Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Top 10 Photos for 2014

It is that time of year again when everyone talks about their Top 10 of the year. I want to post my 10 favorite photographs of 2014. There are many to choose from and they come from different places. Several have already been posted on this blog, others come from friends who have sent me old photographs from days gone by and others come from my Facebook page. Suffice it to say they come from a variety of sources.

I want to start with my all-time favorite photograph, which was sent by me to a friend in an email. Many of you who have known me for a long time know this photograph very well. After this first one, they are in no order as far as favorites are concerned.

This photograph was taken in our driveway/basketball court about the middle of August 1971. It was taken about three weeks before my accident and my little sister, Tammy's third birthday. The dogs belonged to my brother, Rick and they were Pepe and Chief.

Like I wrote earlier, the rest of these pictures are in no particular order:

I was not quite two years old and getting ready to chase Grandpa Smith's pigs. As mom was known to do, she would take several pictures before and during her children and grandchildren were about to get in trouble! In the next picture in this series, I am chasing the pigs around the yard! Notice my uncle Terry leaning on a baseball bat in front of the hog house. He was about five years old and probably should have stopped me but I believe knowing him, he thought it would be more fun to watch me get in trouble!

The next photograph was taken when I was about four. It is now my Profile photograph on my Facebook page:

Of course it is a clip-on bow tie! It was taken at Montgomery Wards in Brookings, South Dakota.

This next photograph was taken when we lived in Revillo, South Dakota when I was three or four years old. These next two photographs are taken from my Mike's Photos Album on my Facebook page. I probably would not have broken my neck had I been wearing a facemask like that:

This photograph was taken of my father when he took the job at Worthington State Junior College in 1968. He was only 34 years old and had taken the leap from high school coaching to his junior college coaching career. He was hired as the second counselor along with Bruce Traphagan, and the track and cross country coach. He spent eight years in Worthington before he transferred to Rochester Community College where he spent seventeen years as a coach and teacher. I really like this picture!

This next picture was taken several years ago at a middle school about fifty miles outside of Minneapolis: I like the expressions on the students' faces and especially the teacher. I was having fun with the boy just to my right with the light shirt and dark ring around the collar:

That picture was one of my Cover Photos on my Facebook page in 2014.

This photograph was just taken by my cousin, Mike Bailey, after he hung several photographs in various spots throughout my apartment. First of all, let me tell you a little history about these photos. The wagon on the left was at my grandmother and step grandfather Grieme's farm located on the edge of White, South Dakota. It was taken many years ago and has significant value to me. I took this photo close to thirty years ago. The pig feeder trough going up into the wagon was a wood shop project of dad's when he was in high school! I am especially fond of it because it is all gone now and could never be repeated.

The barn on the right was located across the road from mom and dad's house outside Rochester. I woke up one morning and saw a dense fog over the valley. I had tried to take that photo several times in bright sunlight and never caught it like I wanted it. That morning, I called mom and dad in and they got me out of bed before the fog lifted so I could get that shot.

That photograph won second place at the Sister Kenny Art Show for photography one year and is hanging in houses and businesses from the East Coast to the West Coast. I am very proud of that photograph and the fact mom and dad got me up so quickly so I could get down to shoot that barn. It is another photograph that can never be repeated because the barn is gone and a new house is sitting there now.

This next picture was taken by my friend, Dave Heidtke, on my way into my home away from home nineteen or twenty afternoons or evenings every winter at Williams Arena, the home of our Golden Gophers! Watching the Gophers is what keeps me in Minnesota during these long, cold, winters! I have had season tickets since I was a student at the University of Minnesota in the mid-70's!

This next photograph was also on my Facebook Profile for several months in 2014. It was taken in 1975 for an article in the Worthington Daily Globe entitled "You Never Get Used To It" and was about me getting used to my accident four years after I got hurt. I have titled it "Angry Mike" and some people do not believe I looked angry!

What do you think; do I look angry?

Let me end this 2014 pictorial on a high note: I know I started this out with pictures from 2014. I have always said, "Learn the rules, then break some." I am going to break one of my rules and put in a photograph from my first New Year's in 1956:

What do you think? Do I look a little angry in this one too? We were living on Larson's farm and I was cold. I was upset because I wanted to get warmed up and mom had to take a picture of me bringing in the New Year with a toilet paper sash that was written 1956 in lipstick. I promise I will be much warmer this year bringing in the new year sleeping on my 90° waterbed!

There are many more photographs I could have included in this post; however, there is just not room for all of them. I am going to break my rule one more time and include one of my favorites from the year that my first friend in Worthington sent me as he was cleaning out an archive of decades of photographs. In the summer of 1974, my sister, Kathleen and Tom Wallace took the train to Berkeley to  ride back with me for my summer vacation. Tom sent me three photographs he found in his archives. I want to share this one with you because it is a classic photograph from 1974, and it needs to be on this list!

California dreamin' at its best, 1974! The two women on my lift were personal care attendants. We dropped them off because they wanted to go back east. They wanted to go someplace like Reno or Fresno, you know, back east!

One more comment: to enlarge all of the pictures, simply click on the photo.

Happy New Year everyone. May you all have a great 2015!

I welcome your comments.

Until next year,




Earl said...

Hey Mike, nice retrospective. I don't think you ever look angry! I know you get angry, but there always seems to be a smile lurking not far behind. Happy New Year my friend . . . for Auld Lang Syne!

PS: the PC attendants look hot!

Colleen said...


Frank said...

Mike, these are wonderful! A picture is still worth a thousand words! Happy New Year!