I rarely sleep well the night before I start working an out-of-town shoot, and last night was no exception. Early this morning I finally gave up and decided to get an early start.
I had breakfast at an old familiar (cheap) buffet, and was surprised to find it almost empty. The last time I was there it was packed, and I had trouble finding a seat. Today there were exactly four other people in there when I arrived. And I noticed later that one entire section had been closed off.
If I were pursuing real journalism here rather than blogging, I would have started asking questions to see how much the recession is affecting the tourist trade here. When I shoot the Braves game on Sunday at Champion Stadium I’ll get a chance to see if it’s cut down on the crowds. But my initial impression of Kissimmee is that things aren’t nearly as crowded as they used to be.
As I look out my window this evening I can see the weekend arrivals starting to build up, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the economy has taken a toll here in Disney’s playground.
In any case, I had time to drink a second cup of coffee, and even then by the time I parked at the stadium I noticed that Eric Campbell was just getting out of his car and heading to the clubhouse. So . . . I guess I was still a tad on the early (read: anxious) side.
That gave me time to talk with some of the coaches that I’ve known for several years, including Phillip Wellman, Rocket Wheeler, Randy Ingle, Derrick Lewis, Bobby Moore and others. (I really miss Mel Roberts.)
One nice surprise was seeing Jonathan Schuerholz in a coaching position. He had success as a Braves minor leaguer, eventually getting as far as Triple A, but never could break into the Major Leagues. Now he’s back as a roving minor league instructor, and he’s excited about the job.
He reminded me that I had photographed him taking extra infield practice on these very fields a few years ago, and now it was his turn to drill the prospects. The photo above of J.C. Holt handling a bad throw is the product of a Jonathan Schuerholz drill.
I think he’s going to be a very good coach.