I don't think I can be as eloquent with a story as John Kasian but I'll give it a try. We all seem to know that as a child Ansel Adams was given a Brownie and on a vacation to Yosemite and that little camera lit the flame of passion for photography. Recently, I was rooting through boxes looking for a negative I shot many, many years ago. While looking through one box I ran across a roll of film and prints I shot of Vice President Spiro Agnew on a visit he made to Mobile around 1970. When I read about Agnew's upcoming visit I thought, wow, a vice president coming to my hometown. I thought that that would be as close to an executive politcian I would ever encounter. I wanted to see a vice president. My brother had returned from Viet Nam with a 35mm Minolta camera and I thought how cool it would be to photograph Agnew. I bought a roll of Tri-x and in a 10 minute class from my brother, I learned how to set the shutter speed, aperture, change lenses and I was off to photograph a vice president. I got to the auditorium about an hour before the event to stake out a good seat close to the stage. I put on a 135mm telephoto to get closer shots. A very small audience trickled in for the speech. A district congressman, county commissioner and other politicans spoke and then Agnew took the stage. Even with the 135 telephoto lens, I was still to far a way. I got up the nerve, left my seat and slowly walked up the aisle to the roped off position in front of the stage. I was quite aware of all the secret service and police on and at the stage watching me. I then raised the camera and start taking my photos. I shot pictures of all the other politicians that were bored and asleep while Agnew spoke. I moved around in front of the stage and shot until I ran out of film. Agnew finished his speech, walked off the stage in my direction. Agnew then walk over and shook my hand. I was stunned. The next day I dropped the film off at the lab and three days later the prints were ready. When I opened that envelope and saw those prints I thought they were the greatest photos I had ever seen. It was at that instant the flame of passion of photography for me was lit. I knew that I had to have a camera and over the last 35 years I still have that excitement with my photography. I laugh now at how bad those photos really were but marvel at the fulfillment photography has given me. So, John and everyone else, what lit your flames of passion for photography?