Tag Archives: Stars and Bucks

Photos Worth Thousands of Memories

7 Jul

 

Photo by Dan Campbell

To say that he has the patience of a fisherman, the eyes of an artist and the precision of a surgeon might be a bit of a Middle Eastern overstatement, but he is a very good photographer. Mark Bowen accompanied the second group of HOPE pilgrim-teachers from Cincinnati to the Holy Land, having also been with the first group in 2010.

Most often Mark is on the lens side of the camera. But once in a while he sets up the picture, turns his camera over to someone else, and is actually in the photo himself, like in this one taken by the café-keeper at Stars and Bucks in Bethlehem.  

He was also coaxed into being in this group photo, taken in Nazareth by our guide Rami on Jen’s camera.

Being himself quite taken by an event or a site, he is even known to have allowed his picture to be taken by someone else with their own camera, like this one by JoAnne at the Jordan River.

On a rare occasion, difficult to imagine but true, he has even “asked” someone else to use “his” camera to take his picture, like this one taken with Archbishop Elias Chacour at Mar Elias School in Nazareth.

Most often, though, people caught Mark, as he so often caught many of us, doing what he did best: taking pictures, and editing and saving and posting pictures, like in this one by JoAnne in Amman, Jordan

 and in this one by JoAnne on the Sea of Galilee

 and in this one by Cindy on the Sea of Galilee

and in this one by JoAnne at the Gloria Hotel in Jerusalem

 and in these two by Father Rob.

All that being shown and said, Mark has done a remarkable service and a remarkably good job of capturing the moments, the people, the emotions and the HOPEs of our Cincinnati teacher-pilgrims and our Palestinian teacher-friends during the HOPE Pilgrimage 2012. Acknowledging Mark’s work on the back end of so many photos and memories, on the front end we all want to express to him our gratitude, appreciation and admiration.

By the way, Mark, “Mom” (Nancy) especially wants you to know how much she loves you, as can be seen on her face (and yours) in this photo of the two of you, taken by JoAnne at the Dome of the Rock.

 

 

 

 

“Stars and Bucks” in Bethlehem

1 Jul

Mark (the photographer) and I (the priest) decided to walk from the Church of the Nativity to our Sancta Maria Hotel. We left the flow of the pilgrims, as they headed toward the bus for the ride home. I told Mark that I wanted to stop at Stars and Bucks. Always anxious to get a shot that other eyes might not see, he eagerly tagged along.  

Our first stop along the way was for twelve pictures (he couldn’t take just one) of a man making falafel at his street-side open restaurant. Amazing how a vat of hot grease and balls of seasoned, crushed garbanzo beans becoming falafel brings joy to a photographer.

Shortly after we rounded the corner Mark shouted out, “Oh no, it is Stars and Bucks.” He saw the sign hanging over the café down the street a bit. He thought I was going to Starbucks, and was teasing him with the name. Would I tease about such a serious matter? 

The shop is on the main road in Bethlehem that leads right to Manger Square and the Nativity Church, the site of the birth of Jesus.

Most tourists and pilgrims zip right past the café in a taxi, or walk up the inclined hill on the opposite side of the street because of the location of the garage where all the giant tour busses have to park. But it was the goal of the walk Mark and I were taking … Stars and Bucks.

As I walked into the café and saw that they had coffee mugs for sale, I gave out my own acclamation in the little town of Bethlehem, “Yes!” I had joy like the shepherds and the angels on Christmas eve in the fields of sheep and shepherds. Well, that may be a bit overdone.

My buddy Paul has a collection of Starbucks mugs (see yesterday’s post), but he does not have, and not many people in the whole world have a coffee mug from Stars and Bucks in Bethlehem, Palestine.

Mark bought two mugs, one for his daughter and her husband. I bought one for Paul, and one for myself. Mark was enjoying the moment so much he agreed to get into a picture, and gave his camera to one of the keepers of the café, who seemed a bit puzzled by the performance being played out in his sleepy shop.

My regrets are that I didn’t sit down for coffee and conversation with the locals, and that I didn’t buy a whole case of the mugs. I could have left a lot of clothes behind to have room for them in my return suitcase. I have something to add to my itinerary the next time.

Photos 2, 3 by Mark Bowen/HOPE. Photos 4, 5, 6 by Waseim/Beit Jala. Photos 1, 8 by Father Rob/Milford. Phot0 7 by Stars and Bucks Café Keeper/Bethlehem, using camera of Mark Bowen/HOPE. Phew! Everybody gets due credit.