long summer nights= long blog posts

This is my third summer in New England, and with each summer I realize just how precious these long, warm days are. And what I love more than the long warm days are the hot, hazy nights, which just brings me back to my summers as a teenager back home.

We at the Rep-Am but a lot of emphasis on the importance of exercise to morale, teamwork, and personal health.

Now I know what I must look like to the chipmunks that run away as I fly by on the Middlebury Green Way. The guy to the right is Jamison, who witnessed my very first tire blow-out. Not just the tube, I blew out the TIRE. And furthermore we were about five miles from our cars. After two weeks, four tubes, a newly learned proficiency at changing bike tubes, and throwing a near temper-tantrum at the Bike Rack (my safety had been at serious risk), I think the problem is fixed.

The paper put on a "Flag Day Coloring Contest" where kids drew a picture that incorporated an image of the American Flag, and the winners would have their pictures published on July 4, and receive some prizes. The first winner who came in was Hannah, and I was so excited at how festively she was dressed! She was wearing a red and white striped shirt, blue jean shorts, and I didn't notice her nails until I was shooting her holding her picture. So just for fun, I got this photo.

The same day I had an assignment in Wallingford to shoot Dan Mazzaferro, a local who competed in the Olympic trials. I introduced myself to him, and mentioned how I remembered taking his photo when he was a senior at Cheshire. I also noticed this HUGE ring he was wearing, which was an NCAA Championship ring from last year for Auburn University, where he attends now. I said, "Last year? What year are you now?"

Dan: "I'm going to be a junior."

Me: "Seriously?!? So I must have taken your picture YEARS ago!"

Dan: "Yeah, I'm old."

"YOU'RE old??!" I thought to myself. Time FLIES!!!

Anyway, here's a photo of him showing off his skillz.

For graduation season, which ended just a few weeks ago, we held a photo competition for three categories: Best Overall Photo, Best Gallery, and Best Emotion. What was at stake, you ask? Three trophies hand-made by our very own Steven Valenti. I received Best Overall Photo for a photo I shot at the very first graduation I shot:

Rachael Dioses is comforted by her stepfather and mother Dominic and Maria Cavaiuolo of Cheshire after Dioses received the diploma for her brother Timothy Dioses, who died last month, during commencement ceremonies on Thursday at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury.

And if anyone has ever wondered if I ever tear up at sad events? The answer is YES. I almost started bawling at the Crosby graduation when the cousin of a would-be graduate who had drowned the week before was singing a song in his honor. It KILLED me.

TJ won Best Photo Gallery with his coverage of Torrington's graduation.
Jim won Best Emotion with a photo that I will post up here later...

So after I "accepted" my award, I celebrated by going to SeƱor Panchos in Prospect, sitting the trophy on the seat next to me, and having a photo shoot with it afterwards. (The actual circumstances? I met up with Johnathon Henninger from the Record-Journal to pick up my sunglasses that I had accidentally left with him when we had met up with Chion Wolf from NPR in West Hartford. Though we have no photos from that event, it was certainly memorable because John had successfully finished his very first beer: a PINT of Newcastle Brown Ale. The man is 30 years old.)