On June 24, 1994 Boston fire Lieutenant Steven F. Minehan, of Boylston street’s Ladder 15, died in a 9-alarm fire in Charlestown after he became trapped in a large warehouse while searching for other firefighters who had become trapped. I had been a staff photographer at the Boston Herald for almost 15 months that night when, police/fire radio scanners broke the silence of what had been a quiet evening. John Landers Jr., then Herald night desk photo editor, and I heard the initial call for help from Minehan as he dispatched me to the scene. Below are my photos from that night and from Lt. Minehan’s funeral. Over the years I have been lucky to be able to call Lt. Minehan’s wife Kathy a friend. She is a very kind and considerate soul. RIP Lt. Minehan. The photo of Lt. Minehan, at bottom of page, is courtesy of Bill Noonan.
I photographed Muhammad Ali on the night of November 1, 1994, at Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel. I met the Boston Herald’s late/great boxing scribe, George Kimball in Ali’s room. His wife Lonnie was there, as was photographer and Ali biographer and confidant Howard Bingham and his mom, Willie, who I photographed hugging Ali. I did NOT know at the time that Howard was an accomplished/award-winning photographer. When it was time to leave, I gave the camera to Howard and told him where the button was to push and that the camera was pre-focussed. Everybody in the room laughed as Howard said: “I think I can handle it” 🙂
Rest in peace Muhammad Ali.
I photographed several Boston storms that day,5 years ago. I did not go out to the hard hit areas of western Massachusetts, but I did see some tremendous lightning. The top two photos were snapped between 9-10pm from Medford. The bottom photo was snapped in the mid-afternoon from East Boston. The Coast Guard station lightning bolt looks totally fake, or “photoshopped.” Lucky for me, I had another camera rolling video (at bottom) of the same strike.
The oil tanker Hugli Spirit, anchored in Boston Harbor, alerted the Coast Guard to a medical crisis on board late this morning. The call, as heard on a police scanner, came into Boston police as “the captain of the ship is reportedly having a heart attack”. Boston Fire Dept., the U.S. Coast Guard, Boston EMS, Massachusetts State Police, Environmental Police, Winthrop Police and the Boston Police Harbor Unit all sent boats and personnel, as two ambulances waited on Drydock Ave. First responders borded the ship via a long ladder at the ship’s side. No word on the man’s condition. Below are my photos, mostly made with an 1140mm telephoto lens. Photos made on my shift as a Boston Herald photographer.
Sometimes I run into people I’ve photographed in the past under the strangest circumstances.
Jim Moynihan was watching “The Price is Right” in his West Roxbury apartment building Wednesday morning, when the show was preempted for local news coverage of a police pursuit on Route 128.
He fixated on the television as a news helicopter streamed live video of the chase along Rte. 128 and the off/on ramps in Needham and Dedham.
Moynihan started to recognize the terrain.
The footage showed the suspect’s heavily-damaged vehicle stop in a parking lot. A man exited and started to run.
A few minutes later, there was a knock on Moynihan’s door. He opened it and a man asked him if he could come in to his apartment for a few minutes.
It was the man police were pursuing in the chase Moynihan had been watching on TV.
He stood there and before he could say anything, the man took out a wad of cash and offered to pay him for letting him in.
Moynihan said he shut the door and locked it, later recalling that adrenaline took hold of him as he slammed the door shut. In recounting the story to me, Moynihan said he was not scared.
“Being a cabby in Brookline for over 30 years, you kind of get used to things like that,” he said.
It then dawned on me. I had photographed Moynihan before.
On May 10, 2008, I was looking for feature photos for the Boston Herald. Moynihan was driving his cab when he came upon a turkey in the middle of the street.
I had exited my car to photograph the turkey. Moynihan stopped his cab and stared at the bird for a minute or two.
I struck up a conversation with him while he waited for a green light. I remember he gave me his name and said he would be very excited if the photo made the next day’s edition of the Boston Herald.
See Moynihan today, and in 2008 with his feathered friend. More of my photos from today’s pursuit, including the burning vehicle and injured Walpole police officer Matt Crown are also displayed. Crown was dragged by the suspect’s vehicle as he investigated why the vehicle was stopped in a no stopping zone.
The Boston Herald story and a video can be found here.
Forty years ago Tuesday, Boston Herald American photographer Stanley Forman photographed a racially-motivated assault that crystallized one of the most tense times in Boston’s history.
While covering a demonstration by white protesters who opposed court-ordered busing to desegregate Boston’s public schools, Forman photographed a white teenager attack a young black lawyer with an American flag. The lawyer, Ted Landsmark, had been walking on City Hall Plaza when he was assaulted. The protester wielding the flag was 17-year-old Joseph Rakes, who lived in South Boston.
The photograph became known as “The Soiling of Old Glory” and won the 1977 Pulitzer Prize for spot news photography.
The act of violence has haunted Boston for years.
The late Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino once said: “No one should have to look at Stanley Forman’s photos but everyone needs to.”
Forman presented Menino with an autographed print of the image for his office at Boston University. Menino told him he hated the picture.
Since 1983, Forman has been a journalist and videographer with Ch.5 (WCVB-TV) in Boston. We recently discussed his historic photograph.
Picture Boston: Let’s start with the obvious, and probably my toughest question. How have Boston’s race relations changed since “Soiling”?
Forman: Forty years later I believe race relations have certainly gotten better. But looking back, not being a black man I did not realize the anger or hatred there was. I was single, no children and I wasn’t busing my children from my neighborhood to another. I grew up in Revere in a white neighborhood (with) only a handful of blacks in the schools. I guess I was naive about racism.
Picture Boston: Do you remember the first time you met Ted Landsmark, after the event?
Forman: I’m not sure about the first time I met Ted but I do remember the time my family and I were crossing the street by the Government Center Garage and there was Ted coming the opposite way in the crosswalk. It was very exciting for me to have my family meet him.
Picture Boston: When were you hired at Boston Herald American and how many years were you on staff prior to the photo?
Forman : I began at the Record American November 22, 1966. I had just finished my first photography job being the campaign photographer for Attorney General Edward Brooke’s successful campaign to become a US Senator.
Picture Boston: Was it an assignment or did you hear it on police scanner?
Forman: I had arrived at the office just before 9 a.m. I asked city editor Al Salie what was going on. He told me Gene Dixon was at a demo at City Hall. I asked if I could go and join him. After doing a quick errand I arrived at City Hall as the anti-busing rally was coming down the stairs after visiting city Councilor Louise Day Hicks. Hicks a well known anti-busing proponent invited them in to the chambers for a salute to the flag and had milk and cookies for the group. When they came out of the (building) there was a group of black students going into the Hall and there was a confrontation in front of me. I then switched from my 35 (millimeter) lens to my 20 (millimeter) lens.
Picture Boston : Were you scared for Mr. Landsmark’s safety?
Forman: Yes, I looked over my shoulder I saw a black man turning into the Plaza. I just knew he was going to be attacked.
Picture Boston : Were you scared for your safety?
Forman: I ran down as the assault unfolded. It was over in seconds. BPD only had a couple of cops directly with the group. There (were) dozens waiting on the side lines. I did not have time to think of my safety — just went with the flow. I did worry about my safety after the photo was published. I was threatened many times.
Picture Boston: Did you know the magnitude of the photograph when you snapped photo?
Forman: I took the image and followed the group to Post Office Square not realizing the impact the image had. Herald American reporter Joe Driscoll caught up with me in the Square telling me about (what happened) via the AP wire and he was dispatched from the office. I said, “I have the photo of it!” Of course I had no idea what I had gotten. I knew I had motor drive trouble and there was no instant looking at the back of your camera 40 years ago.
Picture Boston: Have you ever met Joseph Rakes?
I have never met Joe Rakes but I became friendly with his brother Stevie due to the ongoing Whitey Bulger saga. I gave Stevie an autographed copy of the photo.
For more on Ted Landsmark, check out this 3-part story by the Boston Herald’s Jack Encarnacao.
I photographed the aftermath of a fatal fire in Dorchester, and then quickly left there and responded to a call about a car in the water near the JFK Library/UMASS Boston campus. A woman living in the large Dorchester apartment building perished in the early morning fire, and the man involved in the car-in-water incident, apparently drove himself to his untimely death. I always try to highlight the positives, i.e a rescue attempt, when it comes to covering these events, but sadly, there were none.