.

Pop.

The biggest influence on my life.

Bar none.

Rest in peace, Pop.

Thanks for handing over the pocket knife.

I’ll do my best with what it represents to me.

 

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2021

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Watered Down

Last week, it was HOT here. When my boys played for their championship game, it was 93 at 12 noon. Lots of Gatorade in the dugout.

The heat continued building through the week, and by Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday, there was the threat of thunderstorms every day, late in the day.

One of those days, we were to go to to the Trenton Thunder game, our baseball league’s annual night out.

Chase, Matt and I started the 25 minute drive to Trenton around 6 pm. By the time we go there, it was a deluge. We sat in Beauford the 4Runner listening to the rain pelt down for about 20 minutes, and decided to call it. The game was in a rain delay before even getting started.

I texted a friend, who was already in Arm & Hammer Park, and said “Hey, if it stops and they’re going to play, let me know.”

So, we drove 25 minutes home, where, actually, it wasn’t raining much. I dozed on the couch and watched the early part of the Sixers game. The rain stopped

Around 8:30, my phone pinged.

“Game is starting at 9.”

So, me and the boys saddled back up and went to the park. Aside from wet seats (Dad remembered to pack some towels in a backpack – Mrs. Krajnak didn’t raise no fool!).

And, in true minor league baseball fashion, long around 11 pm, late in the game…the sprinklers turned on, when the inning was going on. Maybe it was someone mistake, maybe they forgot to turn the timer off?

Who knows. But I tried to capture a fun shot before the situation was rectified.

It reminded me of a wonderful photo essay about minor league baseball by the great William Albert Allard. I have it in a book I got for about $5 – a steal – on eBay.

Over the winter, I listened to Bill be interviewed on The Photo Banter podcast. Alex, the host, asked him about this essay. Bill said NatGeo gave him an option: Go do an essay in Russia, or travel with this minor league team for a few months.

Bill said (I’m paraphrasing): “Russia isn’t going anywhere. But I may never get the chance to document minor league baseball again.”

I like that thinking.

Of course, on the way out of the  Thunder game, I had to snap the obligatory pic at the Thunder Road sign.

Chase (left) and Matt.

Hey, we’re in Jersey! There’s always a Bruce reference.

Oh, and yeah, the boys did win their Championship on that hot Saturday! Chase was our starting pitcher four our two playoff games and the Championship game, striking out 22 and giving up just two runs, and hitting a home run, two doubles and four singles. Matt caught every inning of every game, threw out a few runners and had a few big hits for us. Big pieces to our championship season.

Proud Dad.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2021

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JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 06.12.21

Mid-June, already.

Days flying by.

Still, we beat on, like boats against the current…

(Partial quote from the last line of my favorite novel. What is it? Let me know in the comments…)

Changes, coming by the time time the corn is knee high.

Stay tuned.

__________________

This Week’s Links:

What I Read The Week: I started Poirot Investigates, a collection of short stories.

What I Watched This Week: Purple Rain

Library of Congress: The Office of War Information is established.

New Yorker: Joe Conzo, Jr. captured the birth of hip hop.

Hyperallergic: Photos of Old Hollywood acquired by Hood Museum.

Joe McNally Blog: The Heat Is On

Favorite Photo of the Week: via Heather Barry (the broken bat photo. I can’t seem to link to to it directly.)

“When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track.” ~ Arthur (Usher) Fellig. aka Weegee (June 12, 1899 – December 26, 1968)

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2021

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