Five years ago, a mention of my photography in The Roanoke Times brought an an invitation to show some of my work and talk about photojournalism to a media class at William Byrd High School in Vinton.
Helping spread the word of my love of photography, filmmaking and writing were major reasons for why Amy and I decided to move here in 2004. Word of the Vinton appearance spread and I’ve stayed moderately busy showing my work in Roanoke, the New River Valley, Shehandoah Valley and even Danville.
During our first year, I also did showings at the Floyd Women’s Club and the Rotary Club. I’e also helped judge the photo competition at Floyd Elementary School. Most of the time, however, we have become invivible in our own home town.
I offered to assist at the high school whenever possible and helped KathleenInglesgy, Joe Klein and others at the high school with a video project interviewing veteerans and donated a high-end viedeo camera and editing deck to the project to the project. Other requests to help with other FCHS media projects have gone ignored. You’d think that in a time when the school system is strapped for cash and resources, it would take all the help it could get.
I thought about this week as I prepared for my 223rd appearance in five months at an area schoool — alll of them outside of Floyd County. The shows, which are free, have been staged at high schools, junior colleges and universities from Bristol to Lexington since the school year began last September and I agreed today to go to Charlottesvillle for a University of Virginia showing in two months.
As journalists go, I was far from a star. My success was — at best — moderate but I visited a lot of placess while on assignment and witnessesed a fair amount of history.
Yet that small insight into history holds little interest around here.
Not sure why.
Some have suggested it is my penchant for pissing people off.
Others says maybe it goes back to an old grudge from high schoool.
Most say I shouldn’t worry about it. Most are right. But sometimes it hurts.
Sports Illustrated writer Frank Deford once asked football legend Paul Hornung what it was like to play against the equally legendary Dick Butkus and he replied: “Dick played like he still hated you from the old neighborhood.”