Getting out despite the rain
I try to get out, take photos and talk to people at least four days every week, because I like to write and, since I don’t write fiction, that means I have to go do stuff. Even though it was threatening this week, I really wanted to get into town during foul-ish weather. Like a lot of people, I appreciate a gray day on the beach and I wanted to share it. I learned a couple of things walking around the inlet and bay area on a rainy day in Ocean City.
This was the week I learned about cat photos. I didn’t have any illusions about the power of cat photos beforehand. I knew they were popular, but was laboring under the misimpression that the cats in question had to be accompanied by cute sayings, preferably in white block lettering.
I was mistaken.
Cat photos have to be of cats being cats. And on some level it makes a lot of sense. Although in the big picture I’m decidedly a dog person, I like cats. Mostly I like your cat because he or she is not in my home. I have had cats before and they were clean, if passive-aggressive room mates, but cats only have to snuggle you once or twice a decade to establish the kind of emotional connection that dogs work for every day.
This cat was pretty cool and almost aggressively friendly. Also, he was something of a local celebrity. Once I posted this cat’s photo on Facebook with nothing more than a small description dozens of people recognized him, thousands liked or shared his photo. Moreover, people also posted their own beach cat photos. A lot of them.
So lesson number one: friendly cats are fun to photograph and everyone loves them.
Although the photo that was so popular on the Facebook page was from my camera, Kelly Russo took most of the photos. Kelly is my wife. She had the day off and was nice enough to accompany me. Frankly, it was a long week and she was happy for an excuse to get out with her camera and no hard deadlines. She has shot the photos for my books and does brisk portrait business, but among our favorite things to do is to go on photo adventures, as we call them.
Today’s adventures were precipitated by Shore Craft Beer Fest, in a way. I had not appreciated Sunset Park before and so wanted to go down there while it was gray and the storm was coming in. Kelly hadn’t either, although if she had it wouldn’t have mattered. Just as I like to get out and see stuff to write about, she likes photographing it and rarely needs a reason.
We talk a lot about what we’re doing and seeing, but we also just chat. It’s the idle talk that adds the most important dimension to the photo adventures because we’re behaving more like colleagues but not really. Since we’re technically working, it is like an escape from domesticity and an enhancement of it all at the same time. It gives us each a little insight into how the other works when they’re doing something they love.
Lesson two: remember why you do what you do.
A bad day fishing
Dennis Burdujan and a friend were out at the end of the sea wall where the inlet gives way to the Assawoman Bay. I knew I wanted to go and talk to them when I saw their silhouettes against the gray sky. Dennis’ buddy was camera shy and made his way out of the frame while Kelly took some shots of him.
So as she edged out to the end of the sea wall, I chatted with Dennis from the opposite side of the railing. His English was accented, but perfectly clear except for the wind. The rain was starting to come in and was preceded by an uptick in the breeze. Also, he was soft-spoken which didn’t help. I figured he was a hard core fisherman, being out on a day like it was, but I figured wrong.
“This is just my second time out,” he said. “I just like it.”
Having just discovered the pleasures of fishing in Ocean City, Dennis wasn’t going to let a little thing like a rain storm drive him from the beach. There was no lightening in the sky and he had the afternoon off, so why not fish? Or take photos? Or just a stroll on the shore?
Lesson number three: Remember how much you love to get out
More rainy day in Ocean City photos
It was tough to choose which photos to use, so here are some more: