Thursday, February 12, 2009

Between a Red Rock and a Hard Place

Fellow staffer Kevin Kreck just pointed out a letter to the editor concerning a photograph I took that went with a story about  the 100th anniversary of the Garden of the Gods.

The letter:  Parents Must Act Responsibly

When I saw the front page of The Gazette on Sunday my stomach felt sick.  There was a picture of a man holding his child while climbing in the Garden of the Gods, putting that little 2-year-ld in danger's way.
Why do parents think so little of their responsibility for their child's welfare that they do stupid things like this?  You can see parents running or climbing Pikes Peak with a child in a back pack.  One slip,  a backward fall, and that child is hurt or dead.
Parents must think of their children first ahead of their own enjoyment of the moment.  I you can't do that,  you shouldn't be a parent.

Margaret Maloney

I agree that parents should be mindful of all things that are happening around a young helpless child.  It is a parent's responsibility to make sure their child is safe 24 hours a day.  But this photograph isn't exactly telling the whole story.
First off David Natalizie and his daughter Carianne were walking on a rock formation on a very dry and warm day.  There was no snow or rain so the rocks weren't slippery  Secondly, they were about 18 inches off the ground on a sloping piece of rock heading towards me.  What Margaret and all of the other viewers of this photo can't see is that David's wife is about 6 inches to their right with her arms out just in case they had a fall of approximately a foot and a half.  David seemed like he was in complete control.  He took his time walking the 18 inches back to the ground constantly looking around making sure he didn't misstep. 
 I don't think he was endangering his child the way Margaret has assumed.  Therefore, in my professional opinion he was no being a bad parent.  He was just trying to help make a memorable photograph for his family's photo album and being very safe while doing so.
By the way I have a two-year old son who has stood on a rock in Garden of the Gods higher than that one.  I'd say it was about 30 inches off the ground.  He didn't fall off either.

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