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Archive for May 22nd, 2008

Robert Cray at the 11th Annual Doheny Blues Festival last Saturday.

I was sent by the Orange County Register to shoot snapshots of the crowd at the 11th Annual Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point.  I went last Saturday, the 17th, and was really surprised by how many people attended.  I have my press pass and so after some checking I got in and went to work.

 

The best part of the whole thing was just seeing everyone getting along and having a good time.  I like all types of music and although I wouldn’t pay to get into any venue just to listen to the music like at Doheny, I could appreciate the fact that there is good reason to do it if you are into it. 

 

There was the usual parade of drunks and those folks that seem to be always out to over ambitiously dress and call attention to themselves but, all in all it was really laid back.  I had been thinking that I was not going to get assigned the shoot and had applied for an independent press pass which the event company never got back to me about.  After seeing the routine, I could see why; they had their hands full and although it wasn’t poorly organized there were some shaggy parts here and there.  I think trying your best counts for a lot and they really tried to pull it off and I think it was a success and getting better every year.

 

When ever I go on a shoot I really concentrate and so I was not paying too much attention to the music.  Mostly looking through the crowd from the point of view of the performer, I shot people, couples and kids enjoying the music.  When I was done, I sat checking my images to make sure I had my shots and was able to listen to Robert Cray a little bit.  I had never heard of him and really only remember him now as I had to include his name in a photo caption that I sent in. 

 

He has a great voice with tremendous emotion, in addition to playing the guitar really well.  I think, as he sang the words to his songs, he really meant it and the crowd was into it as well.  At one point his guitar failed and it seems the audio in general did as well.  He just kept on going, doing his thing; the mark of a true professional.  The roadie brought out a new one; he smiled, acknowledged the crowd with a shy smile and continued on as if he was in his own backyard playing just for himself.

 

I ended up at his website the other day to see if I could find out anymore about him and after looking at his schedule, decided there was nothing more to see.  He is busy all the time and just goes from one gig to another.  I wondered what that must be like and what he is like when he takes a break.  Just another job I guess.

 

 

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/festival-doheny-sunday-2047226-blues-music?slideshow=1

 

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Well wishers, friends and family of John Cuchessi, who died on Sunday May 18th at the age of 54, have decorated his bicycle shop with flowers, cards and signs in tribute to how much he will be missed.

John Cuchessi died on a ride last Sunday(May 18th) on his way back from Camp Pendleton. 

 

I got the news through a friend’s text message on my phone as I was working at the shop.  I can’t always hear the phone go off with all the tools and so I check the phone here and there throughout the day.  I felt something tug when I read it and I thought it wasn’t going to be good.  The text didn’t say too much; only that it had been a bike crash.  I called and they said he was at Mission Hospital.  I can see Mission from my shop and said a little prayer as I looked up over the freeway and through the trees to the top floors and the medi-vac pad on top.

 

I went up to the hospital and he wasn’t there.  My feelings that it was not good increased.  They gave me the number to Saddleback Memorial and I called.

 

“I’m sorry, how do yo spell the patient’s name?”  The Receptionist said through a hail storm of static and background sounds.

 

“J-O-H-N…A…C-U-C-H-E-S-S-I .” I spelled it out as simply as I used to when signing checks in his name at the shop for the UPS deliveries when Cuchessi wasn’t there.

 

She stalled a moment or two and continued.

 

“What is your realtionship to the patient?” She asked.

 

My memory wound back instantly to a long time ago when I first met Cuchessi.  How do you get those many memories out of your mouth in the few words she was waiting for?  Like some giant fish waiting to be pulled up onto the deck of the boat I jerked as hard as I could to try and get it out in one effort.

 

“Long time friend” I blurted.

 

She stalled again seemingly weighing what I had said.

 

“Sir…I am going to transfer you to the back…can you hold on?”

 

“Yes” I said. 

 

Yes to the transfer and yes to what I already knew would be the worst news.  This is a fish I didn’t want to catch and I imagined Sue sitting somewhere in that hospital and gathering up her memories of the man that was her husband and the father of her son.  I hung up in the middle of wait.  A call into my voice mail confirmed it.  A friend had called and I listened to what I already knew.

 

“Hey Dave…John’s gone…he died in the ambulance…” 

 

The message went on but there was nothing more to say.

 

 

 

 http://sccyclery.com/

 

http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/homepage/abox/article_2046724.php

 

http://www.bicycleretailer.com/news/newsDetail/1361.html

 

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/john-san-clemente-2048417-gas-rezoning

 

http://www.cyclesveloce.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=73

 

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/school-cuchessi-students-2056578-kids

 

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=420958

 

 

NOTE: I am doing a little write up on how I met Cuchessi which I will post here later.  Its almost done but I am deciding whether or not to submit it to a Narrative writing contest, in which case, it can’t be published until the contest is over.  Stay tuned…

 

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First day of Summer in June of 2007; its ten in the morning at Riviera and not everyone\'s up yet.I live five blocks from the beach and between here and there is where I live.  I’m getting my degree in journalism or some major-minor combo that has something to do with it.  I do freelance photo work and, I enjoy the written word.  I don’t think I have enough time to do a hard news blog and there are others that do it so much better.  In looking around, though, I could see that the fine edge of what goes on in San Clemente and Orange county, was missing.  Well there are several fine edges to every story and here I hope you will find one edge at least that you can set your toes on and get a good look around.

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