“Hi, I’m Congressman Paul Tonko…”

Congressman Paul Tonko likes my Dream Window!
Congressman Paul Tonko likes my Dream Window!

So I need to explain this photo…

But first…

Sunday was the final day for the week-long Altamont Fair.  It’s the time when I can actually spend the day at the Fair, taking pictures and contemplating what I could enter in 2017’s Competition Season.  Best to not wait to consider my options.  You snooze, you lose.

Which is why I took several different photos – mostly with my Nimslo 3-dimensional film camera and my BlackBerry PRIV cell phone camera (have I mentioned at all how much I love my BlackBerry PRIV?  Maybe once or twice?).

Cluck you, bro…

A photo posted by Chuck Miller (@kchuckradio) on Aug 21, 2016 at 9:39am PDT

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And with that in mind, I took the time to talk with various people about different ideas and options for future entries.  It’s almost as if my rational side of my brain is working off one speed, and my conceptual side of my brain is on another speed.  And at some point, there will be a meeting of beats per minute, and the melody will blend into a beautiful song.

But for now, as the ideas percolate in my head, I took time to view the beauty and wonder of the Capital District’s three-county fair.  I photograph goats and chickens and a beautiful ram that possessed two shofar-detailed horns on his head.

You know … just the things you do at a county fair.

I visited the Arts and Crafts building, and immediately felt inspiration for new ideas for 2017.  And as I spoke with two of the volunteers about what I could enter and the categories for same –

The rain started pouring outdoors.  Pouring to the point where the Altamont Fair was turning into Altamont Lake.  And all of a sudden – a bat flew into the Arts and Crafts building, zipping back and forth along the length of the interior and causing patrons and volunteers to run for their lives.

Immediately I grabbed a nearby tablecloth, and using it the way a matador uses a red cape, I was able to guide the flying bat towards the building exit and shoo him away, the same way a matador might use a cape to control a charging bull.  Lots of applause for my efforts after that.

Whew.  That was fun.  But I have to wait out this rainstorm.  So I went over to the beer / karaoke building – yep, two great tastes that taste great together – and figured I would sing through a couple of karaoke songs until the rain slowed up.

Ah, here’s the book of available karaoke songs.  I’ll just pick through and –

Are you serious?  I could sing these songs at this karaoke place?

They have Dragon karaoke songs at this place?
They have Dragon karaoke songs at this place?

You mean to tell me that a karaoke provider in the Capital District somehow got a hold of an Australian karaoke disc and imported two songs from one of my favorite international rock bands?  Really?

After a couple of songs – no, as much as I wanted to sing a Dragon song, they didn’t have “Rain” or “Dreams of Ordinary Men” or “Western Girls” on the playlist – it was time to visit the art barn one more time.

And as I arrived and was talking with the organizers and some of the other artists …

A golf cart pulled up to the Art Center and some men walked in.

“Chuck,” one of the organizers said, “Come on over, there’s a gentleman I want you to meet.”

Okay… sure…

And the gentleman introduced himself as Paul.  Paul, as in Congressman Paul Tonko, who was very interested in seeing the kind of work that the Altamont Fair’s competing photographers and painters and artists have done this year.

I immediately showed him Dream Window 18: Friday Night Fish Fry.

He was very impressed.  Next thing I know… there’s the words “photo op” bouncing around.  I handed one of the organizers my BlackBerry, and this picture came through.

Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY, 20th Dist.) with Chuck Miller (writer, photographer, and the life lessons I learned from Street Academy), August 21, 2016.
Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY, 20th Dist.) with Chuck Miller (writer, photographer, and the life lessons I learned from Street Academy), August 21, 2016.

All in all, it was a very fun day at the Altamont Fair, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s event.

Of course, I’m already planning next year’s projects.

You know I am.

This is how I roll.

And shoot.

And develop.

And frame.

And wire.

And illuminate.

Right?

Right.

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5 thoughts on ““Hi, I’m Congressman Paul Tonko…””

  1. All your work was great, but I loved the Fish Fry one. Love the lighting trick you came up with. Congrats on meeting with Congressman Tonko – he’s a nice guy – amazing how he’s everywhere – everyday. Nice photo op.

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  2. I’ve always been meaning to ask him how early he gets to the Capitol to ALWAYS get an aisle seat right in front of the cameras, and the all important face time with the president before the SOTU.

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