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Friday, 21 April 2017


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A long, hot bath might help. And those ThermaCare wraps are a godsend.

I'm gonna go with Stanley Kubrick as the photographer.

I'm sorry to read about your back. I was sent to the New England Baptist Hospital Spine Center for physical therapy for my back pain. It worked well, so much so that I ended up marrying my physical therapist. Besides that, applying ice was the best quick pain relief method - back then we used bags of frozen peas wrapped in towels. Now, there are gel packs that work better. Yes, there was exercise and stretching, too, but nothing worked like ice to relieve the pain.

Enzo Ferrari is not centered in his picture.

Marty Feldman.... What do I win?

A very young Enzo Ferrari. Back in his days working and racing for Alfa I believe.

I wanted to cheat, turns out it's impossible to run a reverse image search on an iphone.
resorted to my chromebook only to learn about the reincarnation of a famous racing car builder into a famous soccer player...

Best thing ever for my aching back, or neck, or any strained muscle. Get extra pads when you buy it. Scott


Enzo Ferrari! (he really preferred to drive, but gave that up after marriage. Oh well...)

The first one is Enzo Ferrari.

I've seen the second photo, but can't think of a person who used a different medium and took that photo. (I would have guessed Robert Capa before I read the "different medium" part. He was quite a ladies man, according to the Whelan biography.)

Do the Hidden Fence folks have something similar that will keep a cat off countertops? Our cat has discovered that rattling dishes in our open cupboards is a good way to get our attention, and she absolutely relishes the sticky tapes that are supposed to discourage her from walking or scratching on furniture.

Vet told us our dog (Terrier mix) will go through an electric fence if it chases another animal. Also, in my area (lower Hudson Valley), the problem with leaving dogs out is not so much that they may run away, but rather that coyotes will attack them, esp. if the dog is on the smaller side.

Dear Mike,

As the old saying goes, getting old isn't for sissies. I speak from the exalted altitude of 76 years, and hope you get over this soon with little pain and strain. Maybe you should get an electronic collar to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Rodger Kingston

Brassai - it's the eyes...

Kubrick - too obvious a clue

Mystery man is Enzo Ferrari, back when he was a driver. He was good at it, as he was as a team manager for Alfa Romeo. Then after WW2 he....

He seems to have the eyes of Wigi, and the period is roughly correct, I think.

Alfred Eisenstadt behind the wheel, and Stanley Kubrick behind the polka dotted young lady?

Centered object?
But...but...rule of thirds!!

I sent a rant about digital cameras. On the plus side, with digital gear I need 1/2 the light output for flash work. I pack one flash generator instead of two.

My most serious back problem came from loading lighting gear into my car. My back sent out a bad "pop", and I couldn't walk for two days. I'm ready for small mirror-less pro cameras and assistants with a minor in PE.

Rest up and... stretching and doing Sit-Ups has helped me. Getting old is.... getting old.

It's Enzo! and he looks so atypically happy. I can see why Hugh Jackman would be cast in the role.

The other photo on east 43d street just off of Madison avenue facing grand central terminal. The location I instantly recognize, lets see symmetrical composition, subject going away from the camera, subject is wearing clothing that has a pattern that matches sidewalk/floor , what am I overlooking here?

back issues. As soon as the pain is gone so is the concern. I lost a third of a lower back disk to surgery and have become a back care evangelist. Stretch gluts and hamstrings however you can. (online advice is great.) But the dead bang bottom line is the plank exercise in all four positions. Once you are pain free of course. If you can persist beyond the acute episode you will be greatly served. Just my two cents worth. I hope you get better without medical care.

Mystery Man Quiz: Robert Capa?

Regarding back pain, as someone who has been a photographer through the carry everything over one shoulder in a fully laden Domke, through backpacks I could probably just about stagger between the car and the house with now and finally to rollers, I have suffered my share of back pain and have consequently become something of an expert in the early remedy of trouble and so I can readily believe pool would help certain kinds of pain. The stretching alone, particularly with a leg extended would help sciatica and leaning over the table would build core body strength and balance. A genuinely useful book is Back Pain Remedies for Dummies. Every photographer needs a copy.

Could the mystery man be Enzo Ferrari?

Lady with the belt: Stanley Kubrick?

(No prior replies seen, no searching - just a hunch.)

Stanley Kubrick

If my memory is correct, the gentleman in question was Enzo Ferrari. At the time of that photo he was a racing car driver himself, but he later became the very successful manager of the Alfa Romeo racing team.

Post WWII he started his own company, with the name (surprise!) of "Ferrari", which manufactured highway cars primarily to generate the cash to support his racing cars. (In those days racing cars were not the billboards on wheels that they are today.)

- Tom -

Who's the mystery man? My first reaction was that it might be Lartigue, as he loved the then-new sport of road racing. But this guy looks much more like Robert Capa, so that's my guess.

Is it the young Enzo Ferrari?

I'd offer you back advice but backs are like photographs. Everyone has their own way of screwing them up. Dresser drawers have put me on me knees, groaning. For a while I'd look in the mirror and see a human parallelogram. Intense physical exercise fixed it for a bit (chopping cords of wood). For the last few years I've been fine, which means "the big one" is surely close. So, go on your date and hopefully you will be so engrossed you forget about your twisted up spasmy tender muscles.

I'm gonna wildly guess Peter Lorre at the wheel and Stanley Kubrick behind the camera.

I suppose pool is good for the body because it involves the entire body in a variety of gentle movements and intense focus for long periods of time, punctuated by stillness and relaxation. Who knows, it may engage certain stalking/hunting/gathering reflexes and modes. More wild guessing.

Hope you feel better soon, Mike, and enjoy your date!

Looks like a young Enzo Ferrari.

Re Your back, I'm sure the pool table was excellent therapy.
Movement, contra stretching of your neck makes toto sense to me.
Don't you have an unheated outbuilding? set it up & get a small wood stove for heat.
I have similar back issues, and have been helped enormously by a $200 inversion table. for anyone who sit a lot it works miracles.
I have mine set to stop about 20 degrees short of full inversion so it is very gentle.

Enzo Ferrari of course. But what was the co drivers name?!

Well, I know that photo of the woman walking away. It was made by Stanley Kubrick. I found it years ago when looking for the photographer who photographed my father walking the streets of New York City in his Navy uniform in 1945. I still don't know who it was who photographed my father though.

Your "mystery man" sure looks like Enzo Ferrari of automobile fame.

iL Commendatore

The mystery man, I'm pretty sure, is Enzo Ferrari. Anthony

I'm pretty sure that's Enzo Ferrari in that photo...

Enzo Ferrari.
I wonder what he is driving :-)

The Arthritis UK website has exercises that can help with a back that has started to twinge. The site is a bit sprawling, so they actually have at least two sets of exercises for back pain.


This should be the direct link to a PDF download:


There's a somewhat different set here:


Hope you find something in there that works for you.

Enzo Ferrari at the wheel.

Enzo Ferrari.

The mystery man is Enzo Ferrari. Sorry if I spoiled all the fun.
Yes, he was to become even more famous later in life. How famous? Well, have you ever seen images of the Formula One Italian Grand Prix when a Ferrari driver finishes on the podium? Nothing in the automotive world compares to that. Il Commendatore really accomplished something in life. And Ferrari the brand shows no sign of weakening, even though Ferrari the man died 29 years ago.
I didn't have to do any search. I'm a tifoso. (The road cars are nice, too, but unfortunately a bit out of my reach.)

I'm an F1 fan, so I assumed you had some story saved up about the mystery man in the passenger seat!

Mike, your tale of back woe sounds similar to something I seem to have become afflicted by with tedious regularity over recent years. Like your recent experience, it often seems to result from fairly trivial movement - on one occasion, reaching out to switch the radio on as I was waking up. Since I believe we may be of roughly comparable age (I turned 59 just over a week ago), you may find the self therapy stretching exercises I use (originally suggested to me by an osteopath if I remember correctly) helpful.

First, lie down in the prone position on a comfortable, firm surface - a nice stretch of carper is good, a firm futon possible slightly more comfortable - of course, getting into that position may not be easily done, or comfortable, at first.

Then, start the stretches, a bit like press-ups, only instead of trying to keep your back straight, arch it as you slowly press up, while breathing in slowly, hold it for a few seconds, then lower yourself gently while breathing out. Repeat 5 - 10 times.

Then roll yourself over onto your back (again, possibly easier said than done, depending on how bad you're feeling) and curl yourself into a ball, and grasp your shins. Rock yourself back and forth on your back 5-10 times, then repeat the "press-ups".

3 or 4 sessions a day like that for 2 or 3 days usually gets my back sorted, and I often notice a significant improvement right from the start (though it wears off quickly at first.) However, everybody (every body?) is different, so take it very gently to start with, and if it doesn't seem to be working for you after a few days, it might be an idea to see a real osteopath or physiotherapist.

Anyway, my commiserations, and I hope you feel better soon. Now if only I could deal with my gum infection, cataract, and COPD as easily... :-/

The man behind the wheel? Enzo I think, the last name begins with F.

He wore a cane and derby hat,
They called him Bat,
Bat Masterson

She's holding what appears to be a camera. It looks like something I had as a kid, which was a Ansco Panda, though I don't think it is.
Any idea Mike, anybody, what that is,- if it is a camera.

Hi Mike!

Personal experience tells me use ice packs, not heat. Then modest amounts of incidental movement - no stretching, no bed rest. A mix of acetaminophen and ibuprofen will greatly reduce the pain, bearing in mind that the first is hard on the liver (never overdo!) and the second needs to be taken with food.* (This is not real medical advice, talk to your doctor!)

Really super uncomfortable, empirical, bitter, personal experience. :) Cold tightens some things, but a little stiffness is okay. Heat makes things temporarily better, but the pain reliably re-occurs. Hot baths are delightful, but the spasm will return in a debilitating way after you get out.

*there are some studies supporting the idea that this combo is superior to opiates for chronic pain control.

Your story about your back problem through ages is a perfect illustration of "agism" perfection can do and it occurs to me very often a bit the same way even if I am still a young guy of 60. By the way the other young guy at the driving wheel remembers me another one whose first name was Enzo, a typical Italian born fellow.
Thank you for all the good time I have to read you.
Have a nice evening and excuse my french...

Daniel M

Look into an inversion table like the Teeter Hangup.If your inner ear can handle being upside down, your back will love it.


The mystery man is Enzo Ferrari - driver and squadron (Scudiera) manager for Alfa Romeo. As you say more famous later in life for cars that carried his own name.

Hi Mike, Your mystery man is Enzo Ferrari.

That would be Enzo Ferrari if I don't miss my guess....

The mystery man would be Enzo Ferrari, at the time a driver and mechanic for Alfa Romeo.

Enzo Ferrari. Probably at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo in the 1930's

First one is easy. Enzo Ferrari. Probably at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo.

Sorry to hear about your back.
I will be interested to hear how the fence goes. Our stockade fence will need to be replaced soon.
The first photo looks like my uncle, but I believe it is Enzo Ferrari. I could be completely wrong on the second but the first name I thought of was Richard Avedon.

A young Enzo Ferrari. The eyes are the giveaway!

To your mystery man, ciao Enzo! Back when I was completely besotted with Alfa Romeos, part of the lore that I learned was that Enzo Ferrari started with Alfa. I can't tell if he's behind the wheel of an Alfa but his young age and the large old style steering size makes me suspect it is an Alfa.

You Mystery Man would be a young Enzo Ferrari, if I am not mistaken. Most of my automotive history studies centered around "Management at Ford Motor Company From 1940 Until 1955." That was my Master's thesis at the University of Houston at least. Henry's grandson, Henry II, could not stand Enzo. But the feeling was somewhat mutual from what I recall. Hope the back improves!

The fellow behind the wheel looks Brassai-ish....

Your mystery man is Enzo Ferrari, founder of the Ferrari racing team a bit later, Ferrari motor cars.

Get well soon Mike.

I haven't looked for the image so I don't know if he's the photographer but in the very moment I saw the lady walking the street I thought of Stanley Kubrick.

Might that mystery man be Enzo Ferrari? I just saw this and didn't need the Inter-webs to jog my old memory. Car guy I guess.

Mystery Man: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal was my first reaction:

A wild guess: Stanley Kubrick?
I've never seen this photo before...

OK, I didn't cheat - it looked like 1940s NYC, and that Kubrick shot was one of the first things that came up in Google image search!

Yes, I'm sure it's the confederate flag, and has nothing at all to do with Rubens and Caravaggio... ;)

"This time, nothin'. What did I do? Nothing that I can remember."

You got older, Mike. Sorry. It happens. Same with not remembering.

Enzo Ferrari?

Enzo Ferrari once said that the only true American sportscar was the Jeep ... Wrangler, in it's most current permutation, I suspect. At any rate, The Jeep has always remained my favorite vehicle though I don't have one at the moment. Now that's off-topic!

Serves me right for not being a car nut (or owner).

When I had lower back problems from a car accident, I was sent to a physical therapist. After maybe a half dozen treatments of a few different sorts, she tried putting me on an inversion table. Five minutes later, lower back problem solved. This isn't necessarily a recommendation for an inversion table so much as it is a testimonial for getting the right fix. In my case it was inversion. So I guess the best advice I have is try different approaches if what you're doing isn't getting the problem fixed.


From about age 30 I live with recurring back troubles, sometimes extremely severe.
At age 51, I happened to spend half a year in the Bay Area ("high tech + high therapy") and was persuaded to take a "Rolfing" treatment (the full works, 10 sessions, very painful). Back troubles disappeared and never came back (I am now 82). If I were you, I would look into Rolfing.
In any case: Best wishes

Fred Haynes asked: "Any idea Mike, anybody, what that is,- if it is a camera?"

Yes, it's a camera: a Bakelite-bodied 620 Kodak Brownie Hawkeye. I'm looking at the one in my camera collection cabinet now. Mine, model 177E, was found, new in its original box, several years ago at a yard sale in Maine. It still has its Kodalite Midget Flashholder attached.

--Jim Hughes

It's Enzo Ferrari driving a naked truck chassis to a body factory. That was his first job at Alfa. Everybody knew Enzo and Enzo knew everybody. A charming and manipulative personality was one of his resources. He grew up in Modena, aimed to be either an opera singer - the city and the area have an ancient and widely popular choral tradition(it was the hometown also of Pavaroti) or a sports writer. The family owned a small metal products mfg plant, I think. He claimed that over his life he had slept outside of Modena a total of 3 nights - that's real old school: I've heard of old-timers like that in my rural part of this country. Ferrari never visited the Pope, but the Pope visted Ferrari. During the 50s especially, there were repeated and popular campaigns in the national legislature to ban racing: so many driver and spectator fatalities; a lot of the anger was directed at Ferrari. Like Dale Earnhardt Sr., the late NASCAR, driver, probably he became more popular in death than he ever was in life. For his ruthless personality alone, in life few people actually ended up loving Enzo.

I too had the big back spasm and and recurring problems. It took long years for me to work it out, but I got my 6 pack back and also use a lower back exercise in which I lie prone and raise legs and trunk simultaneously. These pretty much solved the problem. That and being somewhat aware of posture. I'm more physical than most, so I know that the key is to do as little corrective exercise as possible each day, so I'll still be doing it 20 years along.

What you said about geometry and composition reminded me of Kimon Nicolaides' famous THE NATURAL WAY to DRAW. The first chapter is called "Contour and Gesture", and it's about outline and movement in images. It's an easy and helpful read for photographers too.

Jesus! I was about to write the man in the car was Ansel Adams...

We have a Ralph Rizzo installed Hidden Pet Fence and they've been great over ten years. Be sure to reference where the cable is just in case.

Tom Bell: "I have no idea why...but I love that [Kubrick] photograph. Not sure why!"

Great belt, perhaps.

How could you not remember the wording? It's "the flag of Japan" A Japanese flag could be anything. Szarkowski was too good a writer not to be remembered with the precision he brought to the craft.

My most profound sympathy for your back being "out." I am 75, and my back first went bonkers 50 years ago. At the beach with my future wife, picked her up and ran with her to the surf. Bam! - bam! - bam! with about 125 pounds of extra weight. Didn't feel anything just then. The next morning, YIPES! Two bulging disks, and decades of sometimes the slightest wrong turn sending me back into agony for several weeks. Slight help from chiropractors. Biggest help was with an Rx for a number of sessions of therapy, which had the benefit of teaching me an exercise routine which I then continued after I joined a gym. So: build core strength and flexibility, lose weight, keep active, and ice packs when needed. By all means, see an orthopedic specialist.

Someone above recommended, with appropriate caution, an acetaminophen and ibuprofen combo. That helps. In fact, that is all I had after day two of knee replacement surgery in 2015.

Try not not sit too much ... and move around. Go on walks.

I have seen a meme that jokingly compares the driver of the car to German soccer player Mesut Oezil, who currently plays for Arsenal. The meme btw. states that the driver is Enzo Ferrari. I guess they got that wrong.
P.S.: I don't know what the copyright situation about links , but it is a very easy google search.https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=mesut+ozil+enzo+ferrari&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=mesut+ozil+enzo+ferrari&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8">https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=mesut+ozil+enzo+ferrari&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8">https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=mesut+ozil+enzo+ferrari&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=mesut+ozil+enzo+ferrari&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Those eyes....and I have seen them before. I could almost swear that he was driving a taxi in Singapore.

Just sayin'.

Have a nice end to the weekend to all. Until next weekend.

Afrer reading your post, I became aware that since I reached the 6th decade I carefully avoid to mention any complaints that may be associated with age.

[You know, it's a very good policy. Many of the older people I know whose company has been most pleasant are stoics, never complaining even when they have reason to. I think I will strive to adopt your stance in the future. I don't know how I'll do though...I just get so interested in things, including aging, and maladies! --Mike]

Re the Dog collar staying in full on mode even if the dog runs through it, or runs away ..... I hate that idea, because in the unlikely event he runs across the road the thing will continue to shock him until the batteries die. I'd want to disable that feature.

As a person in their mid sixties with a bad back due to it having to support too much weight for about half my life and two dodgy knees (one knee-cap cracked on a desk drawer, both knees clobbered in a couple of falls) which give me grief when I'm least expecting it, you have my sympathy, though nothing in the way of useful advice.

Mind you... do you have a 'significant other' who might be persuaded to learn how to give you a nice sensual massage?

Mike, I hope you get relief from back pain soon. I am just about 5 years older than you and 4 years ago I started to have really bad back pain.

The doctors gave the usual advice, take over the counter painkillers, but after weeks of this I decided to try a Chiropractor on the advice of a friend. It was agony, and eventually after hearing from another friend that has a relation who only found out he had cancer after severe back pain, I went back to another doctor who sent me for Xrays and blood tests for prostate cancer.
The X-rays showed thinning of the bones in my vertebrae and the blood tests showed no prostate problem, but unfortunately showed the problem with the vertebrae was caused by Multiple Myeloma. The Chiropractor had done severe damage to my vertebrae and ribs as well.
I have had various treatments for the Myeloma, including a stem cell transplant, but there is no cure. I am on very strong prescribed painkillers probably for the rest of my life, which is now much shorter than I expected.
If anyone suggests you go to see a Chiropractor, please think about getting an X-ray first, I wouldn't like anyone to go through what I have.

[Hi David, That sounds dreadful, and I'm very sorry to hear of what you're going through. I will stay away from chiropractors. My back is still hurting but much improved, so this incident will probably not slow me down for long. I really sympathize with chronic pain, it is VERY debilitating. I've just had a small taste of it this time around. I wish you the best. --Mike]


As the comments suggest you are not alone with your back problems. Several studies have indicated that in America, back pain is the number one reason for patients to see doctors. I used to see people for just that complaint and I have it myself. You have received lots of good advice. Be well soon.

At first I too thought it was Enzo, but after looking at an enlarged version for a couple of hours I have revised my guess. I now believe it is Tomaso Bacciagaloupe, Enso's little known double.

I've got one word for you regarding your back, and that is yoga. Give it a try for a couple of weeks and feel the difference it makes in movement, sitting and just being you.

I take back what I said above about the Enzo photo. I know now that it's not a truck chassis he's driving and that it would't have been for Alfa anyway. He once actually did drive truck chassis on public roads, from one plant to another. But I don't remember the employer.

That bit and the others I mentioned in an earlier comment were recalled from biographies I read a little after his death in '88.

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