When working, I’m often sporting one or two cameras — two when shooting stills or one when filming video.
Sometimes, my chosen profession also requires a tape recorder or a note pad to write stories but I’m happiest when shooting images.
Sadly, too many people in this world see what they do for a living as work. Some of us, however, do what we love in life and find little of what we produce as “work.”
I’m happiest when shooting photos of high school athletic events or both stills and video of the music culture that dominates Floyd County and Southwestern Virginia.
At last count, my still photographs and video occupy about 35 terabytes of data on 11 hard drives for my Mac Pro along with various temporary image files on a MacPro laptop.
Those around Floyd often find me in a corner booth at the Country Store editing images and video on the laptop or, when necessary, writing a story.
I’m a contract reporter/photographer for B.H. Media, which owns The Floyd Press along with The Roanoke Times, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Lynchburg News & Advance and several other newspapers in Virginia and elsewhere in the nation.
I’m also a contract videographer for CNN and various television stations and media outlets.
And I shoot video for clients, including The Floyd Country Store.
On any given day, I can be covering court, the county Board of Supervisors, high school sporting events and other assignments.
I also own and manage a national political news web site — the oldest on the Internet — and host web sites for a number of local, national and international clients.
Yet, those who compile statistics say I’m retired because I draw Social Security and pension payments.I put in more than 50 hours last week covering stories, shooting sports and filming music. Many projects for domestic life sit idle because I just haven’t had time to get around to them.
The doctors keep saying “slow down” or “pace yourself.”
Sorry. I can’t. I love what I do. I don’t know if I do it well but I enjoy it and those who hire me seem to be satisfied.
I don’t have time to retire. I would not know what to do if I were acting like I was “retired.”
I turn 67 on Wednesday. As with many my age, I have aches and pains. Some things slip my mind. I don’t move as fast as before but I’m still able to work the sidelines of a football game, chase down a good story or film action at the Chantilly Bluegrass Festival or FloydFest.
When weather permits, I can climb on my Harley and cruise the open roads. Amy and I look forward to the life ahead while never doubting the life we’ve led.
As 2014 comes to a close in a couple of weeks, we look forward to a new years and new challenges in life.
That’s the way it should be when you do what you love in life and do it with the one you love.