Good morning and greetings, Supreme Court fans. Last week was a disastrous one for many Americans, as wildfires and flooding ravaged parts of the nation. The worst wildfire in Colorado state history raged away, with 60 mile per hour winds doubling the size of this “firestorm of epic proportions,” forcing frantic residents to evacuate their homes at a moment’s notice. This blazing inferno wiped out entire neighborhoods, taking with it precious memories and photographs that are irreplaceable.
Which leads to the question, if you only had a few minutes to grab what’s important, what would you take? For me it would be simple. My golden retriever, as much Johnny cash as I could stuff into my pockets and a certificate which states “In recognition for superior scholarship, the name of Geoffrey Dean Gilbert has been entered on the Deans List for the fall semester, 1971, for the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University. Forty-one years later and my parents still think it’s a forgery.
If wildfires burning out of control weren’t enough, Tropical Storm Debby lashed into Florida like me swinging a whiffle ball bat, drenching parts of the Sunshine State with over 20 inches of rain and causing more flooding than a reunion show on Oprah. Debby’s rainfall also shut down Interstate 10 for a few days, which caused major havoc with traffic and fans of Stevie Winwood.
But the good news is that the drought is temporarily over in Florida, the bad news is that this was just the first tropical storm in 2012 to form in the Gulf of Mexico, and the NBA news is that LeBron James and the Miami Heat are not going to be satisfied with just one championship.
And speaking of Dwyane Wade, last week over 1,600 heat records fell across the country in a seven day period, with triple digit temperatures scorching the midwest and Great Plains. For me, when the heat index tops 115, I tend to get a little cranky, even when I’m chanting in a sweat lodge. I don’t want to say it was hot, but even Mitt Romney seemed cool.
And then to top it all off, last Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of almost all of Obamacare, which was President Obama’s greatest signature legislative achievement besides picking the Final Four teams in last year’s NCAA basketball tournament.
This was the Supreme Court’s most important decision since Bush versus Gore in 2000, which they screwed up worse than John Edwards’ decision to speed date while he was married. I would have paid good money to have seen Karl Rove’s face contorting in anger and disbelief when his handpicked Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the liberal bloc and upheld Obamacare, which is not to be confused with the Tea Party’s platform of Idontknow and Idontcare.
In a related story, Donald Trump is now demanding to see Justice Robert’s birth certificate.
These events give closure to the month of June, which like my hopes for another season of “The Firm” on NBC, are now history. Which brings us to July, and the thoughts of fireworks and color flow into my mind like sockeye salmon returning to the rivers of the Pacific Northwest.
So to honor Independence Day and the freedom I feel when shooting the breeze and the skyline, I thought we would start off the second half of 2012 with a blast from the recent past, and feature the top six moments of spectacular color and pageantry from the 2011-2012 sunrise and sunset season.
In my salute to “Fiddler on the Roof,” we’re going to line it up sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset. All the rises were shot on location at Its Beach and Lighthouse Point, while the sets took a bow at Natural Bridges State Beach. As a photographer and a spirit channeler, these were my favorite moments of the digital year, along with picturing myself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
On to some late night. “Yesterday in New Hampshire, President Obama said Americans need someone who will wake up every single day and fight for their jobs. Then he said, ‘But until we find that guy, I’m still your best choice.’” –Jimmy Fallon “The latest rumor is that Mitt Romney’s running mate will be a white male from Ohio. Or as Romney refers to him, ‘a person of color.’” –Conan O’Brien
“A new survey found that only 31 percent of Americans would want to sit next to Mitt Romney on a flight. Romney was so upset, he was like, ‘I don’t understand. How would they get on my private jet?’” –Jimmy Fallon “Obama called Romney a pioneer of outsourcing jobs. A spokesperson for Romney said, ‘I dare him to come to India and say that to my face.’” –Conan O’Brien
“This week a woman in Florida got into trouble for groping a TSA agent while she was getting a pat-down. Or as the TSA put it, ‘The student has become the master.’” –Jimmy Fallon “The Supreme Court has decided not to fine broadcast networks for fleeting expletives or momentary nudity. It looks like ‘Wheel of Fortune’ is about to get a lot more interesting.” –Conan O’Brien
So that’s our first blast for July. Enjoy Independence Day and we’ll catch you watching the third season of ‘Louie” on FX. Aloha, mahalo and later, Louis C.K. fans.