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Thursday, January 27, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Give me a camera at your peril ...

Editor’s Notebook: Give me a camera at your peril …

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Today’s second item will be about yesterday’s Inter-Service Club Council of Arlington awards ceremony — lesser media, you missed out on a yummy country-club buffet by not attending! — but first, let’s a trip back maybe a decade ago to the same event and yet another story proving my ineptitude.

That time, the luncheon was held at the almost-as-yummy Knights of Columbus, and as is my wont, when the event broke up, I searched out the Woman and Man of the Year to get some photos.

And when I started shooting, the photos that came up on the screen were all blurry. I couldn’t figure out why, but nothing seemed to help.

I asked someone else to take some camera-phone photos as a backup (they certainly can be as good as anything I take), and it wasn’t until later that I figured out what had happened.

Not a proud moment, but confession is good for the soul, so here goes: Being all dressed up (suit and tie), I had during lunch accidentally dipped the aforementioned tie into salad dressing somehow. And then, later, being the classy guy I am, I used the tie to clean the lens of the camera before taking pictures. The salad dressing got transferred to the lens, so the electronic images came out blurry.

Wonder if this ever happened to Ansel Adams?

Fortunately, there was no damage to the camera, only to my pride as a photojournalist. OK, I have no pride as a photojournalist, frankly have little pride at all, so I guess there was no damage whatsoever.

BUT BACK TO YESTERDAY’S EVENT: Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey, who sat to the immediate right of me at a table during the luncheon (Garvey seldom is to the right of me on anything, but it does happen …), says that if I didn’t relate this incident, she’d write a letter to the editor about it. To spare her the effort of putting pen to paper, here goes.

It was time for the raffle drawing at the conclusion of the luncheon. Now, ordinarily, I do not go for raffle drawings, both because I’m supposed to be there as an observer and, frankly, I’m a cheap so-and-so. But in this instance, a fellow member of the Kiwanis Club family insisted I give him $5 for nine tickets, and I complied.

Four or five things were raffled off, then came the last item — a 7-foot fraser fir Christmas tree to be selected from the lot of the Optimist Club of Arlington, which opens its annual sale next week.

The winning ticket number was called, and no surprise (given the “luck of the Irish,” a truly tongue-in-cheek phrase), I did not hold it. In mock outrage, I theatrically tossed my tickets onto the table in disgust. Got a laugh.

But it turns out that nobody in the audience seemed to have the winning ticket, so another one was drawn. And glory be, the tree went … to me!

Talk about getting a second laugh from the crowd.

One way or another, the tree will go to good use, although I’m not sure whether it’s wise to put it up in a condo also occupied by a cat that likes to attack things. Back in the day, one of my parents’ cats down in Florida suddenly decided to take a flying leap and literally tackled their Christmas tree. If it’d been the NFL, it would have been for a five-yard loss on the play.

Nonetheless, it’s nice to be a winner now and then, so I’ve got that going for me. And watch for coverage of the event, minus any reference to my winnings, coming up.

  • Scott McCaffrey
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