Rain – Alboreto’s Ferrari And The Policeman – Monaco 1984

monaco.rain&police.signI’ve been soaked by a monsoon in South Korea, endured days of flooding rain in Northern California and drenched by Midwest thunderstorms but the deluge of Monaco 1984 was incomparable.  The day began with a solid downpour and progressed to total inundation.  Despite my rain gear I was swamped.  My electronic Nikon F3’s were saturated and stopped working.  I soldiered on with my old mechanical Nikon F and a hand held meter and when it gave up I guessed at exposures.   Moving around the track to photograph from different vantage points was nearly impossible.

In retrospect taking this picture was probably not the best idea although at the time I didn’t realize the policeman was so clearly evident in the photograph.  As I tried to move up the street he stopped me and in a barrage of French he asked what I was doing and insisted I leave the track.  I never had much confidence in my French but under duress I found my Gallic tongue and explained I was a credentialed photographer hard at work.  My American accent was obvious so he switched to English which was about as fluent as my French.  He demanded my passes which because of the rain were underneath my poncho. It took some time to produce the documents and all the while I continued my efforts at French while he struggled in English.  From the outside our attempts at communication probably seemed quite comic.  Eventually détente was reached and I continued on my waterlogged journey.

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