To All the Ships at Sea,
I’d like to share a story. My son Dylan came home from school from 4th grade class with a unusual request. He asked that I get Muhammad Ali to call all the kids in his class. I told him that would not be easy. He said please, “I’d like you to do this.” I called my good friend Bert Sugar – “Mr. Boxing” and the “Bertster” tried to reach out to Ali, but was unable to connect. He said, “Joe on a conference call we will phone Howard Bingham” (Ali’s photographer.) I had met Howard a few times but we were not close friends. We spoke to Howard and he said he’d see what he could do. He asked me, what time and on what phone number?” I told him approximately 1:05 on Thursday afternoon & gave him the number. I figured there was a very slim chance of this happening. I was told the call went through the speakers and sure enough It was Muhammad Ali talking to all the kids in Dylan’s grade class.
There are very few people and this goes for Bert Sugar, Howard Bingham and Muhammad Ali that would extend themselves for a bunch of kids. I’m blessed knowing people like this. I might add, it is mainly due to people I’ve met through photography. Bert Sugar died on my birthday a few years ago, Muhammad Ali died this year and now Howard Bingham died December 15 this year. I casually mentioned this story to my friend Sam Garcia and he insisted I do a blog on Howard, which I was going to do anyway. He said you can tell your people from me, that Howard was one of the sweetest most self effacing people he had ever met. He always remembered everyones’ name, was a genuinely sweet individual, and one hell of a great photographer.
We’ll have a 10 count tonight for Howard. Attached you will find a short video I did in Cuba a few weeks ago at Kid Chocolate Gym. https://vimeo.com/193916645