My wife and I attended the fall dance concert at Dobson High School, where our daughter Vanessa, who is a senior this year, was scheduled to perform. There was never any question that we would be present for the big event, but I very nearly went there without my camera. Sheila asked me shortly before we left if I planned to take it with me, and I said no. When she asked why, I said I knew Vanessa probably wouldn't want me taking pictures of her, so I figured it might be better if I just left the camera at home. She persuaded me to take it along anyway, with fortunate results, including this dramatic image of one of the performers in mid-leap. I came home with something like 573 new images, although I don't think I got any really good ones of Vanessa, so I may not be posting any that include her.
There is a story behind this particular shot. I learned later that the girl's name is Nykaela, to whom I apologize in advance if I have misspelled her name. I have not seen her in several years, but she and Vanessa spent a lot of time together when both girls were about 11. I used to have to chauffeur them all over creation, especially on Saturday afternoons. On one of them, the girls needed to be taken somewhere, and as usual, I decided to bring a CD with me to play in the car. Vanessa saw me headed toward the chest of drawers where I kept my CDs, whereupon she hurried over to interpose herself between the drawers and me, struck a supplicating pose -- complete with clasped hands and a plaintive tone of voice -- and begged that I please, please not bring my opera. It was priceless, and I wish I could have recorded the moment on video. I acceded to her wishes and left all of my opera CDs at home that day; instead, I may have taken an album of Greek folk music that she often allowed me to bring as a compromise. It may also have been on this same occasion that she asked me what the words meant in one of the songs, to which I responded that I didn't speak Greek and had no idea, and that for all I knew the song might have been about me and what a nutcase I am.