Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neils Last Leap For Mankind: RIP Neil Armstrong

I can remember with such clarity sitting on the floor of my Grandmothers home with all of my family gathered around the 25" Color Zenith Television set my Grandfather had bought just a week before.  Of coarse we were tuned in to CBS and Walter Cronkite to watch history being made along with 2-3 billion others on earth.  No single historical moment had ever been watched by so many at the same time.  Countries and governments put away their differences and petty fights and for an evening in July of 1969 the world was of one mind and heart.  The human race was going to walk on another world and the awe was lost on know one.  It was quite late in the warm Detroit evening and we were all allowed to stay up know mater how long so we could see it.   I was nine and nerdy even back then... I wanted to be an astronaut in the worse way... and when NASA flew I was at the TV watching every moment.  Grandmother had prepared food and it was like a holiday in the house... The memory is strong...  Happy memories brought about by todays sad news.

Today U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, who took a giant leap for mankind when he became the first person to walk on the moon, has died at the age of 82 following complications from heart-bypass surgery he underwent earlier this month, just two days after his birthday on August 5.

As commander of the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. As he stepped on the dusty surface, Armstrong said: “That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."

Those words endure as one of the best known quotes in the English language.

The Apollo 11 astronauts' euphoric moonwalk provided Americans with a sense of achievement in the space race with Cold War foe the Soviet Union and while Washington was engaged in a bloody war with the communists in Vietnam.  Neil Alden Armstrong was 38 years old at the time and even though he had fulfilled one of mankind's age-old quests that placed him at the pinnacle of human achievement, he did not revel in his accomplishment. He even seemed frustrated by the acclaim it brought.

"I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks but for the ledger of our daily work," Armstrong said in an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes" program in 2005.

James Hansen, author of "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong," told CBS: "All of the attention that ... the public put on stepping down that ladder onto the surface itself, Neil never could really understand why there was so much focus on that."

The Apollo 11 moon mission turned out to be Armstrong's last space flight. The next year he was appointed to a desk job, being named NASA's deputy associate administrator for aeronautics in the office of advanced research and technology.  Armstrong's post-NASA life was a very private one. He took no major role in ceremonies marking the 25th anniversary of the moon landing. "He's a recluse's recluse," said Dave Garrett, a former NASA spokesman. Hansen said stories of Armstrong dreaming of space exploration as a boy were apocryphal, although he was long dedicated to flight. "His life was about flying. His life was about piloting," Hansen said.

Born August 5, 1930, in Wapakoneta, Ohio, Armstrong was the first of three children of Stephen and Viola Armstrong. He married his college sweetheart, Janet Shearon, in 1956. They were divorced in 1994, when he married Carol Knight.

Armstrong spent seven years at NACA's high-speed flight station at Edwards Air Force Base in California, becoming one of the world's best test pilots. He flew the X-15 rocket plane to the edge of space - 200,000 feet up at 4,000 mph.  In September 1962, Armstrong was selected by NASA to be an astronaut. He was command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission and backup command pilot for the Gemini 11 mission, both in 1966.  On the Gemini 8 mission, Armstrong and fellow astronaut David Scott performed the first successful docking of a manned spacecraft with another space vehicle.

Armstrong put his piloting skills to good use on the moon landing, overriding the automatic pilot so he and fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin would not have to land their module in a big rocky crater.

Yet the landing was not without danger. The lander had only about 30 seconds of fuel left when Armstrong put it down in an area known as the Sea of Tranquility and calmly radioed back to Mission Control on Earth, "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."  Aldrin, who along with Armstrong and Michael Collins formed the Apollo 11 crew, told BBC radio that he would remember Armstrong as "a very capable commander and leader of an achievement that will be recognized until man sets foot on the planet Mars."

Armstrong left the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) a year after Apollo 11 to become a professor of engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

"We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away," the family said in their statement. "Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend."

His family expressed hope that young people around the world would be inspired by Armstrong's feat to push boundaries and serve a cause greater than themselves.

"The next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink," the family said.

Obama said that Armstrong "was among the greatest of American heroes - not just of his time, but of all time. ...

"Today, Neil's spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown - including those who are ensuring that we reach higher and go further in space. That legacy will endure - sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step."

Glenn, an original NASA astronaut with Armstrong, spoke of his colleague's humble nature. "He was willing to dare greatly for his country and he was proud to do that and yet remained the same humble person he'd always been." 

The space agency sent out a brief statement in the wake of the news, saying it "offers its condolences on today's passing of Neil Armstrong, former test pilot, astronaut and the first man on the moon."

Asked to describe what it was like to stand on the moon, he told CBS:
"It's an interesting place to be. I recommend it."

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The Last Weeks Of Summer

Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Monday, August 20, 2012

15th Street

The 14th Street Train station has stood for most of the last century as an enigma... Never has it ever been fully utilized in its lifetime having been completed just as America went into the great depression.  Yet today it still finds usefulness as backdrop to many well known movies, The Island, Transformers to name two.   Its cavernous main hall the space for dance raves and it crumbling structure the back drop for many photographers including me.   I have written several posts about this site and tonight I want to feature some of my newly converted Black and white images from the past...  Enjoy!

Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Javon And The Mighty Train Station

When I first saw these images several months ago as part of Mooremag #3 I was once again drawn to the 15th street train station in Detroit.  These images had in some ways eclipsed some of my own images shot almost 25 years ago.  I had never worked up the courage to climb to the top of the station as my fear of heights just wouldn't allow me to muster the journey.  Seeing Javon in the silhouette image above drew me into the story of Detroit.  A story of overcoming adversity and surviving at all costs.. Javon stands alone as a triumphant of his climb to the top. He stands naked to the the city... not offering any voyeuristic exposure but expressing his humanity amongst the defiant edifice of Detroit.  Much has been said about the ruins of Detroit.  Many try to create images of the crumbling architecture but few juxtapose it against the race of those who built it.  These images are stunning.  As I have not been able to shoot in the building in a long time I have created imagined images of Javon via photoshop... I hope to shoot there yet again before the building is removed permanently.

Note: The first seven images and the backgrounds of the last two were shot by Dave Humphrey.  The final two images were imagined creations by myself.  All other images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spirit Embrace

Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

We Were Once A Society Of Artists

One of the things I have noticed over the years is our departure from art and design in favor of economic thriftiness.
We used to be a race of creative creatures who place a value on creating intricate and ornateness in everything we created from cars to buildings.  The giant glass structures of today are rarely inspiring or speak to the creativity of the human imagination.  We had lost our way sometime around the great depression and settled for the banal of the rectangular box. Yet we have living templates of how the world should have evolved.  One of which resides in my home town of Detroit… The Guardian Building…

The Guardian Building is a landmark skyscraper in the United States, located at 500 Griswold Street in the Financial District of Downtown Detroit, Michigan. The Guardian is a class-A office building owned by Wayne County, Michigan and serves as its headquarters. Built in 1928 and finished in 1929, the building was originally called the Union Trust Building and is a bold example of Art Deco architecture, including art modern designs. At the top of the Guardian Building's spire is a large American Flag, complementing the four smaller flags atop nearby 150 West Jefferson. The building has undergone recent award-winning renovations. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 29, 1989, and the associated Detroit Financial District is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Guardian building includes retail and a tourist gift shop.

The main frame of the skyscraper rises 36 stories, capped by two asymmetric spires, one extending for four additional stories. The roof height of the building is 496 ft, the top floor is 489 feet, and the spire reaches 632 ft. The exterior blends brickwork with tile, limestone, and terra cotta. The building's interior is lavishly decorated with mosaic and Pewabic and Rookwood tile. The semi-circular exterior domes are filled with Pewabic Pottery; Mary Chase Perry Stratton worked closely with the architect in the design of the symbolic decorations. Its nickname, Cathedral of Finance, alludes both to the building's resemblance to a cathedral, with its tower over the main entrance and octagonal apse at the opposite end and to New York City's Woolworth Building, which had earlier been dubbed the Cathedral of Commerce. Native American themes are common inside and outside the building. Wirt C. Rowland, of the Smith Hinchman & Grylls firm, was the building's architect while Corrado Parducci created the two sculptures flanking the Griswold Street entrance. The building includes works by muralist Ezra Winter. Rowland's attention to detail was meticulous. He supervised the creation of bricks to achieve the desired color for the exterior and designed furniture for the bank's offices. His attention went as far as designing tableware, linens and waitress uniforms for a restaurant in the building.

Note: Images were taken by various photographers Some text was derived from Wiki. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.