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Homecoming, Hunt Cup and Hounds


Much like any day, I picked up my camera, and out the door I went. But Oct. 15 wasn’t just any day—it was homecoming at the Tatnall School.

I first picked up a real camera at Tatnall back in sixth grade. Four years later, the late Alice Steltzer handed me one and told me to take some photographs of the girls’ varsity field-hockey game. Saturday, I found myself on that same field-hockey pitch, in almost the same spot. I’ve been lucky to document events at Tatnall for the past 40 some years. Becky King Rodgers, a schoolmate and trustee at the institution, marvels over how much of her life I’ve captured in the process.

It’s funny how I never really thought much about homecoming in years past. This year, though, as the class in front of mine celebrated its 40th reunion, I was stunned at how much time had passed. Where did it all go? To find out, the only thing I needed to do was sort through my negatives, prints, CDs, DVDs and hard drives.

The longer you live and work in a community, the more collective memories you retain for so many people and traditions. The continuity of our lives here in the Brandywine Valley is what makes this place so special. I’ve photographed Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds for more than 20 years and Winterthur Point to Point for all but four races. Other regular assignments include Willowdale Steeplechase and Delaware Valley Point to Point.

Then there’s The Hunt. While I didn’t come to the magazine at its inception, I’ve been fortunate enough to document “Life in the Brandywine Valley” for more than 20 years. With each issue, my goal is always to improve my craft and never take this beautiful region for granted.

The first Sunday of November, I’ll be out the door to the 82nd running of the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. This year marks the debut of the Mrs. Ford Draper Sidesaddle Race. The Hunt featured an article on the first of these unique competitions in our area. Now, we’re witnessing a resurgence in this throwback sport with a series of sidesaddle races, beginning at the Hunt Cup and continuing at Cheshire and Willowdale. It’s a great opportunity for modern women to show that riding aside no longer means what it once did. Proceeds from Hunt Cup races go to support the Chester County Food Bank.

Soon enough, it will be time to follow the hounds across the countryside—and hope that winter doesn’t hit us too hard.