Deborah Riguette calls for her cat Sarah outside her burnt out home on Hackett Mills Road in Poland Monday afternoon. The indoor cat escaped, but a dog perished in the Sunday afternoon fire. The scared cat would come and allow Riguette to pick her up, but when she tried to take her away from the house, the cat would scratch and jump out of her hands. Riguette and her daughter Lisa Sotorer began to search for a box to try to put her in. “The cat carrier is in the house.” said Ringuette.
The past week was a real corker. Nursing a back that won’t get better, I took but one camera with me on most assignments, and made my most memorable ones with my cell phone. Monday started out with me heading to Poland to follow-up on a fire that we missed on Sunday. When I arrived, with no background on the particulars, I found the woman who lost her home with her daughter looking for her indoor cat that had escaped, but had not been found. I arrived just in time to capture the capture. I hope. Every time they tried to catch her, she would bolt before they could get her to the car. I had to get back to town for kids putting rubber bands around a watermelon, so I don’t know if they ever got her in the car. I hope so. I was not excited to be photographing the next assignment “recreating” the scene where kids imploded a watermelon for a story about a video that ran on America’s Funniest Videos the night before. A video of a “recreation” didn’t sit well.
A land fight with a pile of rocks threatening to close a parking lot led off Tuesday, in a steady rain. Tom was a little leery about having his photo taken by the pile, especially because it was on the disputed land and technically he was trespassing. He was a sport and went for it without hesitation.
Richard Saucier points to the window he was sitting in at the corner of Ash and Bartlett Streets in Lewiston Tuesday afternoon when he heard an accident and looked out to see the black SUV, foreground, rolling back toward his building. When he and neighbor Steve Hunt, left, they noticed the male driver take off running. They pursued him up Bartlett Street where he ran up the outside steps to a third floor balcony and hid. When police arrived, the two, plus a crowd that had gathered, pointed out where the driver was hiding and police arrested him without incident.
Hearing over the scanner that there was a hit and run just up the street, I could not go after hearing witnesses were chasing the guy up Bartlett Street. A quick trip back to the office to get that posted to the web and I was off for my first ever Unified basketball game. I couldn’t believe the energy, excitement and good-natured fun that was. Watching two Lisbon student coaches who I coached as kids at the Y was cool. Getting the reaction of the bench was easy. The reaction photo ran the entire width of the front page of the sports section. I milked the bench reaction twice more in the coming week.
Lisbon Unified Basketball team student athlete coaches Jonah Sautter, right and his sister Breeann, second from right, cheer a 3 point play during Tuesday’s game against Deering/Portland.
The bench and fans react as a Lisbon Unified Basketball team player scores a basket during Tuesday night’s Regional Championship game against Deering/Portland in Lisbon.
Lisbon Unified basketball team coach Jonah Sautter and the bench players react as a shot just misses going in during Thursday’s state championship game against Hampden Academy.
While packing up to leave for the day, as happens way too often, one of the editors came over with an assignment that “is going on right now.” Nobody else was around, so I was volunteered. Lucky for me it was for an advance story that would run later and not need processing right away. Older people training in a boxing gym. Not to box, but just the workout. Ah…..the smell of the Gamache Gym in the bowels of the Armory. The smell of hard work and grit and determination. Now smelly old feet?
Ken Chutchian throws punches at trainer Dan Escobar during a recent training session.
Wednesday was an afternoon of catching up. Processing numerous advanced assignments, emails from people wanting this photo and that. Can you cover my event? Speak to my group? Find an old photo for somebody writing a book and record all the mystery photo entries. Every Sunday I publish a mystery photo, nearly 500 so far. Some of the phone calls I get are a real hoot. Especially a couple of the old regulars who call every week with their h’accents. Many go on and on about the photo. I should record them and put them online.
After getting my fill of computer and phone work, I went to the middle school to shoot a speaker on autism. His story was compelling and I found myself staying too long to listen. I needed to get back to the office to process the photo for that night’s paper before heading to the armory to shoot the Fallen Angels roller derby team practice that we will be doing a story on in the future.
Thursday afternoons mundane busy work at the computer was offset by the electricity in the air at the Lisbon gymnasium for the state championship Unified basketball game between Lisbon and Hampden Academy. There are so many heartwarming stories, moments, and inspiring photos that came from that game. My favorite is when the ball went off a Hampden player, but the referee called it Hampden ball. To see the astonished, perplexed and confused look on the Hampden players face was priceless. He ran right over to the ref and told him, convincingly, that “no, no, no…..the ball went off me.” The ref shook his head, smiled, blew his whistle and shouted. “Lisbon ball.” And the game went on. Hampden scored more points that night, but everyone left the gym a winner. Especially cynical old photojournalists who may have had trouble holding back a tear or two during the game.
Water and slush fly into the air after crashing onto rocks on the shore of Lake Auburn Friday afternoon. With only a little ice crunching around the shore by the Route 4 turnout, the majority of the lake is ice-free, leading to the earliest declaration of “ice out.” on record.
Big news on Friday. Stop the presses. Ice was out on Lake Auburn. Holy Moly! The earliest on record. Had to go shoot a photo of course. I really wanted to take some video when I got there. The tinkling of the remaining ice smashing together as wind drove the last remnants of it onto the rocks would have made a cool video. But I still had to get to CMCC to cover an unveiling of a mural for their 50th anniversary. Boogy back to the office to process those two assignments and then off to Portland to cover a Red Claws game. There was nobody sitting in the seat at court side directly under the basket, so I scoffed it. Holding the camera down low and shooting up got me a cool angle. All I had to do was wait for the right moment. Had to fend off a few balls that came flying my way, but how cool was that. Getting paid to sit in the highest priced seat in place. Don’t tell anybody I have the best job in the world. Slave wages, but great working environment.
Maine Red Claws’ Malcolm Miller finds a seam between Iowa’s Terry Whisnant, left, Mardracus Wade, center, and D.J. Stephens , and flies to the basket during the first period of Friday night’s game in Portland.
Saturday we slept late, had a splendid stroll with my 4 legged lady and after lunch, headed to Freeport with the love of my life. We cruised to Freeport and walked through Mast Landing Sanctuary and then as the sun was setting, found the coolest spot at Wolf Neck campground that leads to the beach where it was protected from the wind and in full sun. Our new favorite spot. For now, that is. When the nearly 400 campsites are overflowing with people, we won’t be there. But to have the place to ourselves, on this day. Priceless and a memory worthy of a few photos. Looking forward to another glorious week.