Our favorite photo memories of 2012
by Scott A. Drake
Dec 27, 2012 | 3560 views | 1 1 comments | 96 96 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Going through the hundreds (OMG!) of photos printed in the paper this year, several things came to mind. For starters, December was a great month for favorites. There was last week’s cover photo of Zeus Kain and Kenny Gambone ice skating, which is destined to remain an office and a community favorite for years, as well as the shelter puppies with Santa and Mark Squilla dressed as a reindeer. Nice pictures all.

We were also struck by the enormous variety of events we covered. (Seriously, I think everyone in Philadelphia used the phrase “you’re everywhere” at least once.) There was also an emotional spectrum that ranged from the grief of candlelight vigils to the excitement of successful candidates to photos that are lighter and cuter than in previous years. Take for instance ...

1. Out, proud heroes (Oct. 12-18)

Members of the Philadelphia Freedom Band took it upon themselves at OutFest to not only entertain, but to counter-annoy the living crap out of those annoying, self-righteous haters who bullhorn their way through the fun every year. If there were an award for the person or group who best embodied the spirit of pride, unity and joy, the Freedom Band would be my nominee.

2. Music and mischief (Aug. 31-Sept. 6)

There are a few events every year that we look forward to more than others. One of those is the annual Gay Community Night at Citizens Bank Park. This year the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus was again tapped for the National Anthem and the Phanatic came by for vocal warm-ups. He didn’t really help any with the music, but his silliness left the PGMC delighted.

3. The kiss (June 15-21)

Sorry, Klimp, but that’s the best name for this favorite. PGN’s coverage of engagements and marriage announcements increased in 2012 and this happy, simple kiss does the collection of celebrants nicely.

4. Aftermath (Nov. 2-8)

While everyone else was hunkered down (with the exception of a few bartenders and patrons), we went out to see what was going on as Sandy roared through the area. The rainbow flag at City Hall took a hit and we were able to rescue it before it blew or walked away. We also learned some things about the flag from its owner and caretaker, Gloria Casarez. Glad to be part of the flag’s history for LGBT History Month!

5. Best two out of three (Nov. 16-22)

Over the years, Jen Colletta and I have been like Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen covering stories together. Now she sits in the big chair and lets me have some fun with photos and not just take pictures of people standing together. Outgoing longtime owner Rick Piper and longtime manager and incoming owner Frank Baer were happy to play along and pose for us in this shot, but wanted it made clear that the ownership change was amiable, not a wrestling match.

6. Until this epidemic is over (Sept. 21-27)

BINGO players, led by Carlotta Ttendant, take the pledge at the beginning of the 16th year of Gay BINGO in this colorful and poignant photo. Pause and reflect.

7. Scene in Philly (Feb. 17-23)

We’ve never put a Scene in Philly page in the favorite-photos list because, quite frankly, with 52 to choose from and what with OutFest, Pride, QFest and such, there’s usually not just one that’s a favorite. This year there is. Going around to restaurants on Valentine’s Day resulted in something completely different: Five couples and their number of Valentine’s Days together.

8. No peeking! (Aug. 31-Sept. 6)

Philly. Naked people. Bikes. ’Nuf said, actually, but we’re quite pleased that the annual Philly Naked Bike Ride every year raises safety awareness among motorists and cyclists alike. And sometimes a panorama tells the story better than any single shot.

9. On the non-campaign trail (Nov. 9-15)

Former Gov. Ed Rendell did another bar crawl this year, but it was on the street where he got the most squeals, screams and smiles. We love Ed. And we love bars. Not so much the crawling.

10. In loving memory (Nov. 23-29)

Time and lives frequently get away from us and, as each year passes and another starts, we should ponder that more. This photo of my friend Eddie Long was taken a couple years ago at The Woods Campground and, while it may seem unusual that a photo like this be used as a memorial, we choose to remember people as they were, and this was Eddie. This photo is for all those we lost this year and a reminder for us to cherish those we care about just a little more in the next year.

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December 31, 2012
I loved looking through these moments in the paper this weekend. I remember quite a few of them from the first time around, but not all of them. I guess I either need to look through the paper more thoroughly or pick up the paper more often. Haha.

My personal favorite is bingo picture. It's sooo good! But I like the band and kiss pictures too. Keep up the good work. I look forward to more great pictures in 2013, Scott!