3Rd Ave, Grandpa, My Sister, A Big Green Cadillac, and Red Cowboy Boots

Grandpa started as a chauffeur around 1905; it was the early days of automobiles. I recall seeing a few pictures of him wearing a fur coat and boots. The car was large, and the driver sat in the open.
In the 1920s, grandpa was now driving a taxicab for a living. By 1930 had become an owner of a small taxi company. He worked long days inside the garage and still drove a taxi. Then after World War II, he sold the company.
But grandpa was a car guy. 1952-54, his car was a Green Cadillac with whitewall tires. He washed that car all the time, and the white walls on the tires were painted white for that bright, clean look. After cleaning the car, I would ride in the front seat to the Mobile Gas Station; they had the flying red horse
He would pull into the gas station, and three or four guys in blue uniforms would start working on the car. Each one would have a task, pumping the gas, checking the oil and water in the radiator, checking the tire pressure, and cleaning the car windows. All that for about 25-cents a gallon. Between 1951-54, mom would ask her father, grandpa, to babysit my sister and me. We loved it, and off into the back seat of the Cadillac, we would go. It always seemed enormous. It was.

Next, we would head down to Manhattan. From his taxicab days, grandpa had his favorite places. All over New York City, we would stop in businesses where he knew people. Many would give us candy. He especially liked 3rd Ave. Back then, the 3rd Ave still had elevated subway tracks, commonly referred to as the 3rd Ave El. Real estate under the elevated subway lines was not considered a prime location. On 3rd Ave, south of 42nd street, there were many bars, and grandpa took my sister and me to them. We would sit in the big (we were little) booths drinking sodas and eat bar food. Mostly what I remember of those places is they all smelled terrible. I don’t know what prompted this but, once grandpa bought us red cowboy boots. My sister and I still remember wearing them and often bring them up. When we arrive home wearing our red cowboy boots, I can still see mom staring at them and saying, “dad, why are they wearing red cowboy boots” and grandpa leaving as fast as he could. I think he just wanted to buy them for us.
Through my work, I had daily meetings with clients on 3rd Ave. As I walked up and down 3rd Ave, often eating at some well-known places on 3rd Ave, I would think of grandpa, my sister, his big green Cadillac, and those red cowboy boots.

Photo: © by Andreas Feininger for Life magazine-

Washington Senators 1971 Spring Training

Spring Training 2021 comes to an end on March 30, and the 2021 MLB season officially begins April 1, with the Yankees vs. Blue Jays at 1:05 at Yankee Stadium.

My archives are a series of Ozzie Sweet original film/pictures taken in 1971 at the Washington Senators Training camp. This year made it 50 years ago. Since 90-percent of those pictures have not been seen in public, I thought, time to share them. On March 22, I began posting pictures of Ozzie Sweets 1971, Washington Senators, photoshoot for Sport magazine on my Twitter page.

Why 1971? In February 1971, the Washington Senators spring-training camp opened, helmed by manager Ted Williams.

Ted Williams Ranked the fourth greatest ballplayer in the history of MLB

In camp is Curt Flood, who lost his challenge to baseball reserve clause in court. And Denny McLain, who broke baseball’s rules associating with gamblers.

Curt Flood, age 33, left the team 13 games into the season, never to play again. Denny McLain fought with Ted Williams all season, winning only 10-games, losing 22. By the age of 28, 1972 playing for two other teams, 2x Cy Young and 1x MVP, and last pitcher to win 30 games going 31-6 1n 1968, was out of baseball forever.

For more information:

Curt Flood https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/07/how-curt-flood-changed-baseball-and-killed-his-career-in-the-process/241783/

Denny McLain https://www.freep.com/story/sports/mlb/tigers/2018/09/06/1968-detroit-tigers-denny-mcclain/1195283002/

For 50-years, I have been involved in printing and making prints, a subject I will expand on in future blogs. Part of why I revised and updated my website was my desire to close down my fine art studio. Going into 2020, I was thinking about how to close down. As much as I love photography, I love printmaking. The shutdown allowed me to be away from the studio and think uninterrupted about what I wanted. Then one day, my inbox started dinging, with sales from images of mine on Fine Art America. I had not forgotten about them, just not thinking of them. There printing is excellent, and I visited my page and started looking at other artist’s works. Then I remembered Getty was on FAA selling images using their services. Then I discovered that the Daily News, a New York City newspaper, was also working with FAA printing service. Needless to say, lightbulbs were popping off, and pieces starting to come together. The next thing I knew, I was working with Squarespace, 99design, and Soda Creek.

Letting go of printing, in the end, was easier than I imagined.


My new toy the FujiFilm Instax Wide 300 arrived today from B&H ( they are good). The first test shot was of our Christmas Tree as it will be leaving the apartment tomorrow for recycling.
All I can say is, I’m already having fun with the camera. The film cost per sheet is $1.19, and that can get pricey. But none the less I’m enjoying it and starting on January 1, will be taking one shot every day for the year 2017, to be posted on blogs and Twitter.

My Nikon , lens 70-200mm f2.8 FujiFilm Instax Wide 300 & First Polaroid. Shoot on my iphone 5s Paul Plaine/Ballpark Prints LLC
My Nikon, Lens 70-200mm f2.8, FujiFilm Instax Wide 300 & First Polaroid. Shot on my iPhone 5s Paul Plaine/Ballpark Prints LLC

Like Indiana Jones in the ‘Last Crusade’  “You must choose but choose wisely” picking photography as my profession of choice all those years ago, I did.

My early fascination with photography came through viewing the family albums with mom. The portraits of my grandparents were always my favorite.

In the 50s’ my Uncle, Sam had a Polaroid Land Camera that  I always remembered as both elegant and magical because you had the picture in your hand in an instant Polaroids were also very popular when I was in the Army you could send pictures home in letters in quickly.

Polaroid Land Instant Camera Model 95
Polaroid Land Instant Camera Model 95

The other hidden feature about Polaroid Cameras was the early models gave you control of the aperture and shutter, this was helpful when shooting studio setups with 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 view cameras sync the Polaroid first to check the shots lighting saved us time and money.

I have always loved the instant film concept and the look of polaroids. For some time now I have been looking on and off at instant camera’s on B&H website, and today I bought the Fuji Instax 300 with a lot film.

FujiFilm Instant Wide 300
FujiFilm Instax Wide 300

As the title of this blog says, ‘Photography Should Be Fun’ it’s always been fun to me, but have the ability to hand out that instant moment will be a bit more fun to share with friends and family.