Sunday, November 14, 2004

Diary of a Photograph

Thanks to reader, and fellow Stag, RJ for tracking down this photo by Associated Press photographer Kevork Djansezian that ran on page 3A of the 4 November 2004 USA Today. All my web searching prowess couldn't find it (or Mr. Djansezian's email address), but with RJ's luck and persistence, here it is, along with the caption from the print edition:

Downcast Democrat: Christiana Dominguez takes a breather Wednesday while helping clean up a Democratic campaign office in Philadelphia.

Now, I wasn't despondent or anything, but I suppose downcast was accurate for that day. Ever-hopeful and forward-looking, yet temporarily downcast. Mr. Djansezian had been around Philadelphia at least for most of that last week of the campaign. I repeatedly chased him out of the storefront for not having a handler with him from our press office. I like to think of it as a friendly battle. He showed up on election night after the polls had closed and we were calling other states. He waited by my desk for me to finish a call, looking at me, expectantly, I suppose waiting for me to chase him out again. I didn't. The polls were closed. We were busy. What was I going to do? The next day, when I stumpled, exhausted and a wee bit sad over the impending concession speech, into the storefront, I found Mr. Djansezian along with a Philadelphia Inquirer photographer and a camera crew from Comcast's CN8. It was a photogenic scene - a few of us staffers surveying the damage, stacks of leftover yard signs (the CN8 guy asked why any were left. Does a blank stare qualify as an erudite answer under the given circumstances?) I joked a bit with them and chatted with the 3 or so other storefront stalwarts present. Then I plopped myself down on the stack of yard sign wickets and just sort of took in the situation - both in the storefront, and, at a certain level, globally, I suppose. Seeing their moment, the two still photogs began snapping a mile-of-film (okay, pixels) a minute. I looked at them at one point and quipped about suddenly understanding how a crime scene must feel having its every aspect preserved for history. The photogs and I chatted a bit more and then I left the storefront - passing back out into the cold, crowded streets of Philadelphia, bound for the Happy Rooster and the company of the rest of the GOTV staff so we could watch together as John Kerry officially brought to a close the 2004 presidential contest.

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