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.”

Originally published on

The Lady Washington

The Lady Washington, Jack London Square

The Lady Washington, a modern replica of the original USS Lady Washington, was sailing in San Francisco Bay this past week and docked at Jack London Square in Oakland this weekend. In the 2003 film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the Lady Washington portrayed the fictional HMS Interceptor (and in Star Trek: Generations, she portrayed the brig, USS Enterprise – “Computer, remove the plank!“).

Furuno radome

According to the Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki, “The HMS Interceptor was a brig in the British Royal Navy serving under King George II, most notably under the command of Captain, later Commodore, James Norrington. As a ship in the British fleet, the Interceptor was purported to be the fastest vessel commissioned to His Majesty’s service.”

The Furuno radome, mounted on the foremast above the yard, probably helped capture some of those pirate ships, though in the end, HMS Interceptor couldn’t escape the Black Pearl.