WONDERFUL PEOPLE 



GREAT HONORABLE FRIENDS

 

MARTY FORSCHER - 1921 - 2009

Martin Hubert Forscher was born in Manhattan on Nov. 25, 1921.  He died on Sept. 30, 2009 in Pittsfield, Mass. He was 87 and lived in Pittsfield. He is the Dean Emeritus of the Camera Repair and Innovation business. No doubt about that. 

His contributions to the industry are too much to mention in this humble venue.  I met him many decades ago as a delivery boy in NY and usually saw him once a year at the PMA. (see picture) 

Watching him work was a distinct honor and maybe with the addition of some input from my uncle’s Morris and Eddie caused me to become interested in taking things apart. 

The difference is he could put them back together.  Hopefully in my next life I will tackle that aspect of construction, sometimes I create destruction.

For more than 40 years, Mr. Forscher ran Professional Camera Repair Service in Midtown Manhattan. Founded in 1946, the shop was a Mecca for generations of camera owners, from the world’s most celebrated fashion, advertising and news photographers to wedding portraitists, threadbare students, bejeweled celebrities and anxious tourists.

In World War II, Mr. Forscher worked in Washington as a repairman for the Navy photographic unit run by the eminent photographer Edward Steichen. After the war, he opened Professional Camera Repair Service. Originally at 480 Lexington Avenue in Midtown, the shop was located for many years afterward at 37 west 47th Street.  Mr. Forscher had sold it to colleagues when he retired in 1987. In 2001 the shop went out of business.  With digital the repairs are more exchange rather than repair.

The Polaroid's he adapted for 35mm and medium format opened the eyes and the doors for professional photographers.  Just making it work with the NPC line of backs is more than you might think. It took fiber optics when few even knew what they were.  In this copy cat world, his approaches and ideas were out of the box and they worked.  

I was a bottom underling more of a sophisticated delivery boy but I soaked it all up.  I gained a lot of knowledge in those early days as a kid meeting with some of the great building blocks of the analog era of photography like Master Machinist Marty Forschner and the father of Nikon,  Mr. Joseph Ehrenreich. 

Skills I watched and observed later on allowed me with a bit of confidence to start building my own gear.


DAVID POY CHAN

St.  PETERSBURG, FL  1981-1983 - MY BEST FUN JOB
After a brief two year stint as the house photographer at the franchised Playboy Club, in St. Petersburg, Florida, which closed,  I leaned more into Journalism, covering Politics and the Military during the day. No choice, the club went belly up.  I covered news in the day and the club at night.

It was both fun at the club but riots and other instances of social unrest, like bailing from a cop car just before a Molotov cocktail hit it… not that much different from New York.

Previous my roots which were in Weddings, over 450 was in New York, working for a wedding mill, got me through college and paid the rent.  It was nuts, attending college, mornings then working, cooking at a restaurant, and weddings on weekends.  That took care of a few decades.  If journalism didn’t pay the bills, cooking and weddings did.  But it wasn’t my plan for Florida… But the best part of it was watching David work.  the picture is what we called the Two Manhattan look… 

That’s David Poy Chan, he was one of the first on payroll shooters as the man for the Playboy magazine and later at one time Playboy had franchised clubs around the country, in various locations.  He spent thirty years at Playboy.   He passed away a few years ago. 

The girls were great, totally portrayed wrong at that time and would be considered saints in todays world.  David Chan, Playboy’s first house photographer passed on and was just as much fun as he appears in this picture.


OBITUARY 
Mr. David Chan passed away peacefully at Delta Hospital, BC on October 17, 2017.  David was born in Vancouver, BC and spent most of his life working in Chicago, Illinois. He is survived by his nieces and nephews, extended family members and friends. Predeceased by his siblings Herbert, Ida, Ada, Ruby, Richard, nephew Tyrone, and niece Audrey. 

David's career as a professional portrait photographer, led to a portfolio of work that spanned from the mid 60's to 2000 with Playboy Enterprises. His notable pictorials with Playboy magazine were the collegiate women and Ivy League series. David had such a gentle soul that will be dearly missed by his family and friends. 


MORE CRAZINESS and THE BIBLE BELT
The Bible Belt stretches through the South, Ga, Al, SC, NC MI,  and I worked for the franchised Playboy club in St. Petersburg Florida which was in a Hilton Hotel that folded.  It featured a huge cabaret and dining facility on the first floor.

It served great food and wine, the girls picked from 1500 applicants and featured live entertainment, with all the named groups from the seventies and eighties appearing nightly.  It was a straight clean super well run organized bit of real advanced Americana in a totally bible boring backward town.

But, as I have said on occasion that at times St. Petersburg is not part of the Bible Belt, it had lower standards and we refer to it as   “ The Garter Belt”.  I was the “House Mouse” club photographer.

THE CORRUPTORS
The funny part, almost hilarious, well not so hilarious, was when we were harassed by the City Commissioners and the fake Clergy who were some of our best secretive customers… I had to be very discreet as to who was in the pictures but they were there.  Two faced politicians and fake pontificates.

Totally portrayed wrong to the public, nothing like the bible thumpers were saying.  In fact one of the heaviest attackers of the club got arrested, and he did ten years for the money he stole from his churches.  Guess who?

Head of their offshoot branch of  the Southern Baptist Convention, I saw that as a sign, something about casting the first stone, that schmuck tried it, and the Lord dropped the boulder on his foot.  He did his prison time and went back to preaching and the idiots in his church forgave him.  

Sometimes Christians should forget about forgiving… I know its doctrine but it gave us T-RUMP.  The biggest crook ever elected.  Christian Doctrine, so the good church preacher grabbed the money again… he screwed them again and got caught again.  

On my investigative consumer site, I go into more detail… about some fake Evangelicals.  We call them scam-bags.  OK, I’m tough on these fake Evangelicals, but using the Lords name in vain is one of the simple Ten Commandments, not something needing twelve lawyers with long hair and bowties, rooms full of books and law verse.  The ten are quite simple and self-explanatory and iI don’t like those who take advantage of the weak….


EDDIE ADAMS…1933-2004  My Portrait of Him

The final shot,  NEW YORK - September 19, 2004 - His Last Picture  (VEGAS-NIKON)

Eddie Adams, a photojournalist and a Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer is best remembered by a photo of a communist guerrilla being executed in a Saigon street during the Vietnam War. He died Sunday, the 19th of September. He was 71. Mr. Adams died at his Manhattan home from complications due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.  I met him on several meetings and tradeshows and he was always very cordial and open.  Then my wife got curious…

So you sit next to this guy at a Nikon Bash in Vegas and your wife says to me  “ Who is that gentleman with the hat on you are talking to”.   "Oh, thats Eddie Adams, he's probably one of the most honored photographers of our time.  I want you to meet him”.  We had met several times before.  So my wife leans over and I introduce him, as one of the most influential photojournalists of all time and whose work I deeply admired.  

He just smiled, took it in stride and she commented later how quiet and reserved he was.  I took this shot, maybe one of the last after we left for a Nikon Party at the Harley Davidson Club in Vegas.    Then she says “ does he always wear a hat indoors”.  I said, “ He can wear a hat anywhere he wants”.  I explained even though he has photographed most of the influential people on the planet, in the industry many just ask, who is that guy standing next to Eddie…


TOP DRAWER
He received a Pulitzer Prize for his work.  He's well known in journalism, corporate, editorial, fashion, entertainment and advertising". He's been featured in Time, Newsweek, Life, Paris Match, Parade, Penthouse, Vogue, The London Sunday Times Magazine, The New York Times, Stern and Vanity Fair, in addition to his photographs of 13 wars.

He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for his startling photograph of the execution of a Viet Cong from a single photo taken Feb. 1, 1968, the second day of the communists' Tet Offensive, in the embattled streets of Cholon, Saigon's Chinese quarter.

I found this tidbit on PNN’s page. and I quote, “  Eddie Adams is a man to whom Clint Eastwood said, “ Good shot”,  Fidel Castro said, " Let's go duck hunting",  The Pope said, " You've got three minutes". His portraits of Presidents ranged from Richard Nixon to President Bush, and those of world figures included  Deng Xiao Ping, Anwar Sadat, and Mikhail Gorbachev. Mr. Adams won a 1969 Pulitzer Prize for the Saigon execution picture, among the more than 500 honors he received in his career, including a 1978 Robert Capa Award and three George Polk Memorial Awards for war coverage.

The picture I took of him is him.  A very natural, quiet, reserved individual… We were at the Harley Davidson Club in Las Vegas. He was resplendent in black, with the fedora always worn squared to the head.  I sat next to him at a many of the Nikon bashes and had the chance to chat with him. He was not as short with people as many have said, he was just great at what he did and when working very focused.  The 2005 Nikon Calendar has many of Eddies imagery magic.


PAUL CONRAD BUFF  1934 - 2015
Inventor of Mono Lights and Alien Bees, Musician, Americana

Alien Bees and Lightning and the next words were a name,  Paul Buff.   An innovator in the studio flash business and known for his great service and accommodating the customer, few other companies came close to their level of service. I modeled my aftermarket business after him.   Paul and his wife Deborah resided in Nashville TN. 

They also had a farm house in Theodore, AL where they were visiting for a while at the time of his passing. Paul was a man of many talents.  Paul was a self taught, multi talented man. He mentored many people thru out his life and always did for others without wanting anything in return. 

Few knew this.  Paul started his own music recording business call PAL in Cucamonga, CA in the 60's. He recorded many people.  Also later during Paul's time recording others he and now deceased Frank Zappa were very good friends whom was an iconic legend in the music industry as well. Paul later on decided to sell his recording studio to Frank Zappa and move to TN. 

He decided to get into Photography. He read all about it...and wanted to create Professional Mono lights unlike what was out there already. So he started that up in his home and Paul later became an icon and number one in that industry up until the time he departed. 

His photographic company is still working and going on. There will never be another inventor or creator of products or an engineer that could fill his shoes. There was only one Paul Buff, he was ahead of his time, and till today his products are universally accepted and utilized.


MILITARY TIME

DAVID HOWELL PETRAEUS (USA RET.)

DIRECTOR CIA,  COMMANDER CENTCOM
David Howell Petraeus is a retired American military officer, scholar and public official. He served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2011- 2012. 

Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a highly decorated four-star general, serving over 37 years in the United States Army. He was commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A)  

His other four-star assignments include serving as the 10th Commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) from October 13, 2008, to June 30, 2010, and as Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) from 2007, to 2008.  

As commander of MNF-I, Petraeus oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq.  He is best associated with the term “surge” a plan of rapid engagement with superior forces in the battle zone as used in IRAQ and Afghanistan.  The so-called scandal of his affair which had occurred was none of my business and turned out to be a journalistic triumph over nothing.  He paid the price.

Our dinner was interrupted and he was in Afghanistan days later…  I really didn’t care to go….


GENERAL HENRY H. SHELTON (USA RET.)

CHAIRMAN of the JOINT CHIEFS    -    COMMANDER of SOCOM   -  HIGHLY DECORATED IN NAM

Is one of those special people you cross paths with in life that makes an impression. Called a Soldier's Soldier by his troops, I never met a Commander in any level of the military whose staff felt truly privileged to work with. They liked him and he was their leader.  I Had met with him several times while doing work for the troops.  

Henry Hugh Shelton (born January 2, 1942) is a retired American career Army officer. He served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997 to 2001.
Shelton was born in Tarboro, North Carolina. Shelton attended North Carolina State University, and was a member of Pershing Rifles. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in textile engineering while earning his Army commission through Reserve Officers’ Training Corps training. 

Shelton's further education includes a Master of Science degree in political science from Auburn University at Montgomery in 1973 as well as studies at the Air Command and Staff College and the National War College. Shelton married Carolyn L. Johnson in 1963; the pair have three sons together.

Military service

Shelton served two tours of duty in the Vietnam War with the 5th Special Forces Group, and with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, followed by a series of command and staff assignments. Following the Gulf War, Shelton commanded the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg in his home state of North Carolina.

In 1993, he was given command of XVIII Airborne Corps Shelton led the Joint Task Force responsible for Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti in 1994.  In 1996, Shelton, a Special Forces soldier, was promoted to the rank of general and the position of Commander in Chief of United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM). He was the first Graduate of the U.S. Army Special Forces Program to command SOCOM. ( TRANSLATES AS THE FIRST SNAKE EATER)

Upon the retirement of John M. Shalikashvili, Shelton was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1, 1997. Shelton led the planning of the Kosovo War in 1999 during his time in office. Later he coined the phrase "Dover test", testing the support for a war based on the reaction of the people after seeing American casualties returning at the Dover Air Force Base. During the events of September 11, 2001, Shelton was on a plane traveling to a NATO meeting in Europe, but turned back and returned to Washington.

Already scheduled to retire in October, Shelton spent his last weeks in office coordinating military plans to destroy al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in Afghanistan and helping to develop an interagency strategy to defeat, disrupt, and degrade terrorist activities around the world. These would form the basis of Operation Enduring Freedom and the global War on Terror.  Upon Shelton's end of term, President George W. Bush nominated then-Vice Chairman Air Force General Richard Myers, who was sworn in on October 1, 2001.

That statue:   The artist was Scott Stearman.  It said everything it had to say about the sense of honor and duty he has shown for his country and his men.  Again that divine guidance thing prompted me to get out the credit card and act.

I had the pleasure of being one of the presenters of this artwork to the General in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Leandri, a true friend of the the Military and especially the "Quiet Professionals",  our Special Forces. 

I requested that it be displayed in the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and any politician who would send our men into harm's way would  see it… who would know that before September 11th, 2001?   In 2004, a duplicate statue rests in my home.  I am a Board Member of the Foundation and the coincidence or divine guidance has placed that piece of artwork twice in my life.



GENERAL TOMMY FRANKS - MRs. FRANKS - MY WIFE DOLLY AND MYSELF 

Tommy Ray Franks (born June 17, 1945) is a retired general in the United States Army. His last army post was as the Commander of the United States Central Command, overseeing United States military operations in a 25-country region, including the Middle East. Franks succeeded General Anthony Zinni to this position on July 6, 2000 and served until his retirement on July 7, 2003.

Franks was the United States general leading the attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan in response to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon in 2001. He also oversaw the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Critics of Franks’ tenure as commander of United States forces in Afghanistan cite his failure to deploy 800 United States Army Rangers to the Battle of Tora Bora as a key factor in allowing Osama bin Laden to escape into Pakistan. 

Peter Bergen, a prominent journalist and expert on Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, described Franks’ decision as "one of the greatest military blunders in recent US history," which allowed al-Qaeda to recover and begin to mount an insurgency.

Franks defended his decision with the support of other prominent US military leaders, citing a lack of conclusive evidence that bin-Laden was at Tora Bora, but Bergen and other critics, including the Delta Force commander at Tora Bora, Dalton Fury, claimed that the evidence that bin-Laden was present at the battle was very robust;  

Fury claimed that his team came within 2,000 meters of bin Laden's suspected position, but withdrew because of uncertainty over the number of al-Qaeda fighters guarding bin Laden and a lack of support from allied Afghan troops.

Franks' retirement was announced on May 22, 2003. Secretary Donald Rumsfeld reportedly offered him the position of Chief of Staff of the United States Army, but he declined. On July 7, 2003 Franks' retirement took effect.

Franks' awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; Army Distinguished Service Medal (two awards); Legion of Merit (four awards); Bronze Star Medal with Valor device and four oak leaf clusters; Purple Heart (two oak leaf clusters); Air Medal with Valor Device; Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device; and a number of U.S. and foreign service awards. He wears the Army Staff Identification Badge and the Aircraft Crewmember's Badge. He is a Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 2004, President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.



 LT. COL. BRUCE CRANDALL
with AL JACOBSON,  ELLIE SCARFONE

HE IS THE MEDAL OF HONOR WINNER PORTRAYED IN MEL GIBSON’s MOVIE,   “ WE WERE SOLDIERS”

The story of Col. Bruce P. Crandall, U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War...  LZ X-RAY
He would later receive the Medal of Honor due to his heroic actions during the Battle of Ia Drang
AKA  KNOWN OF THE VALLEY OF DEATH

Nickname(s):  “Snake”, “Snakeshit"
Born:  February 17, 1933 (age 87)  Olympia, Washington
Allegiance:  United States of America
Service/ United States Army
Years of service:  1953–1977
Rank”  Colonel
Cold War Operation Power Pack
Vietnam War  Battle of Ia Drang

Awards:  Medal of Honor, Distinguished Flying Cross (4) Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal (3) 
Air Medal (23)

Bruce Perry Crandall (born February 17, 1933) is a retired U.S. Army officer who received the Medal of Honor for his actions as a pilot during the Battle of Ia Drang on November 14, 1965, in South Vietnam. During the battle, he flew 22 missions in an unarmed helicopter into enemy fire to evacuate more than 70 wounded and bring ammunition and supplies to US forces. By the end of the Vietnam War, he had flown more than 900 combat missions. He retired from the army as a lieutenant colonel and worked several jobs in different states before settling down with his wife in his home state of Washington.

Battle of La Drang

Crandall's UH-1 Hueydispatching infantry in the Ia Drang operation

On November 14, 1965, he led the first major division operation of the Vietnam War, landing elements of the 1st Battalion and 2nd Battalion of the 7th Cavalry Regiment and the 5th Cavalry Regiment into Landing Zone X-Ray in the Battle of Ia Drang. 

During the fierce battle that followed, he was credited with evacuating some 70 wounded soldiers, along with his wing man Major Ed Freeman. Twelve of these fourteen flights (another source reports 18) were made after the Medevac unit refused to land in the landing zone which was under intense fire. 

Crandall evacuated more than 75 casualties in his helicopters, during a flight day that started at 6 am and ended at 10:30 pm, more than 16 hours later. "It was the longest day I ever experienced in any aircraft," he said. He had to use several helicopters throughout the day because each aircraft became badly damaged.  

Crandall and Freeman were also credited with flying in the ammunition needed for the 7th Cavalry to survive. The craft that he was flying was unarmed.   He was initially awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, but this was upgraded to the Medal of Honor, awarded by President George W. Bush in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on February 26, 2007.