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Happy New Year 2011!

Swimmers running toward the water at the annual Polar Bear Swim on New Year's Day, Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Swimmers running toward the water at the annual Polar Bear Swim on New Year’s Day, Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Somehow the calendar New Year, random in some ways though it is, gives a lot of people an opportunity to reflect on the past year, make some resolutions about the new year, and, of course, to party.

After moving our world headquarters, and ourselves, to Brooklyn, we came back to Rhode Island for a couple of weeks over the holidays. (Just in time to avoid the Boxing Day Blizzard!) I like a good party as well as the next guy, so when my friend Charlie—he’s the guy in the red hat, below—mentioned that he was going to throw a tailgate picnic in connection with the 2011 version of the annual Narragansett Pier Plunge, well, I had to sign on. For the party, not the plunge. Charlie signed on for the plunge.

Pier Swim at Narragansett, RI, on January 1, 2011
Pier Swim at Narragansett, RI, on January 1, 2011

For the plungers, everything turned out fine: air temp in the 50s, water temp, depending on who you believed, somewhere in the 38 – 41 degree range, sunshine. Once I got past the shock of learning that a couple of hundred people were willing—some, indeed, eager—to dip themselves in the winter Atlantic Ocean and pay $20 to do it, I got to thinking, about the past year, the coming year, and things in general.

Now my wife, Cynthia, is and always has been reflective about people and their behavior, and has, since childhood, noted qualities in people that she thought were worth emulating in some way. Me, not so much; at least not in the earlier part of my life. I think about such thing more now, and Charlie’s plunge got me thinking about him, and then about me and my work.

What I like about Charlie is his enthusiasm for life, his energy, his acceptance of people, his humor. He can rally himself in the face of adversity (hell, he even rallied a few hundred people about to freeze their delicate bits in the January ocean), and keep laughing throughout it. It occurred to me that I share a lot of those qualities, too, and I think it’s reflected in my work.

More photos of the 2011 Narragansett Pier Plunge here.

On through 2011!

(I keep forgetting to include the tech info for those so inclined: all the Pier Plunge photos taken with a Canon 5D and 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. I like to work up close, even if I sometimes get my feet wet. Or nearly trampled, as when taking the first image above.)