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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
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2 November 2011

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Greg Collins


A reprieve from the cold for a few days... temps soared into the 60's and, as I am off, got alot of work done around the house today. More tomorrow prior to returning to the grind on Friday (yes, I am on shift this weekend). This evening I got a chance to scan some DDR documents for the MfS (Stasi) sports organization, Dynamo and will couple these scans with their badges and add to my DDR collection tomorrow at some point. Two of the documents contain actual signatures (not stamps) of Erich Mielke, the Minister of State Security.

Also, two more badges and a book arrived from a contact in Chisinau earlier today... the book is a 2010 coffee-table book of PMR awards and medals given by the government to visiting entities. I already have the 2004 edition, so these are a full set of available books on the subject. The badges are both for the MVD there and one is the PMR's version of the old KGB "egg" badge- very excited to have one of those. It appears in both books and is considered an important militia award. Hope to take images of both for the PMR gallery tomorrow. Also got the idea of adding images of the books I use in collecting to the galleries- this may be of interest to those seeking information on a particular branch of awards collecting. And, as I consider these books to be an integral part of the collections to which they're affiliated, why not? While I don't generally share my sources, I can at least share the sources of knowledge. May help someone.

The judging of the photo competition must be in full swing by now and I do not envy the job of the judges. I saw so many really good images submitted. The good thing about being behind the commercial photography camera is that, other than your own impression of whether or not you've answered the customer's visual challenge, the customer's check say's you won. Pretty simple. So, in the spirit of that, I leave you with an image I shot back in the late '90's. As you can see, it was made into a poster. I shot it on 4" x 5", asa 50 Ektachrome with a Sinar view camera, 2400 watt-second Speedotron Black Line lighting system, set the type on an IBM pc and delivered it to a printer in Richmond who could handle the sheet size (one measure was 26" as I recall) and supervised the printing- 4 colour process with a varnish coat over the image of the girl to make it "pop". It was aimed at the Virginia Military Institute during the decision making process of whether of not to go co-ed. I understand Dabney Coleman (actor- you may remember him as the boss in "9 to 5") took 125 of them back to Hollywood with him. Apparently he attended VMI and was there on Alumni Day when the posters hit.


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Nice photo. Don't forget to add the signatures of Mielkle to the German signature database.

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