Black and White Photography of New York - Dave Beckerman

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28 August, 2008 (10:13)

john-ir-1503 Savant

I’ve written about J. before.  He is the idiot savant in our little town.  When you first see him, you think that he’s handicapped, which I suppose he is.  But as you get to know him, you find out that he’s got some “rainman,” in him.  He knows more about blues and jazz than anyone I’ve ever run into.

I ended up buying a CD for every conceivable holiday.  Now his birthday is coming up and he wants something by Fitzcaraldo (?)  I usually have to figure out who he’s talking about, and I always need to make a copy of whatever I give him because two months later he tells me that the CD is broke.

A number of viewers have asked to see what people look like with the IR setup.  This is in the shade.  The main thing you need to watch out for is shooting people dead-on or you’ll end up with the dead-eye infrared look.

It’s worse with the flash.  And it’s really bad with the flash at night where the eyes rather than being dead have the worst red-eye you can imagine.  You can get around this to some extent if you move the flash off to the side of the lens.

Well anyway - I’d better find out who this Fitzcaraldo is because J. will be reminding me every day until he gets it.

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Comment from peter
Time: August 28, 2008, 3:12 pm

Last try…I think there is a problem with posting mssgs on your site….I assume J. is referring to ‘Fitscarraldo’, an early 80’s movie by director Werner Herzog with Klaus Kinski in the lead role. A fantastic story about a madman trying to build an opera house in the amazonian jungle. You’ll find the link on wikipedia.

Comment from Dave Beckerman
Time: August 28, 2008, 3:47 pm

Peter - I love that movie.

No this is the name of either a jazz group or a musician.

Comment from Dave Beckerman
Time: August 28, 2008, 4:02 pm

Just to show you how tough it is to understand John - this is who he’s talking about:

Vince Guaraldi

Fitscarraldo is one of the Herzog movies that I can watch any time it’s on. Also, the documentary - did you ever see it - about Kinski — is it called My Best Fiend?? Whatever - Kinski was an amazing actor and a total madman.

Comment from peter
Time: August 28, 2008, 5:00 pm

Did see the documentary as well…reminding me of the mayhem surrounding the production of ‘Apocalypse Now’.

Comment from Ken Reither
Time: August 31, 2008, 4:52 am

Dave, I recall that you’ve mentioned this fellow before. You are a compassionate and caring individual. You see things in people that others don’t.

Comment from Dave Beckerman
Time: August 31, 2008, 7:31 am

Very kind of you to say (Ken). You know - it is a tricky line with J. because if you aren’t careful he’ll begin to invent holidays - or at least expect CDs on minor holidays. He’ll also hit you up for iced-coffee all the time. So eventually you have to say “no” and set your limits. He’s fine with that.

But what a tough life he leads. He’s the subject of jokes from many in the neighborhood. 99% of the people he comes into contact with believe he’s retarded (which he definitely isn’t). I don’t know what the exact diagnosis is - and I know he’s on several medications - but it seems to be some form of autism. And music is the only thing that relaxes him. And as I say, it was a shock to find out just how much he knew about jazz and blues. I know a bit about the old blues guys - but he’s has an encyclopedic knowledge, complete with birth dates, recording dates of albums etc.

The only time I ever doubted his judgement was when he insisted that I buy him Pat Boone CDs.

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