Author Archives: anneparry

About anneparry

Ann Parry Photography Inc, Ann-Parry.com | blog: FROM LONG ISLAND, fromLongIsland.com | New York, USA ----[fLi]---- For five generations, my family's lived on Long Island, my home base for capturing images of our people, traditions & cultural arts • civics & politics • architecture & coastal environment • animals • classic cars & historical aviation, & neighboring NYC. ----[fLi]---- I'm a portrait, event, & freelance assignment photographer, & a contract photographer for a press wire service.

Wantagh Warriors Baseball & Miss Wantagh Pageant, July 4th

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
July 5, 2016

Skipper the Jack Russell terrier was one of many celebrators dressed in patriotic red, white and blue when awards were handed out, and the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant crowning ceremony was held, following the Wantagh Independence Day Parade yesterday morning.

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. Skipper the Jack Russell terrier is wearing patriotic red white and blue stars bandana at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant crowning ceremony, an Independence Day tradition on Long Island. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. Skipper the Jack Russell terrier is wearing patriotic bandana at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant crowning ceremony on Long Island. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

I wore sunglasses, but the harsh midday sun made me wish I’d also brought my From Long Island cap.

Wantagh WARRIORS Baseball Team 2016

The crowd cheered loud and long when members of the winning Wantagh WARRIORS baseball team lined up to receive certificates issued by the Nassau County Supervisor.

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. High school Wantagh Warriors baseball team members receive Certificates issued by Nassau County Supervisor at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant, an Independence Day tradition on Long Island. The Wantagh Warriors baseball team won another county championship, its third Long Island Championship and its second New York State Class A championship. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. Wantagh Warriors baseball team members receive Certificates issued by Nassau County Supervisor at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

During 2016, the Warriors baseball team won yet another county championship, its 3rd Long Island Championship, and its 2nd New York State Class A championship.

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. Teams members of the high school Wantagh Warriors baseball team receive Certificates issued by Nassau County Supervisor at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant, an Independence Day tradition on Long Island. The Wantagh Warriors baseball team won another county championship, its third Long Island Championship and its second New York State Class A championship. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. Teams members of the high school Wantagh Warriors baseball team receive Certificates issued by Nassau County Supervisor at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

MISS WANTAGH 2016

During this special 60th anniversary, quite a few former Miss Wantaghs  – both from recent years and decades ago – participated, wearing their banners and crowns.

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. EMMA CAREY, newly crowned Miss Wantagh 2016 (front row 3rd from right) and other present and past contestants pose for group photo at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant crowning ceremony, an Independence Day tradition on Long Island. Since 1956, the Miss Wantagh Pageant, which is not a beauty pageant, crowns an area high school student based mainly on academic excellence and community service. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. EMMA CAREY, newly crowned Miss Wantagh 2016 (front row 3rd from right) and other present and past contestants pose for group photo. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Lynn Clayton-Luongo, Miss Wantagh 1956 – the first Miss Wantagh – travelled from Everett, Massachusetts, for this special anniversary event.

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. LYNN CLAYTON LUONGO, Miss Wantagh 1956, 76 years old, the first Miss Wantagh ever, participated in the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant crowning ceremony, an Independence Day tradition on Long Island. Clayton was the 1st Runner Up and Miss Congeniality in the 1958 New York State Miss Ameria Pageant. Since 1956, the Miss Wantagh Pageant, which is not a beauty pageant, crowns an area high school student based mainly on academic excellence and community service. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. LYNN CLAYTON-LUONGO, Miss Wantagh 1956, the first Miss Wantagh ever, participated in the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant crowning ceremony. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

In 1958, when Clayton was 18, she was Miss Congeniality and First Runner Up in the New York State pageant of Miss America. But Miss Wantagh isn’t a beauty pageant. It crowns a Wantagh resident in high school based mainly on academic excellence and community service.

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. Standing L-R, EMMA CAREY; BRIANNA COLTELLINO; KERI BALNIS, Miss Wantagh 2015; STEVE RHOADS, Nassau County Legislator District 19; MAUREEN O'CONNELL, Nassau County Clerk; and ELLA STEVENS, Miss Wantagh Pageant coordinator; at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant, an Independence Day tradition on Long Island. O'Connell is opening envelop to find who Miss Wantagh 2016 is - Emma or Brianna. Since 1956, the Miss Wantagh Pageant, which is not a beauty pageant, crowns an area high school student based mainly on academic excellence and community service. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. Standing L-R, EMMA CAREY; BRIANNA COLTELLINO; KERI BALNIS, Miss Wantagh 2015; STEVE RHOADS, Nassau County Legislator; ERIN KING-SWEENEY, Town Councilwoman; and ELLA STEVENS, Pageant Coordinator; at 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Crowning. King-Sweeney is opening results envelope, so she can announce Miss Wantagh 2016 – Emma or Brianna. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Results of this year’s pageant:

  • EMMA CAREY – Miss Wantagh 2016
  • BRIANNA COLTELLINO  –  1st Runner Up
  • GRACE ANNE McKENNA  –  2nd Runner Up
  • COURTNEY CARDONA  –  3rd Runner Up
  • ISABELLA SANTERAMO & KAYLA SCHMIDT  –  Ambassadors

Officials included Hon. Christopher Quinn, Supervising Judge of Nassau County Court; Erin King-Sweeney, Town Councilwoman; Steve Rhoads, Nassau County Legislator, District 19; and Ella Stevens, the Miss Wantagh Pageant Coordinator.

Wantagh WARRIORS Baseball Team 7/4/2016:   Slideshow  |  Gallery

Miss Wantagh Crowning Ceremony 7/4/2016:    Slideshow  |  Gallery

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Antique Car Show at Old Westbury Gardens 2016

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
June 14, 2016

I literally & frequently had to hold onto my hat Sunday afternoon, since it was such a breezy spring day at the Antique & Collectible Auto Show – with hundreds of vintage, classic, and collectible vehicles – at Old Westbury Gardens.

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. Flying Lady hood ornament with clear plastic insert in wings on 1940 red Chevrolet Super Deluxe sedan is on view at the Antique and Collectible Auto Show at the 50th Annual Spring Meet at Old Westbury Gardens, in the Gold Coast of Long Island, and sponsored by Greater New York Region, GNYR, Antique Automobile Club of America, AACA. Participating vehicles in the judged show included hundreds of domestic and foreign, antique, classic, collectible, and modern cars. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. Flying Lady hood ornament on 1940 red Chevrolet Super Deluxe sedan is on view at the Antique and Collectible Auto Show at the 50th Annual Spring Meet at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

After getting a cold soda at the refreshment table, I spotted Pastor Green and Miska – a Service Dog who helps Marine veterans – near the Free Hugs booth of Marine Corps League, North Shore Queens Detachment #240. Both the pastor and his Husky and German Shepherd mix partner were so patient as I captured photos of Miska with her arresting ice-blue eyes and white fur.

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. MISKA, an NYPD (New York Police Department) Service Dog trained to help American veterans, attends the Antique and Collectible Auto Show at the 50th Annual Spring Meet at Old Westbury Gardens, in the Gold Coast of Long Island. Miska is part Husky and part German Shepherd, and has light blue eyes and white fur, and was with Pastor Green, of U.S. Marines, from Queens. The car show was sponsored by Greater New York Region, GNYR, Antique Automobile Club of America, AACA. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. MISKA, a Service Dog trained to help Veterans, attends the Antique and Collectible Auto Show at the 50th Annual Spring Meet at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Especially because this was the rain date for the event, some participants had other commitments to go to, so the trophy ceremony began early, explained officers from the Antique Automobile Club of America’s Greater New York Region chapter, which sponsored this 50th Annual Spring Meet.

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. A yellow 1948 Bantam Roadster, owned by Wade Jacobs of Mineola, has reflection of man walking by nearby vintage black car on its hubcap, at the Antique and Collectible Auto Show at the 50th Annual Spring Meet at Old Westbury Gardens, in the Gold Coast of Long Island, and sponsored by Greater New York Region, GNYR, Antique Automobile Club of America, AACA. Participating vehicles in the judged show included hundreds of domestic and foreign, antique, classic, collectible, and modern cars. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. A yellow 1948 Bantam Roadster, owned by Wade Jacobs of Mineola, has reflection on hubcap of man at vintage black car, at  Antique and Collectible Auto Show at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

After winners got their good news and gleaming trophies, a few cars and then a few more and more began a slow procession through lush green grounds to the west gate of the Gold Coast mansion estate.

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. MARK OFFENBERG, of Valley Stream, drives his silver 1973 Intermeccanica Squire SS-100 Italian luxury classic roadster while his passenger holds 3rd Place Trophy the car won in the foreign car category at the Antique and Collectible Auto Show at the 50th Annual Spring Meet at Old Westbury Gardens, in the Gold Coast of Long Island, and sponsored by Greater New York Region, GNYR, Antique Automobile Club of America, AACA. Car is the 46th of only 50 Intermeccanica's coachbuilt in Turin, Italy. Participating vehicles in the judged show included hundreds of domestic and foreign, antique, classic, collectible, and modern cars and trucks. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. MARK OFFENBERG, of Valley Stream, drives his 1973 Intermeccanica Squire SS-100 roadster while passenger holds trophy M.O. won at Antique & Collectible Auto Show, Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Postscript:

Driving home in Bob’s faithful 2000 Honda later that day, we passed a local business with a large American flag flying at half mast, likely in sympathy for the victims of the horrific mass shootings early that morning at the Orlando nightclub.

“Hold on tight because this is going to hurt like hell.” – JohnA Passara

2016 Car Show at Old Westbury Gardens:   Gallery  |  Slideshow

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Hillary Clinton Panel on Gun Violence Prevention, Port Washington

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
April 13, 2016

This Monday, Hillary Clinton and moderator Rep. Steve Israel held a discussion on gun violence prevention, to a full house at the Landmark Theater in Port Washington. The panel included five women who each lost a relative to gun violence.

Port Washington, New York, USA. April 11, 2016. HILLARY CLINTON, Democratic presidential primary candidate, has a discussion on gun violence prevention with Rep. STEVE ISRAEL and activists who lost family members due to shootings: (L-R) RITA KESTENBAUM who lost her daughter Carol at Arizona State University; MARIE DELUS who lost her nephew Pierre-Paul Jean-Paul in Queens; ERICA LAFFERTY SMEGIELSKI who lost her mother Dawn Lafferty Hochsprungand the Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal in Newtown CT; NATASHA CHRISTOPHER who lost her 15-year-old son Akeal in Brooklyn; and SANDY PHILLIPS who lost her daughter Jessica Ghawi in Aurora, Colorado theater shooting. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Port Washington, NY, USA. April 11, 2016. HILLARY CLINTON, Democratic presidential primary candidate, and Rep. Steve Israel have panel discussion with five activists on gun violence prevention. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

One by one, the five activists shared – relived – their stories of loss and how they became gun control activists.

Port Washington, New York, USA. April 11, 2016. ERICA LAFFERTY SMEGIELSKI, who lost her mother Dawn Lafferty Hochsprungand, the Principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, has serious expression as she shares her personal story of loss of a loved one due to gun violence, during a discussion with Hillary Clinton and other activists on gun violence prevention. HILLARY CLINTON, the leading Democratic presidential primary candidate, called for stricter gun control legislation. Clinton had several Long Island events scheduled this day, and the New York presidential primary is April 19. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Port Washington, NY, USA. April 11, 2016. ERICA SMEGIELSKI, who lost her mother Dawn Lafferty Hochsprungand, the Principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, is a panelist on gun violence prevention discussion. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Rita Kestenbaum lost her daughter Carol shot at Arizona State University; Marie Delus lost her nephew Pierre-Paul Jean-Paul shot in Queens; Erica Smegielski  lost her mother, Dawn Lafferty Hochsprungand, the Principal killed in Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown CT; Natasha Christopher, lost her son Akeal, 15, shot in Brooklyn; and Sandy Phillips lost her daughter Jessica Ghawi, 24, killed in theater shooting in Aurora, CO.

Port Washington, New York, USA. 11th April 2016. HILLARY CLINTON, leading Democratic presidential primary candidate, purses her lips during a discussion on gun violence prevention with Rep. S. Israel, and with activists who lost family members due to shootings. The activists shared their stories of personal loss, and Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator from New York, called for stronger gun legislation and vowed to take on the gun lobby NRA National Rifle Association. Clinton had several Long Island events scheduled this day, and New York presidential primary is April 19. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Port Washington, NY, USA. April 11, 2016. HILLARY CLINTON, Democratic presidential primary candidate, listens during a discussion on gun violence prevention. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann Parry.com)

The panelists supported Clinton’s call for tougher gun control legislation and vow to take on the gun lobby – NRA National Rifle Association.

And the security screening I and other Press went through was even stricter than it was for Hillary Clinton’s Book Signing two summers ago. Monday it involved a police dog, a variety of scanning equipment, police and agents checking people and their equipment multiple times and places – and more.

Hillary Clinton in Port Washington:   Gallery  |  Slideshow

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Bill Clinton Campaigns for Hillary Clinton in Elmont, NY

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
April 9, 2016

On Tuesday, former President Bill Clinton headlined an Organizing Event for his wife Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential primary candidate, at The Vault in Elmont.

Elmont, New York, USA. April 5, 2016. Former President Bill Clinton, wearing reading glasses, is the headline speaker as he campaigns at an Organizing Event rally in Elmont, Long Island, on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential candidate, and former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator for New York. The New York Democratic Primary takes place April 19th. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Elmont, New York, USA. April 5, 2016. Former President Bill Clinton campaigns at rally in Elmont, Long Island, on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton, Democratic presidential primary candidate. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky, the Democratic candidate for the Special Election to fill the New York Senate seat left vacant by Skelos, introduced Pres. Clinton to a room that appeared packed beyond capacity with Hillary Clinton supporters, plus media.

Elmont, New York, USA. April 5, 2016. Former President BILL CLINTON is introduced by Assemblyman TODD KAMINSKY, the Democratic party’s candidate in a special election for the New York State Senate seat, at an Organizing Event in Elmont, Long Island, on behalf of Clinton's wife, Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential candidate. The NY Senate seat Special Election and the New York Presidential Primary both take place April 19th. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Elmont, New York, USA. April 5, 2016. Former President BILL CLINTON is introduced by Assemblyman TODD KAMINSKY, the Democratic party’s candidate in special election for New York State Senate seat, at a rally in Elmont, on behalf of Clinton’s wife, Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential primary candidate. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

After a campaign speech often punctuated with loud cheers and and applause from the audience, Pres. Clinton spent about 20 minutes exiting the room, as audience members took cell phone photos of, and with, the 42nd President of the USA. When Clinton had all but left, someone handed him a baby as cute as her crying was loud, and the President posed for more photos.

FYI: The New York presidential primary and the New York State Senate seat special election are both scheduled for April 19, 2016.

Pres. Bill Clinton in Elmont:   Gallery  |  Slideshow

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John Kasich Hosts Town Hall at Hofstra

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
April 8, 2016

This eventful week of presidential primary events on Long Island started off with John Kasich, Republican candidate and Governor of Ohio, hosting a Town Hall on Monday at Hofstra University.

Hempstead, New York, USA. April 4, 2016. JOHN KASICH, Republican presidential candidate and governor of Ohio, speaks at the Town Hall he hosts at Hofstra University David Mack Student Center in Long Island. The New York primary is April 19, and Kasich is the first of the three GOP presidential candidates to campaign in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and is in third place in number of delegates won. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Hempstead, New York, USA. April 4, 2016. JOHN KASICH, Republican presidential candidate, speaks at the Town Hall he hosts at Hofstra University. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Maureen O’Brien, of Bethpage, brought a colorful, handmade “GO JOHNNY GO” poster, which I spotted while sitting on the floor near her front row seat.

Hempstead, New York, USA. April 4, 2016. MAUREEN O'BRIEN, from Bethpage, holds a 'GO Johnny GO' sign she brought to Town Hall hosted by JOHN KASICH, Republican presidential candidate and governor of Ohio, at Hofstra University David Mack Student Center in Long Island. O'Brien is a registered Republican and supports Kasich. The New York primary is April 19, and Kasich is the first of the three GOP presidential candidates to campaign in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and is in third place in number of delegates won. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Hempstead, New York, USA. April 4, 2016. MAUREEN O’BRIEN, from Bethpage, holds a ‘GO Johnny GO’ sign she brought to Town Hall hosted by JOHN KASICH, Republican presidential candidate, at Hofstra University.  (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

When I gave Ms. O’Brien a heads up I might need to grab the back of her chair later on when I stood up, she offered to switch places with me.  I thanked her for such generosity, but ended up staying on the floor.

Hempstead, New York, USA. April 4, 2016. JOHN KASICH, Republican presidential candidate and governor of Ohio, speaks at the Town Hall he's hosting at Hofstra University David Mack Student Center in Long Island. Audience includes senior citizens from Long Island AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) wearing red shirts with message 'Does Your Candidate Have A Plan For Social Security?' on back, . The New York primary is April 19, and Kasich is the first of the three GOP presidential candidates to campaign in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and is in third place in number of delegates won. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Hempstead, New York, USA. April 4, 2016. JOHN KASICH, Republican presidential candidate and governor of Ohio, speaks at the Town Hall he’s hosting at Hofstra University. Several Long Island members of AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) wore red shirts with message ‘Does Your Candidate Have A Plan For Social Security?’ (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Since I had my sweatshirt under my knees when kneeling, I could comfortably focus on capturing the governor speaking – without notes – to the audience, which frequently applauded and cheered.

John Kasich Town Hall at Hofstra:   Gallery  |  Slideshow

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New York International Auto Show 2016

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
March 28, 2016

I LOVE COVERING CAR SHOWS – whether capturing photos of a couple in their rusty classic truck in a field or a CEO unveiling his company’s sports car in what looks like the set of a high-end ad shoot.

A red Toyota C-HR Concept car is on display at the New York International Auto Show 2016, at the Jacob Javits Center. This was Press Preview Day one of NYIAS, and the Trade Show will be open to the public for ten days, March 25th through April 3rd. (Ann Parry)

Manhattan, NY, USA. March 23, 2016.  Toyota C-HR Concept car is on display at New York International Auto Show 2016, at the Jacob Javits Center. (© 2016 Ann Parry/ Ann-Parry.com)

At the current New York International Auto Show, the only fields are projected on vast screens that seconds later might show cars speeding along mountain roads, or sun flares caressing beautiful women.

Early in the morning last Wednesday – Press Preview Day One of the New York International Auto Show – I packed my badge, Nikon DSLR with two lenses: 24-200/f2.8mm and 16mm 180-degree fisheye, and then took the LIRR to Penn Station and walked to the Javits Center.

Lexus RX, a closeup of hood and emblem shown, is decorated with old-fashioned pink telephone handsets on outspace background by Jeremy Scott, is on display at the New York International Auto Show 2016, at the Jacob Javits Center. For New York Fashion Week, Lexus commissioned designer Scott to wrap10 Lexus RX cars in prints from his Fall collection inspired by space cowgirl, a sign explained. This was Press Preview Day one of NYIAS, and the Trade Show will be open to the public for ten days, March 25th through April 3rd. (Ann Parry)

Manhattan, NY, USA. March 23, 2016. Lexus RX, decorated with telephone handsets on outer space background by Jeremy Scott, is shown at New York International Auto Show 2016 at Jacob Javits Center.. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

It was fun work, with lots of walking and opportunities for capturing photos of gleaming autos and people.

At the end of the day was a special surprise: Bodypainting artist Trina Merry and her Trina Merry Studio recreated the NYIAS official poster as living art, with the painted and positioned bodies of her models forming the red car shown heading up the road.

Artist TRINA MERRY, and her Trina Merry Studios, created a piece of living art, where models' bodies are painted and then positioned to resemble a red car, on view at the Media Party after the first day of the New York International Auto Show 2016, at the Jacob Javits Center. The artwork recreated the NYIAS poster. This was Press Preview Day one of NYIAS, and the Trade Show will be open to the public for ten days, March 25th through April 3rd. (Ann Parry)

Manhattan, NY, USA. March 23, 2016. Artist TRINA MERRY and her Studio create a piece of living art, after first day of New York International Auto Show at Jacob Javits Center.  (© 2016 Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

What an auto-magic ending to a great day!

New York International Auto Show 2016:   Gallery 2016  |  Slideshow 2016

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Requiem for Booker T. Gibson

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com) 
March 18, 2016

Instead of writing this right now, I’d be at Booker T. Gibson’s funeral at Union Baptist Church in Hempstead, if I’d learned about his March 10th death sooner, rather than a few minutes ago when I read his moving obituary by journalist Scott Brinton.

Merrick, New York, USA. May 27, 2013. Veteran Booker T. Gibson at Annual Memorial Day Parade 2013, hosted by American Legion Merrick Post No. 1282, with ceremony at Merrick Veteran Memorial Park. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. May 27, 2013. Veteran Booker T. Gibson at Annual Memorial Day Parade 2013, hosted by American Legion Merrick Post No. 1282. (© 2013 Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Booker was an active member of the American Legion Merrick Post 1282, and I’m a member of its Auxiliary. We first met on December 10, 2011, at the Northport VA Medical Center, where he played piano to accompany our AL Post members singing Christmas carols to patients. Which was more mesmerizing and expressive: Booker’s big bright eyes, his hands as they played, or his warm personality? I can’t decide.

Close-up of Booker T Gibson's hands as he plays piano at Northport VA medical Center, on Dec. 19, 2011. Light vignette. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Northport, New York, USA. December 19, 2011. Close-up of Booker T Gibson’s hands as he plays piano at Northport VA medical Center to accompany American Legion Merrick Post 1282 singers. (© 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Years ago, filmmaker André Joseph contacted me to license editorial photos for EPYX Productions’ 2013 documentary film on Booker T. Gibson. When we spoke, Joseph’s deep respect for Gibson was clear, as it was later in his 2013 documentary:

AJ EPYX Documentary film:  Book T. Gibson: A Teacher’s Journey

Writing this visual requiem, I feel both sad (quite sad) and profoundly grateful to have known and photographed fellow Merrokean, fellow teacher, fellow lover of music, Booker T. Gibson.

American Legionnaires, Booker T. Gibson at right, riding in classic car in Merrick Memorial Day Parade on May 28, 2012, on Long Island, New York, USA. America's war heroes are honored on this National Holiday. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. May 28, 2012. American Legionnaires, Booker T. Gibson at right, riding in classic car in Merrick Memorial Day Parade. (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Photos of Booker T. Gibson playing piano

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