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Doug Seed

Wow, I KNOW that guy! NYS Self-Photographer, Vince Marchese

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The odds are staggering, but I just realized that know this guy (Vince Marchese) who took his own photo by sticking his camera out on a pole, or tripod or something, from the NYS observation deck! I've seen the NYS photo a half-dozen times, but never put together that it was Vince until a recent thread here on PTU. The photographer in the blue jacket always looked strangely familiar to me, but it didn't click in my brain until today.

We were both "sport parachutists" at Orange Sport Parachuting Center in Orange, MA in the 1960s. I say sport parachutists because using the term "skydiving" was frowned upon at the time, because it invoked a connotation of recklessness to the sport which was growing in popularity thanks to the 1961-1963 TV series, Ripcord and Johnny Carson making a jump in '68. The fledgling sport was constantly battling the impression that it was incredibly dangerous.

At a recent reunion of jumpers who were regulars at the Parachutes Incorporated facilities in Orange Mass and Lakewood, New Jersey, Vince and I compared our jump log books and found that each of us had signed off a jump in each other's log books 40 years ago.

I remember that Vince always had his camera with him on the flightline and he often jumped with it, too. Thanks to Vince, hundreds of jumpers have awesome photos of themselves taken in freefall and exiting the Noorduyne Norseman and Cessna 180 planes that were used at Orange and Lakewood.

I know Vince won't mind my posting his one-of-a-kind self portrait again here.

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And here's a great shot of Vince stepping out the door of a Cessna 180 over Orange, Mass. in about 1966. If that one's a self portrait, it was a pretty good trick, Vince! :-) (actually, the photographer is unknown on this exit shot) Again, I'm quite certain that Vince won't mind my posting his shots.

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Just for fun, here's a shot of me in 1968 and Gary Holmes in the 2004 under parachutes from two very different eras! The thrill is still the same, though!

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What a small world!

Hey, if you can contact him, you might want to let him know some of his photos are on the Facebook page being discussed in another topic.

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Vince is on Flickr as "happyarm" and he has posted many 1964-65 World's Fair photos there. Very original and a great eye for photography, he even stitched together a 360 from the NYSP.

I complimented him on that New York State Pavilion photo; the audacity and originality of sticking his camera out over 240' above ground (there are 2 shots like this) and his expression together with the lady next to him makes this my all time favorite World's Fair Photo. It is a natural that he is also a sky diver; I know this topic came up here a few years ago. He is a Stevens Tech alumni and recently retired.

Doug if you get in touch Vince send my compliments again!

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Six degrees of separation. Can't escape it.

I know what it means, but where did that saying come from anyway? :) I started hearing it about 10 years or so ago. Must have been on some TV show that didn't make it onto my viewing list.

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It means any one person is linked to any other person by no more than 5/6 others. As in you know me, I know #1, #1 knows #2, etc. down to #5 knows #6, so you are 6 degrees away from #6

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OK, I found the answer. (I already knew what the theory says).

It was an obscure academic and mathematical model, until American playwright John Guare wrote a play in 1990 and later released a film in 1993 that popularized it.

Both the play and the film were called Six Degrees of Separation.

I really have never heard of either the play or the movie.

It really took off as a popular 'challenge exercise' in the 2000's. That explains why I first heard about it around a decade or so ago.

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That's funny, because I just saw a program where they traced the family trees of Bacon and his wife.

As it turned out, they were related, distant cousins!

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