by Tom Hubbard
Emeritus Prof. Ohio State School of Journalism and Communication

A few years ago, I did a story on our own Dick Kraus for News Photographer. I did a sidebar that didn’t make it into the magazine. This is a tale of two fishermen. One is in Israel and one on Long Island, but there‘s a connection.

I had just spent a couple of days with Dick at Newsday. He spent his days staked out for perp walks. His photo of a clown accused of child molesting wasn’t used because the clown covered his head. Surprise!

I needed a while to synthesize my experiences after I left Dick, so I pulled onto a Long Island fishing dock in my camper and made lunch and went over my notes.

I noticed a fisherman silhouetted against the morning sun. I can’t resist a silhouette so I made some shots of him. I always speak to a subject if I have time so I went over and chatted.

© Photo by Tom Hubbard

The fisherman, Jeff Quarles of Deer Park, Long Island appreciated my company and told me his life story. (My experience is most people will tell you their life story if you pause to listen. I always found this a delightful part of photojournalism.) I asked about his “POW” hat. “Nope, I got shot at but they never caught me.” He spent much of the Korean War helping repair Navy ships in Japanese shipyards.

He met his wife Nori in Japan. They loved for 45 years. Both worked at Grumman Aircraft on Long Island for many years. She died on April 20, 1996. She is buried in two places, on Long Island and Japan.

Quarles flew back to Japan with her ashes in an urn on his lap. For a Japanese funeral, no one touches the ashes but the husband.

Jeff reflects, “I used to wonder what I would do without her and now I’m doing it." He copes by concentrating on his fishing.

He remembers history, Korean battles and tales of World War II vets he served with in Korea. Some were at Schofield Barracks during the Pearl Harbor attack. Vets told him stories of having to overcome the ammunition guard to get weapons to shoot at the attacking Japanese.

His Sunday is planned. He always visits his wife Nori’s grave. He said, “I made a promise, I won’t forget you.” He doesn’t

While I was spending this time with Jeff learning about a real person, Dick Kraus was staked out at another perp walk, this for a woman who had already been photographed at previous walks.

Over beers, Dick had told me a story that echoed my experience with the Long Island fisherman. On vacation in Israel, Dick had photographed an Arab fisherman mending and throwing a fishing net. Dick chatted with a small group and learned the fisherman’s net technique was exactly as St. Peter used.

I pondered the irony. Dick Kraus went to Israel and found a human story about a fisherman. Back on Long Island, I find a parallel story while Dick is staking out one more perp walk. Given a free morning as I had, Dick could find my fisherman or another human story in his own back yard. It’s ironic that Dick Kraus was a better recorder of the real human scene on vacation, than he was allowed to be at Newsday.

I guess the moral is, you can learn a lot about the human condition by chatting with a fisherman. Perp walkers seldom have time to stop for a chat.

Tom Hubbard
Emeritus Prof. Ohio State School of Journalism and Communication



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