Sunday, May 2, 2010

Beer can be medicinal too

Working as an on call, part-time staff photographer at the Seattle Post Intelligencer from 2003-2009, offered me a wide variety of assignments. There, I was known as the ” Mickey of photography”. You know, the kid on the Life cereal commercial, where his two older brothers pushed a bowl full towards him and said, “Let’s see if Mickey eats it?” It seems that from time to time, I received the not so glamorous day to day grunt assignments, so that a few of the staffers could devote their time on projects, high profile news or driving around looking for daily wild art.

One of these assignments was of Norms Destiny, a 6-year-old racehorse at Emerald Downs. After developing hind end leg problems, the horse, co-owned by his wife Leona Orr and Vince Hemninson was going to be put down in December 2001. On Christmas Eve James, went to go spend time with the horse and brought along some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a half rack of Coors light and drank it with the horse. The next morning when he awoke the horse was standing and walking around the stall. So in a few days Norms Destiny seemed to be getting better and was taken to Vince's farm for a yearlong workout. In 2002 the racehorse took a fifth, fourth and four second places. This year the won a $12,500 claiming race on July 6th, his second of the year and two third-place finishes. The owners feel it's time for him to retire.

Upon arriving at the track and meeting his trainer James Orr, he asked, what kind of pictures do you want of Norm? When he opened the frig and showed me beer and sandwiches he brought along and could feed them to the horse, I thought, that’ll work. I was able to capture some pictures of the horse guzzling down it second Coors Light beer after eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich fed to him by Orr.