Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Year 2009 Dundalk Heritage Fair Photos

Photography by David Robert Crews

Welcome to my year 2009 Dundalk Heritage Fair photography blog postings.

The photography assignment -- which I had given to myself -- was to completely and clearly reveal that: the Dundalk Heritage Fair is held in comfortable, convenient, big-strong-beautiful-shade-tree endowed, and grass carpeted Dundalk Heritage Park; the Fair is well attended by some mighty fine, completely relaxed, friendly and fun loving folks; everything about the fair is usually a good experience; and dedicated, hard working, selfless volunteers from the community of Dundalk, Maryland make the Heritage Fair the outstanding success that it has been every year for the past 34 years.

This set of photographs is also all about natural photographic talent. Because, due to an unfortunate set of long standing circumstances, I could not photograph the 2009 Dundalk Heritage Fair with professional camera gear but had to photograph it all with an old Cannon Sure Shot "point and shoot" film camera that I borrowed. Manually operated pro gear allots me tons of creative control, which the all automatic Sure Shot does not.

And there no longer is an old fashioned photo lab at Dundalk Community College for me to do custom enlarging in. If you would care to view a substantial selection of my previous work done in that photo lab, along with much of my entire photography portfolio, check it all out at this link.

Also, I did the job at my own, personal expense, and I can't afford to have the negatives scanned as raw files, then fully enhanced, before they were turned into JPEGs -- with the limitations in sharpness and other photographic qualities that JPEGs are known for. But JPEGs load up onto a web page much faster.

Those losses of creative control really hurt me, but if I hadn't just told ya' you'd never know it's so when you're having a good time viewing my Heritage Fair photographic work.

I am a low income, disabled US Army Veteran, who has spent the past decade earnestly working and fighting to recover from substantial, devastating personal and financial losses, so it was rough on me -- in several ways -- to do this photography job. But the results are outstanding.

All things considered, including an inner drive to work as long and hard everyday as is possible, I love doing as much photography as I can.

There are 26 more Heritage Fair photography blog posts on this web site. Scroll down this page and 8 more posts roll out nicely below this one; then you hit the Older Posts button at the bottom of the blog posts to see 9 more posts about the Fair -- including great shots of Micky Dolenz signing autographs after he played a Rock 'n Roll concert at the Fair. If you explore this web sight past the Heritage Fair photos you will hit on posts for the 75th Annual Dundalk 4th of July Parade and then it is Dundalk Art Show photos from 2009; then it's lots more great photos of, and true words about, the best of Dundalk, Maryland USA.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dundalk Patapsco Neck Historical Society at The Heritage Fair

Photography by David Robert Crews

The Dundalk Patapsco Neck Historical Society has a nifty little museum in Dundalk Village Shopping Center. Check it out sometime.

Bob Staab wrote a locally popular book titled "Growing Up In Dundalk" Precious Memories. And in the photo just above, at the left, Bob is the suntanned, former-lifeguard-looking type of a guy standing there showing the two ladies and dark shirted man a copy of that book. Mr. Staab was my 5th and 6th grade physical education teacher -- called a gym teacher in those olden, 1961 era, days -- at Merritt Elementary School. I also knew Mr. Staab as a lifeguard down at Dundalk Bathing Beach/Merritt Beach, which was about a half a block down the street from the home where I grew up. As a kid, I spent plenty of time "down The Beach" myself, where I learned a lot by taking Red Cross swimming lessons there while also learning a bunch of good stuff about meeting pretty girls and havin' great times with guy and gal friends and buddies.

Normally, as a professional photographer, I would have cropped that Bob Staab photo up a little closer to Bob's and the one lady's waist level -- where 'twould make it a much tighter photograph. But I simply could not resist including those "hairy-bone socks"* and little ol' low cut loafer style shoes that Bob has on; because it proves the he most definitely still is one of them lifeguard types to this very day; even though he never could have afforded to own such an expensive, nice and comfortable looking pair of shoes back during his early days of living a whole lotta time on beaches. But they were great times, now precious times, I assure you.

(*"hairy-bone socks" is a comical expression that 1960s era Dundalk teens used for a guy wearing shoes without socks on, and is a take-off on the word Herringbone, which is a pattern used in fabrics -- now that's some Dundalk history youz would never learn anywheres else!)

Dundalk Renaissance Corporationand Team Dundalk at The Fair

Photography by David Robert Crews

Dundalk Renaissance Corporation and Team Dundalk, at the Heritage Fair, promoting the full and complete revitalization of Dundalk.

Local High School Alumni Maintained Booths at The Dundalk Heritage Fair

Photography by David Robert Crews

Local high school alumni associations maintained booths at the Dundalk Heritage Fair. The Patapsco High School and Center For The Arts alumni booth is pictured above, with stacks of PHS yearbooks on the table. And there was also a booth each for Dundalk High and Sparrows Point High alumni.

Crafts Vendors Were Aplenty at The Fair

Photography by David Robert Crews

There was a long, easy row of well stocked crafts tents set up on a soft grassy lane with plenty of wide, healthy shade trees above, at the 2009 Dundalk Heritage Fair. I bought that crab shell with a moose on it for display in my home. Because for many, many, many moons I have hoped to someday have crab meat and moose meat at the same meal together. All totaled, during my 59 years so far on planet Earth, I have eaten bushels of crabs while living in Maryland near the Chesapeake Bay and the Bay's eastern, Baltimore area, backwaters. Unfortunately, in my entire life -- including times as a hunting guide up in the North Woods of Maine -- I have only been alloted the pure pleasure of consuming one moose steak; that steak was humongous and decidedly delicious.

The Petting Zoo and The Pig Races

The Petting Zoo has been a favorite at the Dundalk Heritage Fair for years. I like the zoo's turtles best of all the critters.

The shot below is only one that I managed to grab of the 2009 Heritage Fair pig races. I kept forgetting to get over there before the races began, and it was so popular that once the show started the crowd watching it was so thick that I couldn't get into a good position to take photographs from. But that's good for the Fair. And I like that, because the Fair is a community volunteer effort that I am a small part of.

Photography by David Robert Crews

This photo is more a historical documentation of year 2009 women's hair styles in Dundalk than anything else.

Monkeying Around

Photography by David Robert Crews

Phineas T. Waggs giving his monkey pal Django a few sips of Pepsi. Phineas and Django entertained folks at the Dundalk Heritage Fair for hours.

Boy Scouts of America Troop 343 at The Dundalk Heritage Fair

Photography by David Robert Crews

Pictured above is just a small part of the good experience that the Boy Scouts of America Troop 343 created at the Dundalk Heritage Fair.

They shared their area at the fair with Venture Crew 343. We all know what the Boy Scouts are all about, but the Venture Crew is new to me. According to their web site: the venture crew is a coed group of youths who are at least age 14 or have completed the 8th grade. The crew has an activity once a month and also a week long activity sometime during June, July or August. They meet the last Thursday of each month, except on holidays. This is a youth run organization. We have a good variety of people who all get along and work well with each other. We carry out a variety of activities including things like GPS courses, bridge building, canoing, caving, white water rafting, sailing, biking, hiking and much much more. Each youth has a say in what the crew does or would like to do. If you are an outdoors person or want to become one this is the perfect group for you.

If you have any question, or if you wish to join, then send a e-mail to Crew343 at hotmail dot com

The Climbing Wall at The Heritage Fair

Photography by David Robert Crews

This climbing wall was a pretty-neat addition to the free offerings at the 2009 Dundalk Heritage Fair.

The Carnival Portion of The Heritage Fair Juts Out From The Main Body of The Fair Into Open, Breezy Sports Fields

Photography by David Robert Crews

I composed this photo as a very wide shot in order to show you that the carnival portion of The Dundalk Heritage Fair juts out from the main body of the Fair into open, breezy, well maintained sports fields that are behind Dundalk Elementary School. The main body of the Fair is on the other side of the school in beautiful, tree shaded Dundalk Heritage Park. And though you can only, easily, see the largest rides on the carnival midway, I assure you that there is a nice selection of kiddies rides there and plenty of carnival games and also booths selling carnival food and drink there.

I took this shot of the carnival section of the Dundalk Heritage Fair before the fair opened; hence, there are no riders on the rides yet. But the carnival ride operators sure got a good workout when the Fair was open.

My Goodness! There Sho' 'Nuf Was Plenty Of Great Food at The Fair!

Photography by David Robert Crews

There most certainly was plenty of fresh, protein packed, vitamin rich, yummy-yummy food for lunch, dinner and supper at the Dundalk Heritage Fair that I ate my fair share of.

There were also a decent number of sturdy and clean picnic tables placed throughout the fairgrounds.

And For Dessert at The Dundalk Heritage Fair

Photography by David Robert Crews

Some of your choices for a scrumptious sweet treat at the Dundalk Heritage Fair included Stouten's shaved ice gourmet snowballs, Pennsylvania Dutch Funnel Cakes, or maybe ya' might have munched on deliriously delicious double stuffed battered and deep fried Oreo Cookies!

You may wonder why an experienced photographer like myself has not cropped that trash container out of the snowball stand photo; and I should have, except for the fact that I'm a long time, hard core Recycle Ranger who wants to show that the Heritage Fair staff willingly put in the extra effort to recycle as much waste product as they could -- that clear plastic refuse container is there for the deposit of emptied plastic bottles and other items to be recycled. Recycling is good for our Planet Earth that the little baby being carried by his proud poppa is growing up on.

Oh yeah, by the way. If you look into the background of that snowball stand shot, you can see the green and yellow Dundalk Elementary School playground that oodles of kids at the Fair played on -- just one more reason why the Fair was a fun experience for all.

Doesn't That Look Relaxing?

Photography by David Robert Crews

What a relaxing scene that is.

Too youz (youz is "all of you" as spoken in a Dundalk dialect) English majors: I do know that "Don't That Look Relaxing?" in proper English is Doesn't That Look Relaxing? -- I just wanted to include a little bit 'ah local language on here.

If you peer past the two guys comfortably conversing on the Heritage Park bench, you will see the beer garden; then just past the beer garden, over the surrounding reddish-brown snow fence and across a skinny street is a neat line of portable potties. There's plenty enough of them portables that you rarely ever have to wait in line to use those necessary facilities.

There was, as always, a pleasant Baltimore County Police presence at the Dundalk Heritage Fair, but not one single arrest was made during the entire July 3, 4 and 5, 2009 weekend at the Fair.

I keep wondering where this widely alleged dangerous and dilapidated place Dundalk is. It isn't anywhere at all, because the grossly distorted image of Dundalk, Maryland that exists in the minds of many people is a figment of fertilized imaginations. And this photography blog of mine -- Blue Skies Over Dundalk Maryland -- proves that Dundalk, Md. is a nice place to live, work, shop, recreate and visit.

Michael Andy and Roy Moreland

Photography by David Robert Crews

Standing near the main entrance to the Dundalk Heritage Fair is Michael Andy at the left and Roy Moreland at the right chit-chatting about some of the various aspects of the numerous Dundalk events, community projects, etc. that they each have had a hand in creating and producing for many past years and more to come. Michael and I handled most of the World Wide Web promotions for the 2009 Dundalk Heritage Fair.

Charm City Choppers

Photography by David Robert Crews

Local motorcycle shop Charm City Choppers displaying some of their considerable mechanical talents and original artistry at the 34th Annual Dundalk Heritage Fair during the Fourth of July holiday for 2009.

Stage #2 at The Dundalk Heritage Fair

Photography by David Robert Crews

Here's some of my kind of older Rockers and Rollers, Southpaw(?) performing on Stage #2 of the Dundalk Heritage Fair.

The Audience at The Dundalk Heritage Fair Getting Ready For Micky Dolenz To Perform

Above, in this shot you can see the Dundalk Heritage Fair audience gathering in front of Stage #1 to await the performance of the main musical act of the weekend -- Micky Dolenz and his sister Coco.

That brick building in the background is Dundalk Elementary School. You can see in the photo above that Dundalk Heritage Park is a pleasant place to be.

In the photo below you see empty chairs and blankets in front of Stage #1. I have never heard of anyone having problems with setting up their places in the audience then leaving their chairs or blankets unattended for hours -- this general honesty and music lovers' camaraderie has been in effect at the Fair every year for all of its 34 years.

Photography by David Robert Crews

Micky Dolenz His Sister Coco and Their Band Rocked and Rolled The Dundalk Heritage Fair

After I had taken this shot of the sound and light booth I started to go around front and take another one showing those three guys' faces, as a historical document of themselves for them to see later; but, then I realized, knowing them Rock 'n Roll roadies/sound-light show-engineering types of guys like I do, in later years, they'd be more interested in seeing, and showing their family and friends, what mixing board and other equipment was being used than anything else.

In the photo below, I keep wondering what intimate, personal memories or feelings that the middle-aged couple holding hands were experiencing and sharing as Micky Dolenz, Coco and their band played great music. That couple had, most likely, like me, had been in their formative teenage years during the 1960s era, when The Monkees came to be a good part of our lives -- many of us back then watched The Monkees TV show every week and have enjoyed hearing their songs many, many times since. What memories/emotions would you guess they were sharing at the very moment I captured them together there on film?

Photography by David Robert Crews

Micky Dolenz along with his sister Coco and their kick-ass band rocked and rolled the Dundalk Heritage Fair on Sunday July 5, 2009. I watched most of the show from the front row, and I can tell you, emphatically, that Micky, Coco and the band were having a fantastic time up there giving it their all -- and their all was outstanding. I have never seen a bass guitar player lovin' life more or giving a better show of natural talents and well-honed musical skills. The drummer delivered a solid rockin' beat with dogged determination that rolled-right-on-time. The keyboard player tickled them thar' ivories with a deep belief in, and personal expression of, the credos of Rock 'n Roll. The lead guitar player kicked out guitar licks that loosened my screws in a most pleasant manner. Micky's sister Coco was up there on stage because she belonged there -- her voice added some powerhouse pleasures to the show. Micky sang and strummed his guitar like he was thrilled to just be getting his first big break into show business; personal stories Micky told about his long and eventful career were wonderfully expressed and well received by us in the audience. Those folks up on stage were so happy to be there that their inner joy spread throughout the audience like a surfer's legendary ninth-wave lifting us up and carrying us all on a thrilling ride. All together, the whole crew cooked my soul until I was simmering with contentment.

Ya' can't fool me, I know a great Rock 'n Roll concert when I experience it. I saw the first two Rolling Stones concerts at the Baltimore Civic Center back during the early 1960s, when the bands playing the Civic Center did an average, measly, 35 minutes of half-baked-poorly-amplified music then it was off to the next show in another city. From those early Stones' American tours on up through till I moved from Dundalk up to the vast woods of Northern Maine , in 1968, I saw most of the Rock and Roll acts that played the Baltimore Civic Center. I once paid a $2 admission to see Steppenwolf play at The Hullabaloo Club, which was in Brooklyn, Md., and the audience numbered less than 80; but Steppenwolf rocked our socks off. And that was many months before Steppenwolf's wild, rock music was ever played on a Baltimore radio station. Then a few years later Steppenwolf played the Civic Center and sounded lousy to me. When I was in high school -- DHS class of '68, I had close friends who played in two of the best teenage bands of the era -- the Rysing Suns and the Psychedelic Propeller -- both were substantial blues-rock bands. I saw them and lots of other local bands play at every dance, battle of the bands show or where ever I could get to. I bought many record albums back then before hardly anyone of us in the Baltimore area even knew who the bands were, including Jimi Hendrix. Later, in the early 1980s, at the height of George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyer's career, I saw them do a, one helluva badass, free 2 1/2 hour show in a small, West Chester, PA. bar. I've watched longtime, major Blues stars blast it out in small venues and at all day, outdoor concerts. I've seen lots of bands in all kinds of places and everyone I ever saw play at the Heritage Fair did just what the Micky Dolenz crew did on Sunday July 5, 2009 in Dundalk Heritage Park -- they played hard and with well honed musical skills, natural talents and honest expressions of deep gratitude towards, and warm, friendly connections to, their audience.

In the top photo, you can see that the Dundalk Heritage Fair Stage #1 is decorated with the flags of the five branches of America's military: left to right, Coast Guard, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Army.

Dundalk, Maryland's obvious support for, and recognition of, United States military personnel and military veterans was the most probable reason why Micky told the story, on stage, of how the Monkees' first hit song, "Last Train To Clarksville", came to be written by the famous song writing team of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, and what that song is all about. It is about a member of the US Armed Forces who has received orders to go to war and that military member wants to see a loved one for just a few hours more before that Soldier/Sailor/Marine/Air Force/Coast Guard Guy/Gal is sent to a war zone; and they don't know if they're ever coming home. I had never known this, until Micky told me, and the rest of the Heritage Fair audience there on that Sunday evening, what the song is about. Myself having been in the military during the Vietnam War, but fortunate enough to have never gone to war, I nearly 'lost it' there in the audience and had to hold back tears from the pains of loosing so many of my comrades-in-arms to all of my country's wars, and the personal, family, knowledge that more of America's military folks go off to war every day.

Parts of the song "Last Train To Clarksville", sung in Micky's voice, have been running through my head, over and over again, for several days now. I can hear it more as Blues number now, with Micky deftly expressing the angst and fears that the soldier in the train station is feeling their self. And I used to think it was just a great pop song.

The Last Train To Clarksville
Performed by: The Monkees, Micky Dolenz
Written by: Tommy Boyce; Bobby Hart

Take the last train to Clarksville,
And I'll meet you at the station.
You can be be there by four thirty,
'Cause I made your reservation.
Don't be slow, oh, no, no, no!
Oh, no, no, no!

'Cause I'm leavin' in the morning
And I must see you again
We'll have one more night together
'Til the morning brings my train.
And I must go, oh, no, no, no!
Oh, no, no, no!
And I don't know if I'm ever coming home.

Take the last train to Clarksville.
I'll be waiting at the station.
We'll have time for coffee flavored kisses
And a bit of conversation.
Oh... Oh, no, no, no!
Oh, no, no, no!

Take the last train to Clarksville,
I can't hear you in this noisy
Railroad station all alone.
I'm feelin' low. Oh, no, no, no!
Oh, no, no, no!
And I don't know if I'm ever coming home.

Take the last train to Clarksville,
Take the last train to Clarksville,
(fade out)

And here is the set list for the entire Micky Dolenz and His Sister Coco show as performed at the Dundalk Heritage Fair on Sunday July 5, 2009 -- including one of my favorite songs of all times: Stepping Stone.

That Was Then, This is Now
A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You
Sometime in the Morning
Last Train to Clarksville
Johnny B. Goode
Purple Haze
The Girl That I Knew Somewhere
Different Drum
(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone
Goin’ Down
White Rabbit
Oh Darling
D.W. Washburn
Daydream Believer
Pleasant Valley Sunday
Gimme Some Lovin'
I'm a Believer

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Micky Dolenz Signing Autographs at the Dundalk Heritage Fair

Here sits Micky Dolenz -- formerly the singing drummer for the Rock and Roll band The Monkees -- preparing to sign autographs right after he finished wringin' out a rockin' good show at the 2009 Dundalk Heritage Fair.

The first person up for autographs had an old magazine about The Monkees and one of their albums to be signed. The second person in line had Micky sign a copy of the program for the 34th annual Dundalk Heritage Fair and 75th anniversary of the Dundalk Fourth of July Parade. You can see here that Micky had some of his own photos and CDs for sale and to be signed -- they sold out quickly. It is A-OK with me that he made as much money as he could from the event. He had earned it by the way he, his sister Coco and their band had worked hard on stage entertaining a grateful crowd in Dundalk Heritage Park.

Above, Micky is happily signing a chairback that has The Monkees logo in the form of a guitar on it. That chairback belongs to the longhaired 'cat' in the photo below -- who's name is Chris Rayman. Chris is a Rock 'n Roll drummer who was inspired to begin his music career by seeing Micky play the drums on The Monkees TV show. Chris is a hard core Monkees fan. Chris recently opened his Phoenix Comix store in Dundalk Village Shopping Center. I saw that Monkees chair in Chris' comics store and suggested that he have Micky sign it at the Fair. Micky was happy to sign it; Chris was pleased to have it autographed; and I was right-well happy and pleased me-self to be there witnessing the scene and photographing it.

I was absolutely thrilled to be there when that Monkees Headquarters album was signed by Micky Dolenz. It had already been signed by the other three members of the former Monkees, and, myself being a longtime collector of certain things, I was thrilled to be there when that autograph collector completed his collection of former Monkees' signatures.

The following three photos clearly reveal how personable and downright genuine Micky is when meeting his fans.

In the photo above, Micky attentively listens to a fan's friendly compliment or question.

Photography by David Robert Crews

In the shot above, the ol' Mick-ster's mug glows with an endearing smile, after he had swapped jovial comments with one of the Heritage Fair backstage personnel. Micky, if you read this, I hope that you don't feel that I have overstepped the natural boundary line that exists between people who don't personally know each other by referring to you here as "the ol' Mick-ster"; you did, after all, spend a lot of time in my living room entertaining my entire family way back when new episodes of The Monkees TV show were being broadcast every week. And, Micky, thank you - Coco - and the band for playing a great concert in my hometown Dundalk.

As I sit here at my home computer, in the living room of the townhouse I rent on Liberty Parkway, in Dundalk, Maryland, USA, I can twist in my chair slightly to the left, peer out my front door and gaze about 150 yards across well maintained sports fields behind the Dundalk Elementary School into beautiful Dundalk Heritage Park and look directly at the spot where Micky Dolenz - his sister Coco - and their smashing band (ya' know what 'ah mean here by using the British term "smashing", don't you?) that Dolenz crew on Stage #1 of the Dundalk Heritage Fair delivered up some "out 'a sight", rockin' and rollin' goods on Sunday evening, July 5, 2009. It was a true privilege to have had them play practically right there in my friggin front yard.

Mowing Grass For The Dundalk Knights Football and Cheerleading Program's Booth

Photography by David Robert Crews

This good fellow is mowing grass for the Dundalk Knights Football and Cheerleading Program's Heritage Fair booth. There are always many such volunteers working for plenty of community groups who have booths at the fair.

See that building in the background? That is the old Dundalk YMCA. During July 2009 a 10-million-dollar renovation is being completed there. It will be a great place to swim, exercise and recreate -- just like when I was a regular there during my teenage years, in the 1960s.

Most Dundalk Heritage Fair Vendors Set Up Their Own Booths

Photography by David Robert Crews

One of the Many Dundalk Heritage Fair Volunteers

Photography by David Robert Crews

The photo above is of Bob Fogle, who has been the Heritage Fair entertainment chairman ever since the Fair began, way back in 1976. But he didn't get his bluejeans dirty by doing work on recruiting music acts as entertainment for the Fair; the day this photo was taken Bob was gettin' down and dirty while working with the rest of the volunteer crew who were setting up the Fair's fences, electric lines, etc..

The Dundalk Heritage Fair is an all volunteer endeavor. And it takes many kinds of volunteer efforts to produce the event during every 4th of July holiday time. Efforts that begin right after each year's Heritage Fair ends. And many of the volunteers work at full time jobs or own their own successful businesses.

I need names for all of the volunteers featured in this and the next 5 blog entries. If you know who they are, please email me: ursusdave at yahoo dot com

Informal Portraits

Here it is Thursday July 2, 2009 (my 59th birthday) and the vendors' tents are set up, the entire Fair setup is running on schedule, and that empty, winding sidewalk back there will be covered with strolling, contented Dundalk Heritage Fair attendees during the following three days.

Photography by David Robert Crews

Had I been able to, I would have gladly done more informal portraits of Dundalk Heritage Fair volunteers as I had in the three photographs above.

Installing Electric Lines and Lights

Photography by David Robert Crews

Setting Up The Lights and Sound System For The Main Stage

Photography by David Robert Crews