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Donna Lear | all galleries >> Photo A Day > Firecrackers
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Firecrackers

Firecrackers

They sang, danced, cheered and waved flags. Five little girls, ranging in age from five to ten, all competing to become either "Little Miss Firecracker" or "Miss Firecracker." It would be, I thought, a cute photo spread for the newspaper. There were no bathing suits, gowns or make-up in this contest and it was the farthest thing from a "child beauty pageant" as you can possibly imagine. It was the sort of thing you'd expect to see at a rural Independence Day celebration.
The "controversy" started the day before the event with an email referencing Jon Benet Ramsey and the negative impact of this "beauty contest" on local little girls. By the time I arrived to take photos, apparently word of the controversy and the letter had spread. Ah, life in a small town and how swiftly the rumor mill operates.
It even followed me home. As I began to work on photos, I could hear the dinging sound of arriving e-mails - and it continued throughout the day to the point where I felt like I was being stalked by an insane woman who made multiple accusations and then sent a final e-mail outlining precisely what I could not say in the article I would write about the competition: "...you will not make any indirect references, either, , such as: "Despite issues raised by some citizens..." or "The contest became slightly controversial..." or "The [newspaper] received at least one complaint..."
With every e-mail, I had to get up, leave the computer and go do something - like clean my kitchen - so I wouldn't respond in insane kind and tell her that I was no longer in middle school, hadn't been for a long time, and wasn't going to let her take me back to that level with her drama and insanity. My kitchen ended up being really, really clean.
It was enough that I gave serious thought to finding another job. I didn't. I also didn't put any of this in the article; I'm putting it all here. heh.
Anyway .. enough of the rant. Here they are. Very cute kids. The very ugly adults out of my system.

Nikon D70
1/640s f/14.0 at 38.0mm full exif

other sizes: small medium large
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Chris07-Jul-2006 02:45
I really like the wide angle. It's a very fun shot with lots to look at.
Antonis Sarantos06-Jul-2006 22:35
What an expectation image!!!
estralita06-Jul-2006 21:29
Interesting story. it is funny how small town minds work! The little girls are cute. It looks like everyone was a winner!! vote
Guest 06-Jul-2006 16:34
I agree with Gary how the comp and positions of the child seem to reflect their separate but together group.
gary becker06-Jul-2006 12:55
Good Lord - shaking my head here.

The photo almost reflects the underlying tension. Each girl separate, and looking to their 'own' for support.
Dan Chusid06-Jul-2006 04:10
Quite a story.
Glad you were able to get that kitchen cleaned.
You never know who might show up...
: )