Over the past years I have been asked by my editor to submit my favorite photographs I took during the year. This year seemed to be more of a challenge for me. I try to keep the selection to 10 but I could have selected more.
A big event this year was the solar eclipse that occurred in August. Well, the bigger event was trying to find a pair of solar eclipse glasses to view the rare occurrence. I found Mason County Intermediate School principal Robbie Kimble and fourth grader Jeremiah Bisotti in front of their school giving me a demonstration on using the glasses safely.
A cold Saturday in February found me inside the former Jockey building photographing an indoor track meet. Local teams were participating in the meet. I watched as athletics warmed-up in their events. Iyanna Johns of Mason County made several jumps prior to the start of the long jump event. I tried to show her determination in doing her best jump possible.
Each May, graduating seniors from Mason County High School return to Straub Elementary where it all started to parade down the hallways in their caps and gowns. This year was no exception. Straub students lined the colorful hallways to shake hands and congratulate the Class of 2017 for their accomplishments.
I was sitting at my desk in March when a fire page came over my scanner of a truck fire near the Kentucky end of the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge. I am usually miles away when I hear a message like this over the radio. Not this time. I moved quickly down the stairs to my vehicle, grabbed my camera and walked in the direction of the fire. A thick black smoke engulfed the end of the bridge as the fire in the bed of this truck quickly spread, consuming the passenger compartment as well. No one was hurt in the fire.
October found me in Flemingsburg for its annual Tractor Parade. I seem to view the parade like most spectators, from the sidewalks and occasionally a safe distance in front. Not this year. I wanted something different. Line-up for the event is usually around one hour before the start. Tractors of all sizes, colors, and conditions converge on the stockyards to get organized. I spotted a tall combine with ladders that might make a great vantage point for me to show how many tractors are involved in the event. Permission was granted and I scampered up to the top of the combine to take my photo. Believe me, it was higher than I thought, but I wasn't going back down without my image.
The 4th of July. Parades, picnics, and fireworks. Not for this group. What better way to spend the holiday weekend. Turtle hunting. The biggest, baddest, turtles I have ever seen. Gene Boulden of May's Lick stopped by my house and ask me if I wanted a great photo. "Just stop by my house," said Boulden. I did and he wasn't kidding! Joining Boulden in the photo are Jimmy Dailey, Gary Sweet and John Alcorn.
May was the end of the school year for most students. This group of students was rewarded for meeting their reading goals with a picnic at the Maysville-Mason County Recreation Park. They selected to play a round of miniature golf. I thought a photo through this obstacle would make for an interesting photo.
July found Kassidy Perkins involved in showing her prized lamb at Germantown during a 9 to 11-year-old Showmanship Class. Youngsters are taught to keep their eyes on the judges during competitions. Perkins did just that. So did the spectator in the stands.
What would a Top Ten Photo list be without "Mr. Top Ten" David Letterman's visit to our area in October? I went to photograph an unusual jet that was landing at Fleming-Mason Airport that morning. After landing, several passengers got off and headed to a rental car. A few minutes later, a man with dark sunglasses and a full-length beard stepped from the jet. He made his way to the terminal building to freshen up. I looked closely at him and knew he looked familiar. "Aren't you David Letterman". He looked at me, smiled and went for a ride in a rental. I can't say any more!
Returning from an air show, this P-51 Mustang landed at Fleming-Mason Airport to refuel. During landing, it blew a tire. The pilot did a remarkable job controlling the aircraft. The pilot spent most of the day at the airport waiting for a new tire that was coming from North Carolina. After fixing the flat tire, the pilot took off. I wasn't expecting what happened next. I noticed the plane making a turn and descending. It came back by the airport full speed for a low pass fly by. His way of thanking everyone for their help.
I am often asked what is my favorite photo. I give them the same answer: "The one that I'm taking tomorrow."