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Craig Pitti San Marin Memorial

People often contact me and ask me questions about photography, but a couple weeks ago I received an unusual phone call about some of my photographs. A woman found pictures of the 2011 San Marin High School basketball team’s North Coast Section championship season.

She wanted the pictures for a memorial service.

 (bryan farley)

That’s how I learned that San Marin’s basketball coach Craig Pitti died. Craig had been diagnosed with Cancer this September. He died last month. San Marin High School held a memorial service last week.

I attended the memorial and brought my camera.

 (bryan farley)

I taught at San Marin High School during the 2010-2011 school year when SMHS won it’s first section title. For the five year anniversary, I created a photo book and sent it to Pitti. I neglected to include my name, but he responded with a beautiful message that I plan to keep as long as possible. During the playoffs last year, I attended one of San Marin’s games when they played at another one of my former schools. Pitti looked like he could have coached another 25 years.

 (bryan farley)

I have written a few times about the 2011 San Marin season. In one post, I discuss the last eleven days of the basketball season as “A Season to Remember.” In many of the pictures, the gym is full. After the games, people are hugging and celebrating. Many people were stunned in 2011.

2011 photos 

 (bryan farley)

This year, I recognized many of the people from my 2011 photos. Perhaps because I have relived my old basketball pictures so often, I also noticed that I began reproducing similar images. I noticed the crowd outside. I saw the coaches wait on the sideline. I watched the families gather. I witnessed people hugging each other on the court holding onto memories.

It was as if we were looking for the next season to remember.

More Notes Here

Rock and Roll and Barb Wire Dolls

I haven’t posted in a while, especially about music. I keep waiting for the right day, and since I pretend that I am not superstitious, today seems perfect. It’s Friday the 13th. (and it’s October)

For the last several months I have been receiving press emails about the female-led band Barb Wire Dolls. I went to the Tuesday show in San Francisco hoping that the band would be decent. I went to the Sacramento show the next day, because they were better than decent. (Most of) these photos are from the Sacramento show.

Photo Gallery for Barb Wire Dolls

 (bryan farley)

Last month I photographed “YES”, a band that was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. When I was younger, YES was one of my favorite bands. Their recent performance was excellent, but they lacked a new band’s hunger.

 (bryan farley)

The Rock & Roll Class of 2018 Nominees have been announced since I photographed YES. The list underscores something that I continually questioned during the two days that I photographed Barb Wire Dolls.

Why aren’t women equal partners in the history of Rock & Roll?

 (bryan farley)

I am hopeful that bands like Barb Wire Dolls are part of a larger societal change. It was clear from watching the Barb Wire Dolls that this band had enough energy and talent to become successful. Their music is not Top 40, so they will not be “popular,” but they can be influential.

 (bryan farley)

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame represents the older generations, but a small club welcomes the next generation (or in the Barb Wire Dolls case, the “Street Generation”). In those small clubs, it is possible to see a young woman with a strong voice lead a crowd of men. The new generation might be influenced by old “hair bands,” but there is a new style…

At least we can hope.

 

 (bryan farley)

Oct 17th: I have continued organizing my photos and words past Friday the 13th when I originally posted. In addition to my thoughts about women and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I have been considering the impact of the Harvey Weinstein story. It feels as if we are undergoing a societal shift, but I wonder if we will ever know the long term consequences.

 (bryan farley)

When I first saw Barb Wire Dolls take the stage at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, I felt as though I were seeing something from a good Quentin Tarantino movie. The Barb Wire Dolls were fiercely loud and simultaneously layered. I hoped that Tarantino would create a movie or role for the band until I remembered his connection to Weinstein… and then I wondered how much Tarantino knew. How much did they all know?

 (bryan farley)

During the last week, I have not heard enough commentators question Weinstein’s allies. We know that some women signed Non Disclosure Agreements, but many other people who worked in the entertainment industry did not sign NDA’s. They knew and said nothing.

My comments might seem irrelevant when discussing the future of a female-led rock band, and I hope these issues have nothing to do with the lack of women in Rock & Roll. However, it seems that some men have used their position to limit women to use their voices… and the band I saw last week is not afraid to use their voice.

Photos from Sacramento

Photos from San Francisco

 

2017 Oakland Pride Parade

Last Sunday, Oakland Pride held the 2017 Oakland Pride PARADE in downtown Oakland. This year was either my third or fourth year attending the parade.

2017 Pride Parade Photos

 (bryan farley)

I posted after attending the 2014 parade and again after the 2016 parade. Both years I started the parade with my church, but last year I lost the group early. This year, I stayed with our church group for the Sunday curbside service while other groups prepared for the parade.

 (bryan farley)

While we held our service, I felt part of the crowd and part of the counterculture simultaneously. I imagine that the #peetniks felt similarly. Their counterculture was commercial yet retro.

 (bryan farley)

The older I get, the less I understand about Progress. Some days, the hare wins; other days Slow and Steady wins. Progress moves slowly and swiftly, if it moves at all.

 (bryan farley)

September 10th was also World Suicide Prevention Day. (The first WSPD was held the September before my father committed suicide.) Even though I did not see anyone from a suicide awareness organization at the parade, an organization could have attended Oakland Pride. In recent years, the suicide prevention community has become more involved in the LGBTQ community. Here is one example from AFSP about LGBTQ+. I do not believe that this level of collaboration existed when I graduated from college.

 (bryan farley)

After my father died, I realized that I needed to deal with his suicide so that I could continue hiding my epilepsy. I guess I was lucky, because I learned how to deal with shame and find support. The Pride Parade was part of a similar process of finding support and moving forward. Progress.