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Whale of a Sail: The Charles W. Morgan’s 38th Voyage

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Serving as nautical backdrops to a day of whale watching, the Charles W. Morgan and the Mystic schooner survey a flat, blue Atlantic seascape as a spouting humpback whale feeds on sand lance (also known as sand eels) within the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary just north of Provincetown, Massachusetts on July 12. Accompanied by the Mystic, the Morgan and a small flotilla of research vessels traveled three nautical miles off the tip of Cape Cod to visit the primary feeding ground for humpback whales. With a rich and perhaps a checkered past of whale hunting and harpooning, the Morgan has now partnered with Mystic Seaport and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to raise awareness about the endangered humpbacks and other whale species. The Morgan will be visiting several ports of call in the Northeast this summer.

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They Tell Us What Happened

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Ben Cooper, 92, of West Hartford was a combat medic in the 45th Infantry Division which helped to liberate the Dachau concentration camp. Cooper began to talk about his horrific experiences and memories from World War II in 1990. “It’s been a healing process for me,” he says. Cooper is one of more than a dozen veterans we have interviewed and photographed for our Connecticut At War coverage. I believe it is liberating for all of us when veterans tell us what happened. Like Cooper, Seymour ‘Sy’ Reitman and Rico Pace, my uncle Doc fought in the Battle of the Bulge. But I was never able to listen to nor learn anything first-hand from him about the war before he died in a VA hospital in 1987. I had only known from my mother that his tank was blown up, he had been captured by the Germans and they took his wedding ring. Fast-forward to ‘The War’ series by Ken Burns. In amazing detail it recounts the deadly POW escape attempt hatched by General George S. Patton. I learned how my uncle Doc survived the deadly German machine guns on that dark, chaotic night and eventually returned home to my aunt Gert.

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POTUS Photos

06.27.2008 - Unity, NH - Barack Obama worked the crowd and still had time to smile for the cameras following his appearance in Unity, N.H. Friday afternoon with Hillary Clinton. Photograph by Stephen Dunn | sdunn@courant.com

06.27.2008 – Unity, NH – Barack Obama worked the crowd and still had time to smile for the cameras following his appearance in Unity, N.H. Friday afternoon with Hillary Clinton. Photograph by Stephen Dunn | sdunn@courant.com

Photographers show up hours before POTUS is to arrive. We must pass security. That takes time. We get wanded by magnetometers and inspected by bomb sniffing dogs. We are ushered, guided, and ordered by secret service and handlers. And then we wait.

On some Connecticut visits Courant photographers are designated “pool photographers” granting them better access to the president on the condition that we share whatever we photograph with other media. We join the traveling press corps and ride in the official motorcade. The status grants us closer and more fluid movement around the president. Somewhat closer that our colleagues standing in the back of the room.

Presidents arrive in a flash of activity like a midsummer thunderstorm . The police, secret service, politicians and the traveling press arrive at once. Then POTUS arrives. And as quickly as he arrives, he leaves. The police, secret service and traveling press leave too.

My first experience photographing President Jimmy Carter was not a success.

12.10.1978 - Hartford, Ct - President Jimmy Carter waves among a gaggle of politicians outside the Hartford Hilton. MICHAEL McANDREWS | mmcandrews@courant.com

12.10.1978 – Hartford, Ct – President Jimmy Carter waves among a gaggle of politicians outside the Hartford Hilton. MICHAEL McANDREWS | mmcandrews@courant.com

 

I knew President Jimmy Carter liked to press the flesh. He would wander up to shake, squeeze, wave, touch and smile his way down along line of fans pressed against the barricades, eager to be close to the most powerful man in the country. I’ve seen it. I wanted to photograph that ritual up close when he came to Hartford December 10th, 1978.

I planted myself at the fence hours before he was to arrive. The crowds grew. So did the excitement. Soon people were standing 4 deep behind me.

We all waited together.

He got out of his limo surrounded by politicians and Secret service and raised his right hand in a wistful way to acknowledge the crowd. Then he was gone, ushered into the Hartford Hilton in one swift smooth motion. The idea for the picture didn’t work this time.

I got a picture of his arm and the back of his hand. That was my first attempt at photographing a visiting president.

19.16.1980 - Hartford, CT - President Jimmy Carter, from the roof of his limo, waves to fans outside the Old State House in Hartford. MICHAEL McANDREWS | The Hartford Courant

19.16.1980 – Hartford, CT – President Jimmy Carter, from the roof of his limo, waves to fans outside the Old State House in Hartford. MICHAEL McANDREWS | The Hartford Courant

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UConn Football | Pro Timing Day

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Former UConn linebacker Yawin Smallwood gets set to work out for NFL scouts at the Burton Family Football Complex and the Shenkman Training Center on the UConn campus. Smallwood is nursing a hamstring injury but was able to participate in timed agility drills.  Patrick Raycraft | praycraft@courant.com

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Giving Thanks

HARTFORD

 

Together with Trinity College professor Pablo Delano (at right) members of the Crouch family (from left is Doris Crouch and her children Jackie Lagana and Lance Crouch) meet to discuss a famous 1940 Thanksgiving Day photograph titled “Pumpkin Pies and Thanksgiving Dinner At The House of Timothy Levy Crouch, a Rogerene Quaker, Ledyard, Connecticut, November 1940″ at the Austin Arts Center’s Widener Gallery on the Trinity campus in Hartford. The photograph was taken by Prof. Delano’s father, Jack Delano, who had been commissioned by the Farm Security Administration (FSA) to document rural life in the U.S. during the Great Depression. After recognizing the photograph in a CTNow insert announcing the exhibit of Jack Delano’s photographs, Lagana contacted Prof. Delano by email to give him the back story from that day 74 years ago. She indicates that the central figure in the photograph and the sole surviving member in the image, her Aunt Jane, is now 91-years-old and lives in Cromwell. Prof. Delano. invited Lagana and her family to meet with him and to view his father’s exhibit on the Trinity campus. Lagana says that Jack Delano graciously shared several other photographs with the family that he had taken that day. The exhibit “JACK DELANO | Photographer (1914-1997) | A Centenial Celebration Exhibition” can be viewed through March 14 at the Widener Gallery at Trinity College.
Patrick Raycraft | praycraft@courant.com

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Wethersfield Says Goodbye To Summer

Today it was Wethersfield’s turn to put summer in its rearview mirror and break out the new book bags, pencils and… a new school principal.

During the first day of school in Wethersfield, students, parents and staff recite the Pledge of Allegiance at 8am on at Charles Wright Elementary School. From left (with the smile face t-shirt) are fourth-graders Arianna Shink, 9, Mirnes Becirovic, 9, and Jimmie Clark, 9.

During the first day of school in Wethersfield, students, parents and staff recite the Pledge of Allegiance at 8am at Charles Wright Elementary School. From left (with the smile face t-shirt) are fourth-graders Arianna Shink, 9, Mirnes Becirovic, 9, and Jimmie Clark, 9.

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Inaugural Flight: Bradley Int’l to LAX

Fire truck water cannons inaugurate American Airlines flight 1353 which offers non-stop service from Bradley Int’l to LAX. I used the Instagram app to evoke a 1960’s feel to the glistening jet and event which also included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a cake… stuff reminiscent of that Golden Age of passenger flight.

Bradley International Airport firefighters spray American Airlines flight 1353 with water canons to mark its inaugural non-stop flight to Los Angeles on August 27, 2013.

Bradley International Airport firefighters spray American Airlines flight 1353 with water canons to mark its inaugural non-stop service to Los Angeles on August 27, 2013.

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Schemitzun: A Feast of Green Corn & Dance

Tribal nations from across the Northeast Region gathered for the 21st Annual Feast of Green Corn & Dance at the Mashantucket Cultural Grounds Sunday afternoon at the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Eastern Connecticut.

Tommy Ninigret Harris, 31, and his girlfriend Christina Strano, 26, exchange a nose kiss just before Harris competes in the men's northern traditional dance category at the Feast of Green Corn & Dance at the Mashantucket Cultural Grounds. Harris says both he and Strano are descendents of the Nipmuc tribe. Tommy Ninigret Harris, 31, and his girlfriend Christina Strano, 26, exchange a nose kiss just before Harris competes in the men’s northern traditional dance category at the Feast of Green Corn & Dance at the Mashantucket Cultural Grounds. Harris says both he and Strano are descendents of the Nipmuc tribe.

 

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Refugee Community Takes Root in Hartford

They fled their rural Burmese homeland and have since created an improbable urban oasis here in Hartford. The diversity of herbs, fruits and vegetables cultivated by the Karen People is impressive: papaya, bok choy, waterleaf, lemongrass, sorrel… An ethnic, persecuted minority also known as the Karen Tribe, this refugee community has taken root in Hartford.

Ma Hla Ohn, 41, a Karen People refugee who lives with her family on South Marshall Street in Hartford, waters an assortment of traditional Burmese noh te hoh greens in the demonstration garden at KNOX, Inc. The garden plots are within a few blocks of her home.

Ma Hla Ohn, 41, a Karen People refugee who lives with her family on South Marshall Street in Hartford, waters an assortment of traditional Burmese noh te hoh greens in the demonstration garden at KNOX, Inc. The garden plots are within a few blocks of her home.

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In Search of The Hartford Urban Man

 

For a project titled The Hartford Urban Man, Joyce Bolaños and Carmen Arroyo of Viva Hartford Media earlier this year surveyed 100 single males, ages 21 to 40 who live in the city. Intending to debunk the stereotype of the young urban male, Bolaños and Arroyo interviewed guys who normally do not make news headlines or police blotters. They questioned why these men choose to live and work in Hartford. They also asked about birth control, monogamy and what men look for in a partner, among other topics.  In collaboration with Viva Hartford Media and The Hartford News, I  produced studio portraits and a companion video of a dozen of the men surveyed. While viewing the photo gallery, you can read excerpts of each interview by clicking on the caption icon at the upper right of each image.

Michael Friebus, 24, lives in the Frog Hollow neighborhood of Hartford and a retired saber fencer. He was a member of the Puerto Rican national fencing team. "I've travelled around the world. I've been to South African, Iceland, Puerto Rico, all around the Caribbean..."

Favorite things about Hartford: Nightlife. Bushnell Park. The people. The diversity. The women. Green spaces. West Indian culture. The city’s historic architecture. Proximity to Bradley International. Constitution Plaza. Hartford Hospital staff. Small-town feel. Trinity College. Bars and restaurants.

Monogamous or Play the Field? Condom Use? 68 percent prefer monogamy, 18 percent choose to play the field, 14 percent say they are undecided on monogamy. On condom use, 63 percent say they use condoms, 25 percent say they don’t, 12 percent report occasional use.

What is the Hartford Urban Man initially looking for in a partner? 43 percent say they first look for sexy, elegant and physical attributes; 34 percent say personality, especially someone extroverted, loyal and humorous; 18 percent say stability; 5 percent say a certain level of education.

Wish List: Tropical island vacation. 93-inch TV. A day off. Dodge Charger SRT8. Rosetta Stone software. Be with family. Go home to Virginia. Stress-free life. Good health. Help others. Someone to love me for who I am. Rims for my car. World peace. Spend more time with loved ones. Create more memories to last me another year. Happiness, joy and peace. New iPad. To be able to have one more day with my godmother who passed away.

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All-Courant, All-American, All-Pro… All Done.

BRISTOL, CT - 12.12.2005 - Aaron Hernandez is the Courant's defensive high school football player of the year.

BRISTOL, CT – 12.12.2005 – In December 2005, Aaron Hernandez is selected as the Hartford Courant’s defensive high school football player of the year. Below: ATTLEBORO, MA – 6.26.2013 – Ex-New England Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez is escorted in to Attleboro district court to be arraigned on multiple charges in connection with the shooting death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, 27, of Dorchester, Massachusetts.  Photographs by Patrick Raycraft

ATTLEBORO, MA - 6.26.2013 - Ex-New England Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez is escorted in to Attleboro district court where he was arraigned on multiple charges in connection with the shooting death of Odin Lloyd, 27, of Dorchester, Massachusetts.

 

 

 

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Hartford from 1,500′

 

Last Thursday I bobbed and weaved above Hartford in the open-air cabin of the MetLife blimp. On our way back from photographing above the Travelers Championship we were afforded skyline vistas of the capital city. The day featured low humidity and incredible visibility. To give you an idea of the skill of the pilot and our steadiness in the sky, I was able to shoot all of these images full-frame without the need to crop any of them.

 

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Frito Fire

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Seventh-graders Caroline Heavens, 12, (from left) of Woodbury Middle School and Caroline St. Pierre, 12, of the Middle School of Plainville ignite a Frito corn chip during a science experiment to determine the caloric output of the popular snack at the Girls and STEM Expo at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford. The annual gathering of female middle school students is sponsored by St. Joseph’s together with the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund. Interactive workshops facilitated by St. Joseph faculty and students range from DNA extraction and oil slick simulation to the analysis of fuel capabilities in food. The goal is to inspire young women’s interest in science at an early age and to potentially spark the pursuit of a career in the sciences – allowing them to explore the fields of biology, chemistry, environmental science, and physics in a fun-filled and relaxed environment infused with experimentation and collaboration.

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Crosstown Rivalry Anything But Frozen

Andrew Miller scores in overtime for Yale against UMass-Lowell goalie Connor Hellebuyck to advance the Bulldogs to the Frozen Four final game against Quinnipiac at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

The 2013 men’s NCAA Division I Frozen Four, the holy grail of college hockey,  featured two Connecticut teams that brought molten action to the Steel City. Throughout the series, crosstown rivals Yale and Quinnipiac lit up the Consol Energy Center, the state-of-the-art home ice of the Pittsburgh Penguins. In the first semifinal game, Yale captain Andrew Miller (above) breaks a 2-2 tie in overtime against UMass-Lowell goalie Connor Hellebuyck to advance the Bulldogs to the Frozen Four championship game. Miller would later add another crucial goal in the championship game.

Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzell and his defensive teammates including Kevin Bui (9), at left, shut down Brooks Bertsch (21) and the St. Cloud State offense 4-1 in the Frozen Four semifinal game at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Quinnipiac would face Yale in the national championship game.

In the second semifinal game of the night, Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzell and his defensive teammates including Kevin Bui (9), at left, shut down Brooks Bertsch (21) and the St. Cloud State offense 4-1 in the Frozen Four semifinal game at the Consol Energy Center. Quinnipiac would face Yale in the national championship game.

Quinnipiac goalie and Hobey Baker finalist Eric Hartzell joins his coach and family at the awards ceremony in Pittsburgh. From left is Quinnipiac head hockey coach Rand Pecknold, Hartzell and his mom Mary Beth, his dad Kevin Hartzell and at right is Hartzell's aunt, Michelle Matthews.

On the eve of the national championship showdown between the two Connecticut teams, Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzell joins his coach and family at the Hobey Baker Awards ceremony in Pittsburgh. From left is Quinnipiac head hockey coach Rand Pecknold, Hartzell and his mom Mary Beth, his dad Kevin Hartzell and at right is Hartzell’s aunt, Michelle Matthews.

Yale head hockey coach Keith Allain leads his team into the Frozen Four championship venue at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on April 13.

Yale head hockey coach Keith Allain leads his team into the Frozen Four championship venue at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on April 13.

Yale players Clinton Bourbonais (15) and Charles Orzetti (27) celebrate after they go ahead 1-0 at the end of the second period against Quinnipiac.

Yale players Clinton Bourbonais (15) and Charles Orzetti (27) celebrate after they go ahead 1-0 at the end of the second period against Quinnipiac.

Yale goes up 2-0 on Quinnipiac at 16:25 in the third period.

Yale goes up 2-0 on Quinnipiac at 16:25 in the third period.

Yale captain Andrew Miller strikes again to make it 3-0 against Eric Hartzell and Quinnipiac in the third period of the Frozen Four championship game.

Yale captain Andrew Miller strikes again to make it 3-0 against Eric Hartzell and the Bobcats in the third period of the Frozen Four championship game.

Yale fans begin to celebrate (with Yale captain Andrew Miller's likeness) in the third period as Yale's Miller opened up a 3-0 lead over Quinnipiac in the Frozen Four championship game at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Yale fans celebrate (with Yale captain Andrew Miller’s likeness) late in the third period after Miller opened up a 3-0 lead over Quinnipiac on a breakaway goal.

Yale celebrates it stunning 4-0 win over Quinnipiac in the Frozen Four championship game

Yale players rush to embrace their goalie, Jeff Malcolm, after a stunning 4-0 shutout of top-ranked Quinnipiac in the Frozen Four championship game.

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Malcolm gets his chance to hoist the NCAA championship trophy after a week in Pittsburgh at the Consol Energy Center.

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“What They Did That Day”


During World War II, George Mendonsa served as a quartermaster in the South Pacific aboard the USS The Sullivans, a Navy destroyer named after the five Sullivan brothers who perished together when their ship, the USS Juneau, was hit by a Japanese torpedo in Guadalcanal. Mendonsa, 89, holds one of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century at his Middletown, Rhode Island home. He is widely believed to be the sailor kissing an unsuspecting nurse on V-E Day in Times Square in 1945. The photograph was taken by Life Magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Mendonsa describes sailors breaking showcase windows in Times Square, reaching in and taking fur coats for their dates. He was in New York City on his first date with his future wife and scheduled to fly back to his ship in San Francisco that night. They were watching the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall when it was announced that the Japanese had surrendered. The couple headed to the streets and eventually to Childs Bar.

Stepping back from the celebration, Mendosa describes a Japanese airstrike five months earlier in which hundreds of sailors aboard a ship in his fleet, the USS Bunker Hill, were injured or killed. “They jumped off by the hundreds and we loaded our ship up with men that we pulled out of the water. Later in the day we met with the hospital ship the Solace and we transferred the wounded. I always remember that. I saw (what) those nurses did that day… and I saw that nurse in Times Square so I grabbed her and I kissed her. I honestly believe that if that girl did not have a nurses’ uniform on that day I never would have done that.”

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Making That Commitment

Javier Soto, 35, (at left) with his Little Brother Alex, 14, at the Fairway Batting Cages in South Windsor.

I am continually reminded of the incredible people I encounter with my camera. A Cornell graduate and Pratt & Whitney economist, Javier Soto likes to hit the batting cages this time of year with his Little Brother, Alex. “One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most is going out for batting practice with Alex. Something very simple, right?” While his Ivy education and job title speak for themselves, they don’t paint a full picture of Javier. Exceptional mentor. Yankees fan. Maybe a Red Sox fan? Car show aficionado. “It’s about spending quality time together,” Javier tells me in our interview. “And that’s how things change, right?”

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Paczki & Ashes

At Larose's Bakery on Broad Street in New Britain, Paul Krancicki, 43, deep fries paczki, a popular Polish pastry that resembles a donut or bagel. The traditional pastry is savored on Fat Tuesday before the beginning of Lent.

At Larose's Bakery on Broad Street in New Britain, Paul Krancicki, 43, deep fries paczki, a popular Polish pastry that resembles a donut or bagel. The traditional pastry is savored on Fat Tuesday before the beginning of Lent.

On Fat Tuesday in New Britain it’s the succulent Polish paczki at Larose’s Bakery. On Ash Wednesday in Hartford, it’s a Portuguese mass at Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Fátima.

Father Antonio Jorge Tchingui blesses Zachary Gacome, 2, on the forehead with ashes during a noontime Ash Wednesday mass at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Hartford. Fr. Tchingui, the Portuguese-speaking pastor of Our Lady of Fatima.

Father Antonio Jorge Tchingui blesses Zachary Gacome, 2, on the forehead with ashes during a noontime Ash Wednesday mass at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Hartford. Fr. Tchingui is the Portuguese-speaking pastor of Our Lady of Fatima.