It’s Nice To Have A Budding Louis Armstrong In The Building

USCGC Eagle, Operation Sail (1976) Parade of Ships
USCGC Eagle, Operation Sail (1976) Parade of Ships

I was a fledgling photographer the year of United States Bicentennial. On July 4th, 1976, I photographed Operation Sail, which had 16 tall ships sailing into New York harbor. I sold my first photograph (more correctly, my picture agent, Contact Press Images, sold my first photograph) to the Brazilian magazine, Manchete, which they used as a full page in their OpSail story.

With the funds from the sale of that photograph, I bought a fluegelhorn. I had taken trumpet lessons in grammar school, but when it came down to a bike or a trumpet, I opted for the former.

In 1976, I lived in a brownstone on W. 76th St and as a courtesy to my neighbors, I posted a notice by the mailboxes asking when was the best time for me to practice. Of course, there were a lot of “Never” responses, but someone wrote, “Anytime. It’s nice to have a budding Louis Armstrong in the building.”

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