Sam I Am Blog

My Newspaper of News, Lifestyle,Culture

Posts Tagged ‘Christy

24th Wedding Anniversary

with 2 comments

Editor’s Note — I wrote this editorial on my Wedding Anniversary for my wife. I had problems logging into my Word Press blog accounts on that day. Thus, the editorial stayed on my hard drive until I could get logged into publish the article.
Word Press seems to have updated their publish system, since my last editorial, so the format of this editorial may look different than previous posts.
Samuel E. Warren Jr.
_____________________________________________________

24th Wedding Anniversary

Today, Sunday, July 20, 2014, Christy Warren, my wife, celebrates her 24th Wedding Anniversary. Wait, a minute. . .my wife ? Holy Cow ! That means I’ve been married 24 years today also.

I need a minute.

Okay. The shock has passed.

I am surprised I am celebrating 24 years of marriage. I was a single man. I liked being a single man.
My first marriage was “Made In Hell.” Actually, I made the Supreme Mistake of walking down the alise of the neo-Gothic cathedral of The School Of The Ozarks at Point Lookout, Missouri, back in the late ’70s.

I made it a point to ‘Forget’ that so-called “Wedding Day.”

The Lesson Of My First Marriage was simple: I will Never, Ever get married again. Two-and-a-half miserable years of being “Locked” into “Holy Wedlock”, is the reason Why I Don’t Fear Hell. I spent everyday in Hell for two-and-a-half, long, miserable years. I dreaded sunrise each day.

Once my divorce was granted, I made myself “The Promise.”

The Promise was simple: “Never Again.”

At age 24, I won back my “Freedom.”

I never had any intention of ever getting married again.

I was “Free !” I was single, again.” I had a good job in the United States Air Force. Thanks to Uncle Sam, I do my job, salute smartly and I could travel the world. I did.

Again, I was a Single American. I was fortunately to be a Single American G.I. I loved my job in Public Affairs because I got to live my fantasy as “The Reporter.”

I lived to write. My mentor Master Sergeant took the time to really “Teach” me how to use a camera to take news photographs for the newspaper. I worked at it and became a photojournalist. I wrote the stories and shot the photos, which ended up in print in a base newspaper. My Life was complete. I was Whole. I was Happy.

The day came when Uncle Sam handed me a set of orders for duty in the Pacific. Hallelujah !

The Ozarks country boy ends up at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. I had heard my father’s stories about World War II in the Pacific. I had heard other veterans War stories about duty in the Pacific. I did some interviews and published some of those stories. When Uncle Sam gave me the orders, I had my camera bag packed before my duffel bag and I was ready to catch the aircraft on the runway.

While stationed on Okinawa, I noticed and met some of the Most Beautiful Women On Planet Earth.

I met Koreans and Filipinas. I got a temporary duty assignment to the Kingdom Of Thailand, so I met beautiful Thais, Cambodian and Laotian women.

I was in my 20s and 30s, so I was as “Handsome” as I was ever going to be. Fortunately, the striking blue uniform and my Battle Dress Uniform made even an average looking guy like me appear like a handsome Hollywood heart throb.

Still, I had “No Intention Of Never, Ever Getting Married Again.”
At Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines, I fell in love with the tropical climate, the country, the base, and my job. I was a Single American G.I., whose blood flowed and his heart pounded, so I naturally noticed I was “Ground Zero” in the Pacific version of Heaven. Everywhere I looked — Filipinas.

A Single Man In Paradise surrounded by beautiful women realizes Life is more fun and meaningful when it is shared.

One Filipina caught my eye. Christy had a Farah Fawcett-Majors shag haircut. Her eyes sparkled. Her smile was diamond bright sunshine.

She wasn’t tall. Still, she caught my eye and I could see her as a “Playboy” or “Penthouse” centerfold in my mind.

Christy might have known two words in English. Language was definitely the barrier. I learned broken Tagalog and she busted through the barrier and learned English quickly.

One of the things I noticed about my future wife was her independence and sense of style. In the Asian culture, women usually are shy and taught to stay in the background. Christy was one of the few Asian women I had ever met, who did not do the cultural “Docile Routine.”

When it came to style, Christy had the eye of a fashion designer. She knew how to mix and match colors that caught my eye and made other men turn their heads.

We began to date. I suddenly realized, “Jackpot !”

I knew “If” I didn’t marry Christy I would always regret the decision. I wanted someone I could “Love” and share my Life with.

Women came and Women went. I was a single man. I knew, Christy was “The Woman!” I didn’t want to see her, “Go.”

I proposed.

She made me wait.

I kept at the job and wondered “If” she would take me up on my offer.

She did.

Friday, July 20, Nineteen Eighty Nine, the presses rolled. “The Philippine Flyer” came “Hot Off The Press !”

In the best tradition of American Newspaper Editors And Reporters, I had told Christy, “The newspaper comes first !”

My Wedding Day was scheduled to happen — after “The Philippine Flyer” came off the presses. Show Time was 10 a.m., at the Justice Of The Peace office at The Main Gate of Clark Air Base. I and everyone of my witnesses and people from my office were in position.

The only thing missing ? The Bride.

Christy was having “Second Thoughts.”

The clock ticks. Time passes.

I smiled a lot.

The smiles helped to hide my nervousness.
I remembered the stories about being “Left At The Altar.” I remembered Dustin Hoffman in the movie, “The Graduate.”

The witnesses were getting restless. The Justice Of The Peace did some more paperwork to pass the time.

I got restless.

At 1 p.m., my “Bride” walked through the door. Heaven retired an “Archangel” that day. Christy was a heavenly vision. She wore a simple white dress with the traditional Filipina “Imelda Marcos Filipina sleeves”, which rise an inch or two at the shoulder seam.

Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos made the dress style internationally famous, so, at least, Military Americans got in the habit of describing the dress as “The Imelda Dress” or a Filipino dress with “Imelda sleeves.”

Christy wore her long hair up to create a bun at the back described as Chinese style. I describe her holding mechanism as “Chopsticks”, for lack of a better descriptive term.

Christy was “Perfect.”

24 Years Later — My Bride, Christy is still “Perfect.”

The only thing my bride lacked was “Wings.” I looked at her and my mind’s eye supplied the feathery, ivory angelic wings to match her dress.

“I do.” The two most important words I ever uttered in my life, I spoke that day.

When I die, I doubt I go to Heaven. I don’t care. I’m a redneck Texan. I grew up in the Hillbilly Ozarks. I am an arrogant American. I love my country and my flag.

The Texan Warrens and The Missouri Ozarks’ DeLongs taught me the most important thing in Life is to Live It and Love Your Family.

The Day I Step Out Of This Life and stand before God or Satan and am expected to make a statement about my life, I already know, what I will say:

“Sir, with all due respect, I enjoyed every second of my Life. I had the Best Mother any Son or Daughter could ever ask for.”

” I am grateful for my father. I hit the celestial jackpot of aunts and uncles when it came to DeLongs and Warrens. The Universe hit me hard at times in Life.”

“I am not a religious man. However, I got The Best Wife that any man, in the past, present or future, could ever imagine or ask for. Christy Saldana Warren might not have been an archangel, but, she has always been, My Goddess. My wife has always been my strength, my heart and my soul.”

“If this is Judgement Day; so be it ! I ain’t askin’ for ‘Squat.’ I just want The Universe, Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, The Christian God and whatever other deities, real or imagined, which live in The Universe to realize I loved Christy Warren with my heart and blackened soul. I thank The Universe for my son, Samuel Ranilo Warren. I thank The Universe for my daughter, Donna Junea Warren.”

“My children have ‘The Best’ of their beautiful Filipina mother. I truly hope, my children have inherited some of the redneck arrogance, cynicism, skepticism, independence, stubbornness,and courage of their American Warren and DeLong ancestors and their ‘Hell-raising’ father, so they will achieve their own personal greatness in their lives.”

“Therefore, God, Satan, with all due respect,my Life is better than I could of ever hoped for. Faith, Hope, Beauty, Joy, Happiness — I had it all.”

“If you gentlemen dieties wanted me to suffer — you messed up ! I found ‘My Wife.’ I found ‘My Life.’ Christy Saldana Warren. I lived on the planet Earth. But, I Never really Lived until I woke up each morning and looked into Christy’s face.”

“My world. My Life. My Soul. I lived as a man. My wife completed me. No silly reward or No eternal punishment can ever separate my from The Love Of My Wife Christy On Earth.”

“Send Me To Heaven ! Send Me To Hell ! Cast My Atoms To The Far Reaches Of The Universe ! I will have the last smile. I had ‘The Best Mother Of Mankind.’ No Eternal Punishment Will Ever Torture My Sinner’s Soul because I had ‘The Best Wife Of Mankind’ — Christy Saldana Warren.”

In the United States, it is never easy to find the Love of another person.

In the Republic Of The Philippines, Love might be totally ignored because people are taught to believe in a God creature or his underling, rather than open their eyes and search for the soul that adds to or completes their Life.

My Life has taught me that Love is The Soul Who Completes You.

Christy has not always agreed with me. Christy, at times, has definitely disagreed with me. We have had our loud shouting matches at each other. However, I would never want to imagine My Life Without Her.

Thus, God or Satan — real or not — does not worry me. None of the deities of Mankind frighten me. Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, The Christian God can all take a bus to Brooklyn and drown themselves in The Atlantic Ocean. I do not “NEED” or “WANT” any of the silly religious fantasies and mythologies of The World’s Old Tired Organized Religions.

I stood at “Ground Zero”, the day that Super Typhoon Yolanda, came to my barangay in the Philippines. I heard the winds howl. I saw the intense white light around the door frame. The door busts open three times. Three times I rushed put my shoulder to the door and closed it.

None of the phony Gods Of Mankind had ‘The Power’ to take me.

I love my wife and family. The phony Gods didn’t get me and they had their chance.

Super Typhoon Yolanda didn’t take me and I gave her three chances when I grabbed the door and shut it.

Thus, “If” I ever do stand before one of the false Gods Of Mankind or Satan, I will be respectful: I was born a Texan and “Respect” is ingrained in my DNA.

I will not “Fear” because I was raised in the Ozarks by a proud “hillbilly” mother, who taught me “Love IS Family” and “Family IS Always Love.” Relatives who betray you; aren’t family — they are just biological lifeforms who have a lot of the shared RNA and DNA.

Marriage can and does “Create A Special Mystical Strand Of RNA and DNA”, which flows through the blood and enhances the organs to evolve a human into a special, unique human, who lives for his or her family.

In the final analysis, I have, no doubt, I could look God or Satan in the eyes and present my final statements.

“My wife,Christy made me welcome each sunrise. Everyday with Christy was an adventure. We had our ups. We had our downs. We always had ‘The Love.’ Christy gave me two beautiful children, Samuel Ranilo Warren and Donna Junea Warren. The Universe knows ‘My Goddess’ is Christy Warren — my heart, my soul, and my Life.”

Thank You, Christy for 24 Wonderful Years Of Married Life. Thank You, Christy for 24 Years Of Life. Christy, You are “My Goddess.”

I love you, Christy.
Sam

Fast Christmas Coronation by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

with 2 comments

Personal Business Editorial

Fast

Christmas

Coronation

 

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

When, my wife, Christy Warren and I first returned to the Philippines the exuberance and the pomp and circumstance ranked up there in the old black and white news reels with the Coronation Of Queen Elizabeth.

 

Christy was returning to her native Leyte and the pomp and circumstance had all the trimmings of The Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Dianna.

 

CHRISTMAS STAR THUMBNAIL LOGOI stood at the airport in Manila and for the briefest instant expected to see a royal carriage pulled by white horses trotting up the taxi lane in front of the airport .

 

We were both anxious to get to our final destination of the island of Leyte. However, family members were intent on their “meet and greet” ceremonies in Manila.

 

Then, of course, our royal itinerary had changed to add an unofficial “Goodwill Visit To Angeles City.”

 

Queen Christy Warren, Her Royal Majesty, was being treated to all the honors and accolades that she deserved. Prince Samuel of The Ozarks and The Duke Of East Texas was smiling and doing “the wave.”

 

The only thing missing from the royal entourage was The Official Press Corps. In the back of my mind, I knew the royal budget had the letter W associated with it and the name would not be Windsor.

 

The Strange American

 

On the ground, in Leyte, the procession of “Well-Wishers” came with the exuberance of visitors to Buckingham Palace for an “audience” with “Queen Christy” and a chance to see “The Strange American.”

 

Is he taller or shorter than General MacArthur ?”

 

He’s a Texan, right ?”

 

Where is Missouri ?”

 

What is the Ozarks ?”

 

Hillbilly is that a religion or a political party in the US ?”

 

 

Between Tagalog, Waray and English, I would hear strange questions whispered about me. Maybe, I should of cared, but, as long as they were the old, “Who is this guy ? ” question, then, I just smiled it off.

 

By January, it was obvious that most of the attendees at the mythical Christmas Coronation weren’t family members grateful that Christy had returned home.

 

The name Warren had proven not to be the name Windsor and no one from the “palace household” followed up on the holiday requests.

 

The Warrens Of The Ozarks had no serious intent to become Lloyd s Of London and the domestic policy issues involved The Saldana Family. Christy had come home to be with her family.

 

Any community initiatives and ongoing economic development that concerned the Warren Family in Barangay Baras would have to involve the overall Saldana Family.

 

Local people seemed to have had envisioned a British Monarchy arrival, but, the reality is the family approach was more a Joseph Kennedy Hyannis Port, Massachusetts Family approach.

 

Blood And Biology”

 

A person is more than his DNA, RNA, chromosomes and biological compounds. The members of a family are more than people who share “Blood And Biology” traits.

 

Saint Samuel’s Basilica

 

I have always been interested in heraldry,chivalry and genealogy, but, for the Christmas 2011 celebration, there were just too many people at Saint Samuel’s Basilica.

 

We didn’t have the pilgrims in the square awaiting the annual Christmas message, we had people who rushed through the jungle courtyard of Saint Samuel’s Basilica to seek an audience with Christy. I assumed the role of the concerned cardinal.

 

Cardinal Samuel nodded a lot and smiled a lot. But, I was interested to see were the well wishers and “faithful” were headed in their Christmas interpretations I looked forward to December 26, 2011. I wanted to know if “The Spirit Of Goodwill” was “The Real Deal” or just “Christmas Cheer.”

 

As the new year of 2012 approached, it became clear Saint Samuel’s Basilica would have to accept a more secular and business approach. Relatives were leaving and the shift in the idea of “family” day to day was becoming more like Missouri weather – changeable.

 

One Warren Way

 

By March 2012, it had become obvious that the Christmas Season was past and One Warren Way was a private home with it’s own “family” agenda. The opportunists went somewhere else. The family wannabe lobbyists had made their travel arrangements to return to other destinations in the Philippines.

 

In April 2012, Christy opened her CSW Cafe and got her dream to own and operate her own cafe. She provides good food to the community at a decent price. She became a business woman, who provided jobs.

 

Family members were offered the opportunity to work in her cafe. A few to date have accepted to work with Christy and her dream. Some did not.

 

By the Warren Fiscal Year of October 1, 2011, God was still in his Heaven, Sam and Christy were headquartered at One Warren Way with “Family.”

 

Holiday Historian

 

The Government of the Philippines dealt with their daily challenges of 2012, The Government of the United States tried to deal with international business and the carry on the traditional “Presidential Campaign” fiesta of every four years.

 

The major entertainment of any democracy relies on the Presidential or Prime Ministerial Election. The Warren and Saldana Family of Leyte settled down to the day to day business of life in Barangay Baras.

 

I have had a lifelong interest in all types of history. I got enough college hours under the belt to know how to do the data collection, compilation and analysis routine to examine an issue from all angles. I had collected the data from Christmas Day 2011 and examined the photographs I had taken.

 

I had enough data to take on the role of “Holiday Historian” and render a verdict on Christmas Day 2011 and the irony is the Christmas Season of 2012 provided the hours to complete the task.

 

Home For The Holidays

 

By October 1, 2012, I looked forward to my birthday, October 30, Halloween, October 31 and the end of 2012.

 

Christy looked forward to Christmas, December 25, 2012 and the New Year of 2013.

 

Christy decided to close the CSW Cafe for the Christmas Season of 2012 to spend some time at “Home For The Holidays.”

 

A year has passed, since we returned to the Philippine Islands. I have had time to reflect and look at The Fast Christmas of 2011. The photographer’s habit of having a camera growing out of the end of your hand provided valuable snapshots of time throughout the previous year.

 

Fast Christmas Fiscal Fiasco

 

The Life Learning Lesson of Fast Christmas 2011 is simple: people are people. We all have our good points and our bad points. Human nature goes beyond flags, passports and visas.

 

Some people will take advantage of you, regardless, what day of the year it is. In a perfect world, you would always be able to count on “Family.” The world is not perfect and some family members do not see “The Big Picture.”

 

In the early 21st Century, the “Fast Food” and “Fad” psychology of “Instant This,” “Instant That” and the evolving technology of “Upgrades” and “Real Time” has convinced people to focus on the “Short Haul” to try and plan for their lives. The end result is “people live from payday to payday without a plan to reach a comfortable retirement.”

 

To some people Christmas is simply another day to try and rip people off. To some people, “Family” is simply a six letter word in an English dictionary. To some people Christmas is just a holiday to be used to try and set up “pie-in-the-sky” business deals.

 

Fast Christmas had not been about Christmas at all.

Fast Christmas was various attempts to use Christmas Day 2011 to setup a mood of trust by friends, acquaintances and some family members.  Then, in 2012 the trust could be called upon to support series of changing, financial ventures to profit a few people.  Human nature being human nature some people will try to point the finger and try to make you feel “guilty” to get their way.

 

Some friends and family members had their own ideas about what Christy and I could do to help them. But, they didn’t have any ideas that would benefit the entire family or the surrounding communities as a whole. The “flash in the pan” business brainstorms didn’t work because my wife “The Boss” is a business woman, who always considers “The Big Picture.” 

Christy’s husband, “Sam the Cynic” needs to be able to visualize a “Real World” result.  I have an imagination.  However, I grew up in Missouri and you have got to “Show Me.” Unless I see three or four colts galloping in the field, I’m not going to invest in a “Unicorn Farm”, I don’t care how good the presentation is.

 

 

 

Mentor Mothers

 

Nenita Quezon Saldana told her daughter, Christy, “Keep The Family Together.” Opal M. DeLong Warren told her son, Samuel, “Family Is Everything.” Both mothers were right about their beliefs in family. Both mothers, knew their daughter and son would understand the changing nature of “Family” and “Business.”

 

To me Christmas is about watching kids have fun with their toys, brothers, sisters, cousins and to be able to set down to a table of delicious food and drink and feast like Henry the VIII, my favorite English king.

Henry knew, “How To Party Down !”

 

Other family members are welcome to apply their own meanings to Christmas to celebrate the holiday in a manner of their own choosing.

 

Fiscal Christmas Of 2011

 

Christmas Day 2011, I lean back in the chair at the table and loosen two notches on my brown leather western belt. “That hit the spot. Wonder what kind of feast Cousin Donna cooked this year back in Missouri,” I said aloud to Christy’s Cousin Romel sitting across the table from me.

 

Christmas Eve 2012, I put away the “Demonyo Itlog” – deviled eggs – macaroni salad, potato salad, rice, and enjoyed Mississippi Mud chocolate candy with my coffee. The women cleared away the table and sit down to a bottle of Christy’s red wine and the Philippines’ “Tuba”, coconut wine.

 

The men after dinner adjourned to the area by the Christmas Tree to enjoy Tuba and an evening of conversation.

A glance at Christy’s cell phone revealed an absence of “Blood and biology family” Christmas wishes for the holiday, which confirmed what I suspected that “Fast Christmas of 2011” was really “Fiscal Christmas of 2011.”

 

 

 

A Yuletide Toast To Henry VIII

 

I sit down with the men to celebrate Christmas Eve 2012 and loosen the waist of my walking shorts. I grin at Ramon, “I bet Cousin Donna has started cooking Christmas Dinner in the States. She always starts a couple days ahead of time, And, when I start to chow down on the hot biscuits she serves, I have to remind myself to leave room for pie.”

 

Kuya Sam, Merry Christmas.”

 

Merry Christmas, Ramon.”

 

I raise my tall coffee cup, “Merry Christmas to Henry the VIII,” I grin.

 

Henry the VIII, Kuya Sam ?”

 

I laugh.”Long story, Ramon. One of my favorite English kings, who knew how to enjoy a great meal and good conversation.”

Sam

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Written by samwarren55

December 29, 2012 at 7:27 AM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Business, Current Events, Editorial, Family, Holidays, Money, Observances, Opinion, Philippines

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Word Warrior Warren Word Works “Black Market Movies”

with 3 comments

 

Word Warrior Warren

Word Works

Black Market Movies”

A SELECTION OF BLACK MARKET MOVIES_2508_resized

 

Arghh ! “Pirated DVDs”

This is a selection of “Pirated DVDs” and “Black Market Movies” bought in Manila, Tanauan and Tacloban City, in the Republic of the Philippines. You hear about “Black Market Movies” in Asia,  They seem to be as common as “rice in the Pacific” because they can be bought in public. The true challenge isn’t finding a “Black Market Movie”; the challenge is to find a “Legitimate Movie.” Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

The cliché about, “Once a reporter, always a reporter” is true in my case. I have always been curious. As a child, I would annoy my classmates because whenever I had a question, I would raise my hand and expect an answer from the teacher.

 

I knew from childhood I would be a reporter because I was simply “too curious” to be anything else in life. I grew up on the old black and white movies where an actor like Cary Grant would portray the crusading reporter, who would get the “Truth” and the presses would roll.

 

Naturally, reading about Clark Kent and the Daily Planet in the Superman comic books only added to my conviction and passion to satisfy my curiosity.

 

The honor of serving in the military enhanced my role as a reporter. I didn’t have the “Big Red S” on my chest, but, I had my own “blue suit” to serve “Truth, Justice, and the American way.”

 

As a senior citizen, I am still curious.

 

When I get interested in an idea, I begin researching it for my blog, which is, essentially, my “Daily Planet.”

 

When Christy and I moved to the Philippines, we had to wait for our “household goods” to sail from the United States. We both love movies. While we waited, I looked around to see where I could buy some movies. I began to hear about, “Black Market Movies,” “Pirated DVDs,” and “Illegal Movies.”

 

I never imagined finding a “legitimate movie” would be an epic quest, but, it became one.

 

In the Republic of the Philippines, the “Black Market Movies” are everywhere and sold out in the open in public.

 

The real challenge is to find a “legitimate movie or TV episode” that you can rent or buy and not end up with a “Pirated DVD.”

 

Fortunately, our “legitimate” movies arrived. But, when a new release hits the theaters; “Where do you go to buy the legitimate movie ?”

 

I still have no answer to this question. I do have a passion to try and find an answer. I have begun my research. Time to “beat feet to the street” and try to find an answer.

 

Is there an answer to the proliferation of Black Market Movies in Asia or is it simply a cultural business difference with the West ?

 

Now, that Christmas seems to be front and center, I imagine my research will have to go on the back burner for a few days.

 

I would appreciate my regular readers keeping this issue in the back of their minds,then, come the new year, maybe, we can have an answer to the issue or at least know that there might be some issues in life that society, in general,simply shrugs off.

 

BLACK MARKET MOVIE_PIRATED DVD_SUCKER PUNDH_2507_resized

Black Market Movies

Sucker Punch” The Buyer

You put down your hard earned dollars, pesos, baht or yen on the counter and think you are getting a discount or catching the movie “On Sale.” You get home and pop the DVD into the player and realize, “You’ve Been Had, Dad.” Instead of getting a professional movie, you get a video that usually looks like it was shot by a blind man and recorded by a deaf woman. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Sam

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Joplin Tornado Aftermath Reconstruction Underway Photos

with one comment

Joplin Tornado Aftermath

Reconstruction Underway Photos

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Sunday, May 22, 20 11 – An EF-5 tornado struck Joplin, Missouri and left 154 people dead.and more than 900 injured. Some reports cite that the EF-5 tornado ranged from one half to three quarters of a mile in length as it moved through the city of 50,150 citizens and left a path of destruction that has been reported as 16 to 22 miles in length with one third of the city destroyed.

As of Friday, June 17, 2011, people in southwest Missouri are still talking about the devastating tornado that reportedly has, “at least two semi tractor trailer trucks leaving every minute through the day to simply haul away all the debris left by the tornado.” Friday afternoon, Christy, my wife and I had the opportunity to see the unimaginable destruction.

Reconstruction Underway - Joplin, Missouri - The May 22, 2011 tornado that stuck Joplin , Missouri is currently credited with killing 154 people and destorying at least one third of this major metropolitan southwest Missouri city. Friday, June 17, 2011, when this photograph was taken, Joplin citizens were still working to clear away the rubble and city crews could be seen working to clear away the massive mountains of debris. This American flag is only one of many that waves from within the barren landscape of destruction. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Back Story

Friday, June 17, 2011 – Ken Sexton and my cousin, Donna, invited my wife, Christy, and I to go with them on an afternoon road trip. Donna had mentioned that we would drive through Joplin to show us the destruction from the Joplin Tornado.

Ken and Donna were two of the many people who had volunteered time on a couple of weekends to help the Joplin survivors to help clear away the construction rubble left by the deadly tornado.

I tossed the camera bag in the car. Ken drove. Donna explained the devastation that they had witnessed only a few days after the tornado. Christy and I listened. I took photographs of the devastation.

Photographic Procedure

We drove through Joplin. While Ken drove, I shot photos. The photos were shot by me using a Canon EOS 40D digital camera. Since the vehicle was moving there is obvious picture blur and camera shake in some of the photographs which were shot through the vehicle windows.

I sat on the left side of the vehicle and my wife, Christy, sat on the right side. I aimed the camera at virtually all the windows at some point to take a photograph. All of the photos were shot by me from inside the moving vehicle.

Since I alternated between shooting out the right and left side windows as well as some shots taken through the windshield, essentially these photos are a series of sequence shots.

Photographic Processing

Back home in Stone County, Missouri, I downloaded the photographs to my laptop to examine. I used the programs, Irfanview and Photoscape to edit the photos. I had shot 133 photos. Some were automatically deleted because of motion blur and camera shake. Since I approach every photography situation like a news photographer, I looked at the information in each photo. The actual shooting situation meant I had to make quick decisions of what to shoot and what to pass on. One deleted photo had a pickup passing through the photo as I clicked the shutter.

Editorial Considerations

As a military newspaper editor, I would always look at a photo for quality and to make sure it supported the story.

In this situation, as the writer, photographer and editor of my personal blog, I wanted photographs that showed not only the obvious destruction, but, also the cleanup underway in the aftermath of the Joplin Tornado to post to my blog.

While I don’t have the financial and human resources of the “Washington Post, “ “New York Times.” or “Time” magazine, I believe, Uncle Sam drove home those basic journalism ethics about the importance of news photos.

None of these photographs are set up, staged or posed. The photographs here are what was captured by the camera. Editing was done on a case by case basis to eliminate distracting elements from the photo or to lighten the photo to keep it from becoming a silhouette. Some photos were left “full frame” and not edited.

Radical Cropped Photos

Some of these photos, I had to “radically crop” to eliminate distracting elements like the outline of the vehicle window and save the basic photo. Since the later photos were shot as evening was approaching, I used Photoscape’s 100 percent Backlight function to add light to the foreground of the photo.

Example Photo - In this photo, my wife, Christy Warren points at some of the destruction from the Joplin Tornado of Sunday, May 22, 2011. Since all of my photos of the aftermath of the Joplin Tornado were shot from a moving vehicle, I had to edit out any elements that might be distracting to the overall photo like the natural framing of the automobile window. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr,

Some of the photos are essentially “full frame” because I did not see any distracting elements in the photo. While Backlight might of improved the visual quality of a couple of these photos, I chose not to use that function to pass on the actual condition of the afternoon sky.

One photo of a building with an American flag was almost a silhouette and contained an obvious solar lens flare at the edge of the photo. I did not crop out the lens flare because I had shot the photo through a car window. I did use Photoscape’s Contrast Enhancement and 100 percent Backlight function to keep the photo from becoming a silhouette.

I held back on the urge to edit photos. The majority of the editing was to crop out the natural framing of the subject by the moving automobile window.

Criticism, Critique, Comments Appreciated

I’m an old retired military newsman, who loves to write and shoot photos. If the photos that I have published in my blog serve to increase the awareness of students, teachers, civilian officials and people in the public about the real threat of tornadoes and that knowledge helps to save lives, then, these photos have succeeded in presenting the information.

People who wish to criticize, critique or comment on any of the photos are welcome to use the comment form on my blog. I’m one of those people who usually gets tons of email spam and advertisements from mindless Internet programming robots, so usually I just periodically delete emails without reading them.

I do read and usually respond to comments on my blog because I like to hear from readers, who take the time to read the articles and look at the photos on my blog. To my readers, I say Thank you for taking the time to read the articles and look at the photos.

Foto Fact File

Not everyone will be able to visit Joplin, Missouri and look at the destruction with their own two eyes. I would like to think the readers of my blog will have the opportunity to look at these pictures and get a sense of the destruction for themselves. Readers, I would hope will also notice that the citizens of Joplin, Missouri are rebuilding despite the immense level of destruction.

This building was one of the first signs of destruction by the Joplin Tornado of May 22, 2011 that we noticed as we entered into Joplin. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

These photos represent the first twenty of the more than 100 photographs of the Joplin Tornado damage seen on June 17, 2011.  Once I have all the photographs finished then I will post a gallery or a slideshow of the photographs of the damage.

Sam

Wikipedia 2011 Joplin Tornado http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Joplin_tornado

Wikipedia Joplin, Missouri http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joplin,_Missouri

 

______________________________________________________________

 

Sam I Am Blog Newsflash Update !!!  —

Thursday, June 23,2011—-

GALENA, MISSOURI — I now have more than one hundred photo of the cleanup and reconstruction underway in Joplin, Missouri after the May 22 EF-5 Tornado.

St. John's Mercy Hospital - Joplin, Missouri - The night that the tornado hit Joplin, Missouri, my wife, Christy and I were listening to the storm coverage on KTTS-FM, broadcasting out of Springfield, Missouri, in Greene County. In our home, in Stone County, near Galena, Missouri, Christy and I listened to the storm coverage while the winds grew outside our home. This hospital was one of the first reports of major damage to Joplin that was aired, while the tornado was still moving through the city. Initial broadcast reports stated that the staff had begun to move patients to other local hospitals before the tornado hit. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. Joplin Tornado Hospital Damage Photo 2 of 14

There are 20 photos on my blog, but I now have an album on imgpur that readers can go to and see for themselves what it looks like to “Stand Inside The Center Ring Of Hell” and know there is a world beyond the Apocalpytic destruction.

Here is the link: http://samwarren55.imgur.com

Sam

———————————————————————————————————————————————–

%d bloggers like this: