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Archive for the ‘Social Commentary’ Category

Marin Catholic Swamps Novato High School

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Marin County | California

Marin Catholic won Saturday by a score of 56-0. It would have been much higher if Marin Catholic hadn’t let up in the second half and if the coaches hadn’t agreed to a “running clock.”

Here’s a glimpse of the sidelines at Saturday’s game.

I don’t know these boys or what will become of them. I’m so unCatholic except for the social justice part. I wonder how many of the players are religious, and would they care if they knew I was a nonbeliever.

Last week I found myself wondering about Trump. This week I wondered about these young men and the Catholic religion. Do they really believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth? Do they really believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he’s certainly Divine? All my life I’ve marveled at how people could hold beliefs so different from mine. It seems an obvious fact of life, but still. Back to Trump.

Would I take better photos if I stayed in the moment? I don’t know.

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Written by Ron Greene

October 4, 2016 at 12:52 pm

Marin Catholic Football Defeats Tam 56-0 in the Heat

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Marin County | California

This was my first Marin Catholic football game this season, and it was hot, I think 91 degrees. I suppose this is what I’ll remember most about the game because I almost fainted, and had to be propped up in the sideline shelter by Bill Schneider, where a kindly injury specialist mixed me her electrolyte brew. I’ve since found the stuff on Amazon and have ordered an emergency supply.

Because of the heat, I didn’t move up and down the field as often as I wanted, so I concentrated on casual sideline portraits. The truth is I sometimes get bored with action shots that all begin to look alike after I’ve examined a few hundred, but I never get bored with the varied young faces of players. Oddly, in the middle of the football game, I wondered what the future holds for them in a world where a person like Trump has a realistic shot at becoming president of the United States of America. Unbelievable. Maybe I’m still suffering from the heat and things will be better in six weeks.

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Written by Ron Greene

September 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm

More San Rafael Streets Team Portraits

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Here are a few more portraits of the San Rafael Streets Team. Stop and say hello if you see them at work keeping the city beautiful. They will be pleased with the acknowledgment and happy to share a smile.

If you’re interested in successful programs of this kind, spend a moment at their website.

say hello-

_Greene Avedon and Streets Team--5

_Greene Avedon and Streets Team--10

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_Greene Avedon and Streets Team--3

Written by Ron Greene

May 25, 2015 at 11:56 am

Marin Catholic Rolls Over Redwood

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Marin County | California

Marin Catholic football shutout Redwood last Saturday 63-0. The Wildcats face a weak Terra Linda tomorrow and are sure to share this year’s MCAL title. The postseason starts in two weeks.

As the season winds down, I have to admit that my photos are looking more and more alike to me. I keep hoping for something special and unique, but it hasn’t happened yet. I keep trying, and that hope brings me back to the games every week. I’d like to take a photograph that people look at for more than a second or two. It’s a little discouraging because digital photographers are producing and publishing so many good pictures these days that it’s hard for people to find the time to savor any single image.

Inky Beecher sent me a Guardian article this morning about Robert Frank. He turns 90 this Sunday and is considered one of America’s iconic photographers. A quote from Robert Frank struck me as a sentiment I hope I can put off as long as possible. “There’s no point in it anymore for me, and I get no satisfaction from trying to do it. There are too many pictures now. It’s overwhelming. A flood of images that passes by, and says, ‘why should we remember anything?’ There is too much to remember now, too much to take in.”

What do you think? When was the last time you spend more than a moment on any photo?

Here are some of the game images. You’ll find more at http:/www.VarsityPix.com.

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Dinner with Paul

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Marin County | California

As he opened his battered case inscribed with “JESUS IS A LIBERAL,” I wondered what he was going to do with a feather.

The Rev. Paul Gaffney was about to address a small group of homeless and low-income people, the kind of folks many of the more prosperous citizens of Marin County tend to shun. Every Tuesday, Paul brings the group together in the borrowed community room at the First Presbyterian Church in San Rafael, California.

I was there because Paul is about to update the Interfaith Street Chaplaincy of Marin website, and he asked me to take new photos.

According to the website, Paul was ordained into the Christian Ministry by the Northern California/Nevada Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Lafayette Christian Church on June 4, 2006. These days he spends most of his time as a street chaplain, providing emotional and spiritual support to the people you might see lingering on the streets of San Rafael, with no place to call home.

After twenty or so people gathered in a circle, Paul introduced a short poem as a way of encouraging discussion. The topic was personal fear, and how it can restrict our lives, or be used as a catalyst to personal exploration and growth.

My hearing is shot, so I didn’t get much of what was said, but I think the feather was used to help the group stay focused as it was passed around the circle, giving each participant a chance to testify about personal fear if the spirit called.

The group lasted for about thirty minutes, and then Paul got word from the kitchen that the dinner was ready. By that time many more people had arrived for the free meal, and that was fine with him. It wasn’t like the old Salvation Army where you had to listen to a temperance lecture before being fed. Everyone was welcome here.

The dinners have been a tradition for many years and used to be handled by volunteers from various Marin congregations. About two years ago many of the congregations dropped out, so Paul took over the operation with a handful of the helpers. They meet in the church kitchen at 9:30 am, and work throughout the day to prepare a meal of fresh foods for about sixty expected quests.

Everything went off without a hitch, and I left deeply impressed.

The Rev. Paul Gaffney preparing meals for homeless and low-income citizens of Marin County.

The Rev. Paul Gaffney starts preparing meals every Tuesday at 9:30 AM for homeless and low-income citizens in Marin County.

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Paul works with a loyal group of kitchen helpers.

Jesus was a Liberal.

JESUS IS A LIBERAL

moment of meditation

big feather

Pass the feather

standing and deliver

sitting big feather

hands of broom handle

Some hands have a million stories to tell.

wide view of dining hall

two bowls of soap

Soup for this evening and something for breakfast.

Written by Ron Greene

September 1, 2014 at 8:59 am

Downtown San Rafael

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Marin County | California

For the last few weeks, I’ve been taking photos for the Downtown San Rafael Business Improvement District. Initially, I had reservations about the project because I believe some business owners are blaming downtown homeless people for unrelated business issues. It wouldn’t be the first time a voiceless minority is being scapegoated.

In any case, I’ve decided to give it a try, and so far it’s been all positive. I’ve met some interesting people, and discovered parts of a vibrant downtown I’d never experienced before.

I’ve just scratched the surface, but I thought I’d preview some of the photos. Kids are a bit overrepresented in this series, but I couldn’t resist. So cute.

Let me know what you think.

The first four photos are from last Friday’s Art Walk.

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Youth in Arts provides frequent programs for youngsters.

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 The Marelli Brothers have been hand-crafting shoe repairs since 1921.

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Downtown San Rafael Business District

Streets Team Success Story

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Marin County | California I’m pleased that the San Rafael Downtown Streets Team has used my photograph of Peter Rhodes to publicize its successful efforts at helping  homeless and low-income people get back on their feet. One of my goals in retirement has been to use my photography skills to help community organizations. Team organizers Andrew Hening and Jaclyn Epter have given me this opportunity. I thank them. From the Team’s website:

On average, our San Rafael Team volunteers 400 hours per week, Monday-Friday, working in one of four distinct work zones covering everything from the Transit Center to the library. Not only are Team Members picking up trash and beautifying downtown San Rafael, our Team Leads engage with the business community on a daily basis. By checking in with local merchants, our Team Members are able to attend to specific clean-up concerns, perform outreach to prospective Team Members, and discourage loitering, panhandling, and disorderly conduct. In addition to regular work crews, three Elite Team Members help with outreach, tool inventory, and terra-cycling the cigarette butts collected.

Downtown Streets Team

 Watch Kyle McLong’s Video

Written by Ron Greene

June 10, 2014 at 11:34 am