The “lost” Golden Gate Bridge 50th Anniversary photos

Looking down to Lime Point from the second level above the roadway. This poorly exposed photo was taken in great haste. I popped out of the hatch in full daylight as 600,000 people cavorted below & helicopters and blimps circled about.

Around 1984 I started toying around with night photography, using mostly buildings and bridges as my subjects. I never became a serious photographer; I think the discipline and dedication required in order to become really good at such an involved art were virtues beyond my grasp at that time. I mostly liked climbing around on things at night: taking a camera along was merely an afterthought. In addition, after the demise of the Suicide Club and subsequent death of that groups avatar Gary Warne, my interest in group adventuring and other social activities decreased. For the second time in my young life I became withdrawn and reclusive, eschewing my normal love of company and collective endeavor. Some time later, the 50th anniversary celebration of the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge was at hand and I felt compelled to be a part of it. Three years before, and with the help of several friends from the Suicide Club, I dumped Gary’s ashes from the apex of the Marin tower of the bridge after painting a small portion of the ashes into the one of the vertical shafts inside the tower. I had also installed a small bronze commemorative plaque provided by raconteur and long time San Francisco character Michael Phillips in another hidden corner of this grand structure.The Bridge, one of the most brilliant structures ever conceived of by humans, had been the main symbol of and, miraculously, a kind of genuine clandestine clubhouse for many in the nascent Suicide Club. Gary, Peter Field, Jayson Wechter, Jean Moshofsky, Mark Northcross and many other Suicide Club stalwarts had ascended the tower more times than any of us could recall. Stay tuned for the lost pictures taken later that night. Through some miracle I actually got seven decent night shots of the four thousand foot fire-fall from the road way and attendant fireworks. I’ll upload some of those pictures in my next post.

In my haste to shoot quickly and bail out before the circling copters or any one of the hundreds of law enforcement officials present were to see me in my illicit perch, I unfortunately didn’t get very good daytime pictures.