Sunday, March 18, 2012

2 Great Photographers and Friends LEE BALTERMAN & ISHIMOTO.

Ishimoto at a Chicago Street Fair... Photo by his friend and fellow Photographer (c) Lee Balterman

Lee Balterman always talked well of his friend and fellow photographer Ishimoto. I was not aware until today that he had passed away the month before. He always sent Lee his new books, or signed prints. Both Balterman and Ishimoto have been represented for years at Chicago's S. Daiter Gallery. I am sure Lee was not aware of his friends death. A few months ago Lee gave me a box with a mix of used frames. A few weeks later, I broke a glass, and looked if there were any the same size in the box. I found a couple with prints still in the frames. When I took them out of the frames, I found a messages to Lee from Ishimoto, and both were signed, with one having a imprinted seal. I brought them back to Lee. Over the years Lee has given me many photographs , a great mix of his images and
some of me, Today I realize that Lee had given me a print of Ishimoto... taken by Lee at a Chicago Street Fair. This morning I read about Ishimoto's death in Japan last month.

Here is a Link about Ishimoto's Death.

It would be great if Daiter Gallery have a 2 man SHOW ... Lee and Ishimoto.

Balterman to Hartigan to Pritikin = A team for the ages...

Lee Balterman with Jerome Holtzman near the Bagel (c) J. Pritikin
Lee Balterman shoots the "Bleacher Preacher" in the old bleachers.
Carmella Hartigan, her smile was brighter then all of Wrigley's Lights! Photo(c) Lee balterman
Lee shoots Jerry & Carmella (c)Lee Balterman
In the Bleachers with a warning at the time they raised the cheap-seats from$4. to 6 bucks.
Today they are about $46. for a kid or an adult. photo(c) Lee Balterman

These past few days had me thinking of a few of my good buddies. Lee Balterman, a well know Chicagoan and photographer. His credits are legendary and found on the pages of Time/Life and Sports Illustrated and Black Star. For many of the 25 years that I roamed the fabled bleachers, many of them where with Lee and Carmella Hartigan. Carmella lit up the bleachers before there were lights. We sat together in the left centerfield stands and became fixtures. She once had a span of 7 seasons not missing a Cubs home game and taking 2 buses to the ballpark and again going home. Carmella was well known. She died at 101 in 2002.

Lee was 91. I learned alot about life and Chicago, through Carmella's stories and Lee's non stop images for the past 60 years. I'm just posting these images... and you'll understand why I never had time for work when I could have so much fun with these guys in the bleachers,on Rush Street or having a hot-fudge sundae at the old Zephyr.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lee Balterman has past away in Chicago... (c) J.Pritikin

100 year old Carmella Hartigan throwing out first pitch at a Cubs game, and it was a strike! Photo by Lee Balterman
Ernie Banks and myself in front of Wrigley Field. Photo by Lee Balterman
My photo of Lee, at one of his shows at Daiter Gallery. (c) J. Pritikin
Lee taking a close up of me just a couple of months ago (c) Jerry Pritikin

Chicago 3/17/2012 : Yesterday Chicago legendary Photographer Lee Balterman past away, he was 91 years old. I knew him as a good friend for over 25 years. His career spaned 60 years, including many years with Time/Life, Sports Illustrated and Black Star. He is represented by Daiter Gallery here in Chicago. We had a few things in common, our love for baseball, our parents and for using Chicago as a backdrop for many of our photographs. For over 50 years, Lee documented the constantly changing happenings on Milwaukee Avenue. It's interesting to see prices on hot dog/hamburger joints and food stores windows during that time. The changing styles of clothing and the different ethnic groups at the various Chicago seasons. I tried talking Lee into getting a digital camera, but like old faithful he used his Lieca and Nikon cameras. I would not be exaggerating to say in his lifetime, he shot over a million film frames and slides, including a hundreds of me as the "Bleacher Preacher" at Wrigley Field and Kane County Cougar games. So far there has been no announcements for services. On Monday, Paul from Daiter Galery made arrangements with WTTW/PBS Chicago Tonight, to rerun their interview with him for his last show at Daiters.

I was so lucky to count Lee and Carmella Hartigan, the Lady in the Pink hat as Cubs announcer
Harry Caray used to say, as good friends. I learned alot from them about life and this great city.
Together we had shared seats in the bleachers, or walks around the "Friendly Confines" and Hot Fudge Sundaes at the Zephyr. I'll be constantly reminded of the void left in my life by them, and thankful for all the good times we had together.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Shalom Lee Balterman,Always a good guy! (c) J.Pritikin

Lee, With Paul from Daiter Gallery and myself in the middle.

A recent photo of Lee (c) J Pritikin

Lee and his favorite pastime, behind his Leica camera (c)J Pritikin

Chicago:March 10th,2012

Today, I spent a few moments with my friend Lee, he had slipped into a coma and now it's just a matter of hours. As I stated on my blog, how I met Lee shortly after the final out of the 1984 Cubs/Padres Play-Offs. Since that time... we shared many hours at Cubs games,bringing in a few New Years and shared quality time, and we always talked about the future. His life was a labor of love and his stories endless until now. In my many years roaming the "Friendly Confines"of Wrigley Field, I had the pleasure of meeting a multitude of interesting fans, and looking back... Lee and Carmella Hartigan were the best of my friends that I ever knew. We always had fun, often stopping at the old Zephyr after a game... or taking long rides along the lake up to Highland Park or going out to the Arboretum, or to visit our old neighborhoods. We were the Tinkers,to Evers to Chance "Combo of friends". I liked the story he always told someone he just met... That he could of been a Major League ballplayer, except for one thing... he had no talent! However, he had great talent as a photographer spending over 50 years as a Time-Life,Sports Illustrated,Forbes and freelance photographer... and a few Life Magazine covers too boot! He loved Chicago, his parents, his friends and being behind his camera. He was well represented by Daiter Gallery. I am so lucky to have known him since 1984. He would of celebrated his 92 Birthday in July.
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