Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's snowing! Everybody panic!

Snow tends to create quite a stir in a newsroom, which always amuses me, because most newspapers cover every snowstorm the exact same way. "Snow is coming, somebody get photos of salt trucks, asap! Are people lining up to buy shovels? Get to the hardware store, pronto muchacho!" Once said snow catastrophe hits, it's time to hit the streets for the bread and butter shots: woman shoveling, man running snow-blower, kid sledding, oh the craziness of it all! This is all a roundabout way of saying that covering snow becomes very, very repetitious, so I'm always happy when I can get something I like that's a little more graphic, something outside those standard cookie-cutter snow pictures straight from the newspaper how-to handbook. This photo from today wasn't anything spectacular, but after covering three of four snowstorms already this Winter, I was happy to get something just a little bit different.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mayor Eddie

Tagging along with a group doing a count of Bucks County's homeless population today, I met Eddie, the mayor of Bristol Township's homeless. It's a title he's given himself after living on the streets for the last 19 years.

Asked how he got there, Eddie blamed drugs. "I used to be a great bass player. I had my own band," Eddie told me. "I played the same model bass as Paul McCartney, but I sold it for a $12 bag of heroin. I finally cut that stuff out though. Sooner or later you have to grow up." While these words were still hanging in the air, Eddie gulped down the last of his bottle of Twisted Tea and walked back into the Ballpark strip club. It was 11 a.m. on a Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Simple Things

It will never cease to amaze me the feeling of contentment and happiness that comes with a cold beer around a nice fire.

Friday, January 07, 2011


New Year's Day in South Philadelphia is a weird and wonderful sight.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


I spent a bitterly cold morning in Camden this week tagging along with police K9 units searching for a 57-year-old woman who has been missing for nearly three weeks. She was taken from her home by an ex-boyfriend early on a Sunday morning and beaten with a pipe. He was found and arrested the next day wearing bloody clothing. She has not been seen since.

This wasn't the first time I've gone with police on a missing person search, but it's the first time the tragedy of how a person can simply disappear has really hit me. I've been out with these same police officers a few times over the last couple weeks, and it has been interesting to see their mood deteriorate each time.

With a suspect in custody who refuses to say anything, the police are left to blindly search parks, roadsides, lakes, rivers, anywhere they suspect someone might dump a body. It's an overwhelming task, and after three weeks, they've come up with nothing, and likely never will.

Five years ago I covered friends and family searching for Danielle Imbo when she disappeared, along with Richard Pitrone, after leaving a club on South Street. In five years, nobody has ever found a trace of either one of them, or his truck. All simply vanished. I can't imagine the pain of losing somebody that way, and it makes me appreciate the work that a lot of these police officers are putting in, some on their own time, to finding a complete stranger, and a needle in a haystack, one they know is likely already gone.