Charles Keefer's Blog

Oh, Wow

with 9 comments

Some guy just called me and wants to put one of my photos in a book.

He is doing one on JFK and wants my shot of the Honey Fitz, JFK’s yacht that is docked in Palm Beach, from this blog.

He says that JFK started writing his memoirs on one of those old audio tape things that recorded on a belt. He got it from JFK’s secretary, Jackie didn’t want it, and he will include both the transcript and a voice version on a DVD in the book. He says it is about 12 pages long.

I’m going like “What a find! Way cool.”

Anyway, he says my shot of the Honey Fitz is better than the historical stuff he has come up with.

So there you go. The power of blogging and carrying a digital camera.

Sorry I haven’t been blogging or carrying a digi. I’ve been motorcycle riding. It isn’t as easy to stop and shoot a photo as when you are on a bicycle. But it has its charms.

I rode to Stuart today on my Ducati. I was doing 55 at 5000 rpm in third gear and that was less than half of what that motorcycle can do, not counting the other two gears that I didn’t even get into. I looked at another Ducati that has 50 percent more power but a different seating position thinking it would be easier to handle. Can you imagine 150 horses on something less than 400 pounds of motorcycle? Zero to 60 so fast your eyes bleed? I don’t need this but I am drawn to it.

For those of you who don’t get it, don’t bother trying. Motorcycle riding is like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. You don’t do it if you have dependents.

And you don’t care if you die doing it.

You take precautions, but realize that weird things happen. And you would rather go that way than die taking chemo.

My dad died because he wanted to. He was 98. He had enough of feeding birds from his wheel chair. Every day he could walk, he spent time in the gym. I can’t imagine what a disappointment it was for him when his body failed to respond and he couldn’t get out of that chair.

He pulled out his cath and died of resulting complications.

My dad’s sister, a wonderful woman who brought hundreds of Eskimo children into this world as a midwife in Alaska, who started a school for midwives in New York and who ended her career at the College of Charleston, also took her own life. She kissed us all goodbye and went in for heart surgery she had no intention of recovering from.

I respect the way those people died.

I hate that you have to cheat the system to have a little dignity.

I’m having way too much fun to think about my time yet. But when it comes time, I’d like to do 150 mph on a motorcycle just once.

That should do it.


Written by Charles Keefer

September 22, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Posted in Blog

9 Responses

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  1. Interesting about JFK. I just scanned some 4×5 negs I stumbled across from back in the early 60s when I was in high school.

    Three of the shots were of students gathered in the gym to watch TV reports of JFK’s assassination.

    I had called the local paper to tell them I was going to bringing in pictures before I had processed them.
    When the film came out of the fix, I discovered that I had the flash synch set wrong and the pictures were grossly underexposed.

    Lessons learned: (a) always check the flash synch, particularly if other folks use the camera; (b) never sell the picture until you’ve seen it.

    Some pictures I had shot off the TV of the funeral were in the box of negs, too. It’s a real trip back in history.


    September 23, 2009 at 10:58 am

  2. When you die, you hope it’s on a motorcycle at 150 mph? I saw a young guy with the same dream on I-95 yesterday up near Stuart. He was doing at least 100 on a crotch rocket, like a crash looking for a place to happen. A bottle of water fell off his bike, passing us as it skidded down the road, spewing like a bottle rocket. We imagined his body doing the same thing if he fell.

    To each their own, but if I were going to get a bike, it would be for laid-back touring of the Black Hills and the Rockies, not racing and dodging city traffic down here.

    George P

    September 24, 2009 at 8:55 am

  3. oh well, with all our planning, there is really only one who knows when and where we are “going to go—-and how” that statement ought to set you off on a tangent keef!


    September 24, 2009 at 7:13 pm

  4. Good to see that you’re keeping busy and not wasting away in front of a computer screen.

    Gary Kane

    September 24, 2009 at 8:29 pm

  5. George,

    To clarify, I meant I would rather go out on a motorcycle doing 150 than on a hospital bed doing chemo, if I had the choice.

    I certainly don’t want my head to become a bottle rocket bouncing up and down I-95 because I couldn’t constrain myself to ride safely.

    And I have the motorcycle for riding the Black Hills. It is a BMW R1200-RT. I just can’t get through Georgia because of global warming.


    Who might that be?

    I’m almost sure I saw Elvis in the restroom at the Ducati dealer.


    Good to see you are checking up on old friends. Hope all is well with you and that you check in more often.

    Charles Keefer

    September 24, 2009 at 8:48 pm

  6. If he wanted to read a blog that actually gets updated AND catch up on old colleagues, he could go to


    September 25, 2009 at 9:20 am

  7. Bev,

    I hate to disappoint, so I won’t.

    What data do you have to support your theory that anyone knows when you or anyone else is going to go?

    Last time I checked, medical opinion was accurate somewhere between two weeks and two years.

    Most religions promise more. Or a couple of virgins more.

    If you know someone who can do better, I want him beside me at a roulette table in Vegas.

    I can get the airlines tickets. Can you get the guy with the eye?

    Charles Keefer

    September 28, 2009 at 10:03 pm

  8. Me, I am going to eat a seafood dinner when I feel the time has come. It will either kill me or I will learn that my allergy has disappeared. Being able to eat seafood again would make living a little longer worthwhile. My, we Keefers are a morbid crew.

    Carol K

    September 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm

  9. Carol,

    We aren’t morbid. We are realistic. We realize the end will come. And we would like to have a little dignity when it happens.

    And, actually, if I had the choice between a motorcycle at 150 mph and a plate of scallops wrapped in bacon and drowned in butter, I might just eat my way into the next life.

    Charles Keefer

    October 5, 2009 at 9:14 pm

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