The Beginning

Do you ever wonder how all this got started? Straight from Patty, here is her story.

As a photographer for a newspaper, I saw a lot of photo-ops on my way to and from assignments. I also had a lot of out-takes, so I thought I would share some of the beauty of Crisfield with the world. Jan 11, 2009, I posted my first photo on Blogger.

Reggie Girl first visited my blog on February 5, when she responded to a post on Gordon's in Crisfield. Her first comments to me:

"Wow.....I felt like I was at Gordon's with you today Crisfield Maryland. Please tell Flea and Mr. "Cheeseburger" I send greetings from Georgia. I just relocated back South from the D.C. area. I have been to Gordon's. Fantastic food!!

Your picture's are amazing. If I come back up that way, will you take me and my hubby for lunch there? Not kidding.

I have to follow your BLOG now."

Being from Georgia, I had to kid Reggie Girl (in emails) about her living in Georgia, especially since she left the area to move there. Reggie Girl was a self-promoter of her town, just as I was a self-promoter of my town. We had some funny email conversations that no one ever read.

Sometime in February 2009, Reggie sent me a package of preserves. We had talked about a contest in emails showing off our towns in photos, and Reggie Girl also challenged me to a preserve-making contest. I immediately gave her the prize, because I can't cook. I told her I was posting ten random signs on Feb. 28, 2009 and invited her to join me. She did. Then we talked about doing another photo-filled contest between the two of us. Churches or people? We decided  to do churches the following week, and invited others to join us, so we could enjoy virtual walks around their towns.

I can't remember what date I told Reggie Girl we should take turns picking subjects. I did not think it was fair that I picked everything, so we eventually took turns. Once we started to pick up "members" (Reggie Girl referred to us a "Gang" - I liked that), I suggested to her that we let other people take turns picking subjects. How to do that was a problem. I think we went by the alphabet first, then someone with a name that started with the letter "B" would jump in when we were on "C's", and we would wonder what to do. Finally, one of us suggested  (I can't remember which one) that we put all the names in a hat and every other week one of us would draw a name. That got to be confusing, too.)

To add to that, both RG and myself would get tons of emails from people wanting to know the rules. It took time to explain that there were no rules, really. Only keep the theme about your town, make sure the photos were posted in time for Friday. And of course, in the beginning, we posted ten photos, but soon realized that was too much. One photo was enough it you did it right.

 We still had problems with people understanding the no-rules rules. For instance, some people would pick subjects that had nothing to do with their towns and some people would pick subjects that were too difficult for everyone. For instance, everyone has a flag or two flying around their town, but not everyone has an aquarium. I started the Friday Shoot-Out blog so people could get a little info about what we did and how we did it. The extra blog became more work for both of us. And it was hard to make everyone happy.

It may had been the stress of the blog, or other things, but on Friday June 12, 2009, one of our members picked the letter "M" for an assignment. Reggie Girl, who had always stayed in touch with me, posted this:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Shoot-Outs - The Letter M
I am still unable to post any of my pictures to Blogger right now.

In lieu of pictures I am posting my favorite poem that starts with the letter "M". I hope that you will find as much meaning to this beautiful poem as I do.

MYSELF

I have to live with myself, and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able, as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye.
I don't want to stand with the setting sun,
And hate myself for things I have done.

I don't want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself, as I come and go,
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of a man I really am;
I don't want to dress up myself in sham.

I want to go out with my head erect,
I want to deserve all men's respect;
But here in the struggle for fame and self
I want to be able to like myself
I don't want to look at myself and know
That I'm bluster and bluff, an empty show.

I can never hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see.
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself, and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.
By: Edgar A. Guest

Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend filled with love, joy and laughter and......."

I knew something was wrong when she posted this. I never got an email or a phone call from her. That was the end of her. No one ever heard from again. She faded away without a word of explanation.

Anyway, Gordon took her place for awhile - he has since left. Then ChefE and GingerV took over. Jen helped for awhile, and now we are down to Doreen and Sarah. The original idea of the FSO was to show off our towns, to make a postcards for everyone, so that they would want to visit our towns. That was a simple little thing between two people who were just happy to share what we could about our towns.

Oh, BTW, I coined the contest, the "My Town Shoot-Out" on March 3, 2009 post, and invited people to join us in our church shoot-out. Reggie Girl also invited people to join us.

Here is the text from my March 3, post:

"All you shutter bugs, and professionals out there: Remember, Friday is "church photo day." Reggie Girl and I are shooting different subjects each week in our 'My Town Shoot-Out'  (do you like that Reggie Girl?).

This week, the subject is churches. I try to post around ten photos, Reggie Girl likes to outdo me, but you can shoot just a couple if you don't have a lot of time, or churches, in your area.

I have received a few emails from other bloggers who wanted to participate...everyone is welcome. The following week, we are doing people.
It is nice to be able to take a virtual stroll through other people's home towns.

Basir, it would be great if you could join us, too.

And I know that Barry can dig out some photos!

See Ya'll in church on Friday!"

Notice Barry was one of our first shooters. Basir never joined in. He is a photographer in Afghanistan, so I think he has more important things to do, but every once in awhile I hear from him.

The very first shooters, at least the ones that are still with us today, are Barry, GingerV, Butler and Bagman. Every once in awhile J9 jumps in.


So What is Patty Up To Now?


As for me, the newspaper lost one of their photographers, and they did not replace them. My work doubled last year. I was so beat on most days, if I had to take a photo I did not want to take, it was like work, so I bowed out. I had hoped to return when I retired, but I did such a good job promoting "My town" that I was recently made the official Photographer Laureate by the Chamber and City. Now I spend all my time working for free. And we have a lot of events around here! But I don't have to take names and I don't have deadlines. It keeps me shooting, too. And if I did not shoot for something important, I would be nothing more than a causal photographer taking pictures of trees and "stuff". I am a reorder of life, and I can't put that away. Oh, and I give many of my photos to a competitor paper for free - just the ones I take for the Chamber, so there is not a lot of work there. Here, we all know each other, so I make the editor gets names.

Anyway, I freely pass my crown on to anyone who wishes to wear it. I hope that the FSO grows. No, it no longer has to be about anything except what the administrators wish it to be about. So go forward, grow, and have fun. But don't let it burn you out.

One day, I am going to surprise everyone and make a FSO post.

I gotta run, I am sooo late.

But I am retired. aren't I? Heehe.

Patty


To visit Patty's blogs:


Volunteers who have kept this Shoot Out Rolling after Patty and Reggie Girl:
Gordon
ChefE
GingerV
Jen
Doreen
Sarah
Rebecca
Mark (Bagman and Butler) 
Peggy

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