From the sublime to the ridiculous

I get to work with some pretty awesome folks at KSHB-TV. I had mad journalistic love for our weekend anchor, Amy Hawley, before I ever met her after watching her dogged pursuit of a wounded Lew Perkins back in 2010. Up close, I can sense a real storyteller at work.

Likewise, the new weekend photographer, Rex Harris, is a great guy. He comes from Wichita, where, in addition to news, shooters produced (and in this case starred in) commercials for restaurants like China Star.

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Harmony and dischord

Peter Case (left) and Paul Collins at The Record Bar, March 19,2012.

Within 48 hours of the time I snapped this pic at KC’s Record Bar, Peter Case (left) had kicked Paul Collins (right) off the tour of that started off a couple of weeks earlier as a Nerves reunion. (See here: Nerves fray on reunion tour)
In retrospect, they seemed a bit distant from each other during the show, but they sang sweetly and rocked hard for my $18. The exquisite “Hanging on the Telephone” was the pre-encore set closer. With the auto-focus and flash, I’m lucky to get a pic as right on as this one. I read a recent story with a renowned portrait photographer, and he said “Turn off the auto-focus and take a light reading.” I take it as a challenge to learn my equipment well enough to do that.

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Occupy KC kicks out racists

Mike Enriquez (left) of Occupy KC denounces racism in a communique issued in the group's name while Lenny Zeskind looks on.


I did some reporting, sort of, on my day off Tuesday. I was interested to see the press conference stage managed by my friend, the author, researcher and expert on racism Lenny Zeskind, so I attended.
Lenny had noticed an overtly anti-Semitic cartoon that was part of an online collage/newspaper issued by folks calling themselves the Occupy KC Journal. So he brought it to the attention of the real leaders of the local movement, folks like Mike Enriquez and (Palestinian American!) Jeremy Al-Haj, and they went back through the Occupy channels (committee; general assembly) and came back with a decision to denounce the Journal’s anti-Semitism and read its leaders out of the movement.
Lenny thinks it’s a significant first, in that he’s watched the neo-Klan types sniffing around Occupy, and this is the first Occupy entity to kick them out of its big tent.
The conference got decent play; KSHB was there, along with KCUR and Dave Helling and Louis Diuguid of The Star, but the Star stuff ran online only. I notice the Journal-ists have made some non-responsive responses in various fora.

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Be careful what you wish for


They say be careful what you wish for. I clipped this panel from a Brenda Starr comic over a decade ago, when I was a newspaperman.
Now after a couple of months on the assignment desk at KSHB-TV, NBC Action News, I’m still excited to be working in television, with lots of great, new colleagues. But the pace is fast, and I am starting to see how it takes it out of you, for lack of a better term.
Don’t get me wrong. This is no “Monkey’s Paw.” But for instance, I can no longer blithely ignore the mayhem in the inner city. Then there’s the stuff that doesn’t make the news, like the guy who called to tell me about the dog across the street, neglected and freezing. That has weighed on my psyche, to one degree or another, for days now.
For comic relief, I took a call today from a woman who said she was in the Texas School Book Depository with Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby.
Then, too, there is satisfaction in having played a role in connecting the mother of a gravely wounded Marine from KC with a local foundation that gave her some much-needed financial assistance.
Bottom line, it’s pretty great to be associated with such a powerful journalistic entity as a television station.

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KC’s first rock ‘n’ roller

Larry Emmett (center) and the Sliders, circa 1960, probably at Berry's Barn in Olathe.

Here is a link to a recent post on my kcrockhistory.com website about Larry Emmett and the Sliders, the Kansas City area’s very first rock band of note in the late 1950s. I got some great memorabilia from his ex-wife, who still lives in the area.

For more, visit http://kcrockhistory.com/2011/09/kcs-first-homegrown-rocker/

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Vintage signs of KC

I’ve been on a vintage-sign photographing kick this summer.

Here is a slide show.

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Learning more about WordPress …

Decided to establish rickhellman.wordpress.com. Just because.

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