This was both an honor and a privilege. I’m kind of at a lost for words to describe how giddy I felt that day. 040815_B25_OCantilli01 The crew of the B25 Bomber “Panchito” Matt Sager, Larry Kelley and Syd Jones make up the Disabled American Veterans Flight Team.

040815_B25_OCantilli02Up close and personal with a .50 caliber machine gun aboard the B25 Bomber “Panchito” over the NASA Vertical Assembly Building.

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66_Lee_Cantilli_01aPlease spend some time on the new MPW66 WEBSITE to check out the wonderful work of this year’s participants.

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During a recent trip for pleasure through Michigan, I borrowed a camera from a good friend and visited a shantytown, where I once did a story for the Grand Rapids Press. I was happy to find out that everyone that was there when I was there, was still there and were for the most part in the same state of health. I haven’t been able to put my finger on what it is about these people, who hold a vastly different outlook on life, that fascinates me so much and makes me revisit them time and time again. One of the things that makes this story unique is that this camp is located in between the Gand Rapids and Walker, MI city line, and neither city has an issue with these people setting up homes in the area as long as they don’t cause trouble. One of the campers has been here for 9 years!
Original Story
Update 12/2010
Update 10/2011
100313GR_Shantytown01 Denny recognized me right away and welcomed me to sit down and hang out. He obviously was out of jail. Shop lifting from Walmart was the latest reason, but he said prison wasn’t hard on him this time. He walks with a cane now due to an accident. Denny said his backpack got stuck on the wheels of a train, and the train drag him for several hundreds of feet before finally stopping. He said this happened early this year, and he feels lucky to be alive after spending weeks in the hospital.

100313GR_Shantytown02Denny still smokes hand rolled tabacco cigarettes.

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This was my contribution to a four region story about wildlife gardening for the Humane Society’s “All Animals” bi-monthly magazine. A wildlife garden is an environment that attracts various forms of wildlife such as birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects and mammals. It usually contains a variety of habitats that have either been deliberately created by the gardener, or are allowed to self-establish by minimal maintenance and intervention. I never heard about this practice until I was offered to illustrate this story, but after spending the day with Loret at her home in the Town of Holopaw, I can honestly say I’ve never seen such a vibrant living residential garden. If you are interested in learning more about this type of gardening check out the complete article at HERE and follow Loret’s blog HERE. This was also the first story whose lenses of choice consisted of a 400mm in one hand and a 105mm macro in the other. That was fun too. Below are a couple dozen of the over 100 images I provided my editor with.

071013WildlGarden_OctavianCantilli01 Five images on the cover…

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It was fun and challenging keeping up with all these super excited middle school boys. More photos HERE. NewYorkDailyNews_OctavianCantilli