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When Shooting Weddings And Chasing Storms Collide

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
August 9, 2022 3:00 am

When Shooting Weddings And Chasing Storms Collide

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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August 9, 2022 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Dr. John Marszalek and Eddie Rangel of the Grant Presidential Library tell the story about how Grant went from selling firewood on a street corner, to leading the US Army to victory in the Civil War. Mike Olbinski is an Arizona based photographer. He takes family photos, shoots weddings and also... chases storms. 

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Time Codes:

00:00 - A Presidential Sized Comeback: The Story of U.S Grant

35:00 - When Shooting Weddings And Chasing Storms Collide

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This is Lee Habib and this is our American Stories. And we tell stories about everything here on this show. From the arts to sports and from business to history and everything in between. And we love telling stories about history. As always, all of our stories about American history are brought to us by the great folks at Hillsdale College. Where you can go to study and learn about all the things that matter in life and all the things that are beautiful in life. And if you can't get to Hillsdale, Hillsdale will come to you with their free and terrific online courses.

Go to And now, this is the story of our 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. But this story isn't about his time as Commander in Chief, but rather the events in his life up to that point that shaped and molded him as a man. Here's our own Monty Montgomery on the story. Ulysses S. Grant was born on April 27th, 1822 in the small town of Point Pleasant, Ohio to parents Jesse Root Grant and Hannah Simpson Grant.

Here's Dr. John Marzlak of the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library with more. His mother and father were very, very important people in his life in different ways. His father is more or less of an abolitionist, and he also wrote for a newspaper which leaned in an abolitionist direction. So he's very outgoing. The mother, she is a very, very shy person. She doesn't give Grant the kind of love or support that you might expect for a mother to give. The father was always the presence in his life and always told him what to do, etc., etc., etc. Grant is much more like his mother than he is like his father. So this whole idea of Grant being a quiet person, I think you could trace back to the time when he's living at home.

Grant is pretty much not interested in anything but farming and not interested in doing much of anything else. He's certainly not one of these people who wants to follow his father in his father's footsteps because one of the things his father did was his father worked in a tannery, or owned a tannery actually, and Grant hated it. Grant loved horses. He reacted very well to horses and he knew how to train them, he knew how to get them to do.

He could do things with horses that nobody else could do. And there's a very famous story of his experience with that where he really wanted his horse and his father thought it was just, the horse just wasn't worth it, he shouldn't do that. So Grant kept working on him, working on him, working on him, so finally the father said, okay, go in there, but what I want you to do is make an offer for that horse.

If the neighbor who owns this horse doesn't accept the offer, then raise it up a little bit and raise it up again. And so what Grant did actually, he went to this neighbor and he said, well my father told me that I should come and talk to you and I should offer you this much and if you didn't take that I should up it a little bit and if you didn't take that I should finally pay no more than I think it was $25. And so you have a situation where Grant actually gets what he wants, but he does it in such a way that it's something that he has to live down for the rest of his life. And while Grant was busy developing a love for horses, Jesse Root-Grant was busy developing a roadmap for his son's education. His father was a great believer in education and so Grant was sent out of town to schools where he learned, and he learned I think more about abolitionism than he learned about anything else, but he was very much of a real supporter, was the father of Grant and getting as much education as he possibly could. He was obsessed with education. He wanted his children, and particularly Grant, his most important child as he saw it, to have as much education as possible.

Here's Eddie Rengow of the Ulysses S. Grant Museum with more on Jesse Root-Grant's drive to have his son properly educated. I think one of those important moments was his father's drive to push him to think, to read, to be educated, so to speak. This is sort of unusual at the time for Grant's upbringing.

He was an average person. He would have been expected to take over the family farm, but his father wanted him to study, to continue to learn. And so I think this drive that his father instilled in him, although they didn't have a great relationship, is something that Grant is going to carry through the rest of his life as he develops at West Point and then after that. He didn't want to go to West Point. His father shows up one day and basically tells him, I have secured an appointment for you to West Point. There was somebody in that town that didn't make it, flunked out basically, and so there was an opening and Grant's father was willing to go for it.

And Grant is like, what? You know, it's sort of that typical scenario that has happened over the centuries where parents tell their child that they're going to do something or they'll major in this, and their child sort of says, why? He thought it was a terrible mistake. He'd be a terrible soldier. He thought, and he just disliked the military all his life.

Even when he was a famous general, he didn't particularly care about this. But the reason why his father really secures this appointment from him is because Jesse Ruth Grant knows that West Point will be free. He won't have to pay for this education when he gets that appointment.

And so, you know, that's reason number one. And then reason number two, and perhaps most important, is that this education that West Point is going to provide for him will secure his future for the rest of his life. Once Grant completes that degree, he doesn't have to spend a lot of time in the military, and then he can go and do whatever he wants with a world-class education at the time, of course. And so he's going to West Point sort of against his will, but this is for his future and, you know, for his benefit, so to speak. He only went because he liked traveling, and so he thought, well, maybe this way I'll get to see some of the country that I ordinarily won't see. And he did it because of his father. In fact, he said, since my father said I should go, I guess I better go.

I better change my mind and go. And you're listening to the story of Ulysses S. Grant. And my goodness, without his dad's influence, the world could have been changed. Certainly Ulysses S. Grant's world. When we come back, more of this remarkable life, the early life, the life before the life most of us know about Ulysses S. Grant, here on Our American Story. Music And now, go to the donate button and help us keep the great American stories coming.

That's And we continue with Our American Stories and we return with our look into Ulysses S. Grant's backstory. When we last left off, Grant's father Jesse Root Grant had secured him an appointment at West Point. An appointment Grant would rather not have taken.

And here's Dr. John Marzalek with more. Grant is not a very popular figure at West Point. He doesn't make a lot of friends. He is not somebody that people look up to as one of the individuals who's going to really make a difference. And they're going to say, yeah, that Grant boy, when he gets in the army, he's going to be a terrific person, et cetera, et cetera.

But it doesn't really work out. But even at West Point, he's tried to stay, never read his lessons more than once because he just was bored by it. He spent most of his time reading novels more than anything else. One of the important moments, I think, for Grant, even even at a time where I think he's very unhappy, but he begins to develop his love for horses a little bit more into sort of a more useful skill. Grant is actually a very good horseman. He breaks several records that are going to stand for a long time at West Point.

This is a skill that later, especially in the Mexican War and in the Civil War as well, are going to be are going to be important. Grant would graduate West Point in a middling position within his class, 21st out of some 40 students. But he would meet someone there who would change his life and lead him to someone who would become very important to him. I think two of the most important things that that happened to him is he met two people. One person was a fellow named Fred Dent and Dent was his roommate.

Dent said, look, you're going you're going to be going you're going to be going to the St. Louis area. My father and my family has a has a place there and you're welcome to come anytime. And so he does go there and he meets his future wife, Julia. Of course, Grant, like we said, comes from a very modest abolitionist family from Ohio. And Julia is the daughter of a relatively well-to-do plantation owner with a pretty sizable number of enslaved persons working at the plantation. And so her family is part of the slave economy, whereas Grant's is not. Now, Julia's father was not very thrilled with the idea of her being courted by Grant. And Grant's father, Jesse Ruth Grant, was certainly not thrilled with the idea of his son courting the daughter of a slave owner. It's my understanding that the Grant family, no members of the Grant family, showed up to the wedding. One thing that really did draw them together, the one thing was Julia liked to horseback ride. And so they would take rides together, you know, he on his horse and she on her horse along the plantation. And that that, I think, helped bring them bring them together. And interestingly enough, Julia is one of the few people who thinks that that Grant is going to amount to anything.

Most people say, no, he's not going to be good. In fact, the father, her father didn't like Grant at all and thought he was going to be he's an absolute loser. Grant would soon find himself in a more uncomfortable position than simply dealing with an unimpressed father in law.

He would be shipped out to the front in the Mexican-American war. And Grant went despite his personal opinion on the conflict and the fact he would be assigned to a job which he didn't like. Quartermaster, a glorified paper pusher in the eyes of Grant. He's one of these people who believes that if you're given an order, like with his father, if you're given an order, you follow the order, you do what you're supposed to do. And so you have a situation where Grant in numerous occasions is willing to do the quartermaster work, even though he doesn't like it, but he'll do it anyway. But yet when he gets a chance, he sneaks into into battle. He really learns a lot from General Zachary Taylor.

He sees the way he commands troops, the way he inspires, the way he leads his men from the front, not from the back. These moments are really important for Grant, even though Grant opposed the Mexican war. He saw it as a war of aggression towards a neighboring state.

He thought it was unjust. He understood that the political motivations behind it from President James K. Polk to essentially start a war with Mexico to gain this territory that Mexico would refuse to sell and continue to expand west to fulfill manifest destiny. Grant finds a problem with this, but nevertheless, his time in the Mexican war really becomes this really important moment for Grant. And after the Mexican-American war, Grant was sent all across the expanded United States to remote forts in order to protect settlers, falling into a depression as a result of being away from home and family for so long. In fact, one of the children, he doesn't even see until several years later when he shows up back at his house in St. Louis, the child doesn't even recognize him. And what Grant was doing, he was drinking during that time, and the reason he was drinking was because he missed his wife and his family so much.

One could almost argue that he's self-medicating himself. And this led to problems with his superiors, especially a man by the name of Robert Buchanan, who would issue him an ultimatum after finding Grant hungover on the job. Buchanan says, you can't behave like that. We can't do that.

So you have a choice. You either straighten out or you resign. And so what actually happens is Grant doesn't want to resign, but he has no choice. This is where these rumors really that will follow him for the rest of his life originate of him being a drunk.

He was not addicted to alcohol in the same sense that an alcoholic is, as opposed to perhaps more of an abusive alcohol to alleviate some of that depression or angst that he has. That episode just made it so much more difficult for him, and he's had to battle that for the rest of his life and even to the present day. After resigning from the military, Grant would return home and return home broke.

There's a couple instances where he's in such bad shape that he's got to sell firewood on the street corners of St. Louis. And there's a very famous, famous episode where Grant and Sherman, who don't know each other all that well, meet. And I think Sherman says, well, heck of a thing for former West Pointers, isn't it, Grant? And Grant just said, yeah, I guess it is.

And that was about it. So he did that, and he also had to sell a favorite watch so he could buy his family, his kids something for Christmas, so you have some of that. So there's just a number of instances where Grant tries things, and usually, come to think of it, usually it has something to do with farming.

And that's something he thinks he can really do well, but he doesn't do well. And with no other options, Grant would be forced to ask his father for a job. What happened was he went to his father, which was an incredibly difficult thing for him to do, to go to his father and say, give me a job in your store where we sell these tanned goods. So Grant doesn't like that. He's not involved.

He doesn't do anything to do with tanning, but he's involved in selling, and he tours the Midwest, and he sells. And the father's doing quite successfully at this particular time. So yeah, Grant convinces his father, I can't make it on my own, give me a job in the store. And he's got a brother, an older brother who's ill, and so he helps him. And it's a very, very confused thing, but the result is that Grant does work for the father, and the father never lets him forget that. And so for the rest of his life, even when he's president, the father is still trying to get stuff from Grant for some of his friends. What a rich and complicated early history, Grant going to a college he doesn't want to go to, doesn't like the military. But while there develops this craft, this skill, horsemanship, by the way, that mattered if you were a soldier back in the 19th century.

Your ability to move and maneuver with a horse. And my goodness, the drinking, well, we can understand it away from his kid. His kid didn't even recognize him when he comes back to see him, and ultimately chooses to resign knowing he won't be able to give up drinking. Comes back home selling firewood on a street corner, and then in the end having to beg his dad for a job he never wanted. When we come back, more of this remarkable life story, the early life of Ulysses S. Grant.

These were real life people, folks, who walked around before us with real life stories and real life heartbreak. And when we come back, more of this remarkable story of Ulysses S. Grant here on Our American Stories. And we return to Our American Stories and our look into the life of Ulysses S. Grant. When we last left off, Grant, he was at his lowest point. It was at this time that Grant would be given a slave by the name of William Jones.

Here's Eddie Rangel with more on that story. His father-in-law gifts him a, or I guess, gives him a slave, I guess is what I'm trying to say. And Grant works alongside him, which is something that would have been frowned upon by, you know, white slave-owning society of the time. However, eventually, you know, even at his lowest, he realizes that, well, one, this is not for him. And so he emancipates or he frees William Jones, probably at one of his lowest times, when he could really have benefited from the monetary value that an enslaved person could have brought him.

I think it's an important part in the story of Grant because you really get to see how he evolves over time. I think it's best to say that he felt he was sort of ambivalent. He didn't really care about institutional slavery, but he also didn't speak out openly against it, at least in his early years.

And so he's just kind of in between there, not really caring for it, not really loving it. And so that's an important moment, you know, before the Civil War for Grant. Julia thinks that slavery is wonderful. In fact, she even holds on, you know, more or less holds on to a slave throughout the Civil War, where Grant comes to see that slavery is evil. And if you're going to understand why there is a Civil War, you have to understand that people are fighting to defend slavery.

He thought the Civil War was a terrible thing, that it shouldn't happen, there's no reason to split the country apart, slavery was not worth doing it, nothing was worth doing it. And the way he really got into the war, more or less he got into the war, was they had a big town meeting in Galena. And he was chosen as the person to run the town meeting, simply because he was the only West Pointer that everybody in town knew. And so the result is that you have Grant running the meeting, and then once he runs the meeting, and once he gets company really set up in Galena, then it doesn't much matter because they say, well, that's nice, but nobody wants to give Grant what he thinks he deserves because he's a West Pointer, that he get a regiment until finally the governor of Illinois, Yates, Robert Yates, gives him the 21st regiment because nobody else can make these guys tow the line, and somehow Grant can, which is an amazing thing in itself, that Grant would be the one that could step in there and get these guys in line, because normally he just doesn't really play much of a role in this sort of thing.

In fact, Yates, the job that Yates gives him is based on his quartermaster skill. But in this case, he becomes the leader of the 21st Illinois regiment. And soon Grant would get his first taste of battle in the American Civil War. Grant is leading this 21st regiment, which he straightened out pretty well, leading him into battle, but he's scared to death. In fact, he says in his memoirs how his heart kept moving into his throat until he gets over this hill, and he's expecting to find the Confederates ready to clean his clock, and they don't.

They're gone. And he comes to the conclusion, you know, these guys are as afraid of me as I am of them, and this is something he never forgets for the rest of the Civil War. I think one of the big things that you have to understand is that Grant understood that the people he was fighting were just human beings. They were some of the people he had met before, they were some people that they were going to meet later on, but he came to understand that Robert E. Lee, for example, who he had met, Lee wouldn't admit that he met him, but he did meet him, during the Mexican-American War, that Lee was no Superman. He was just, remember the famous statement he says where somebody is worried about, well, what's Lee going to do? And Grant says, look, don't worry about Lee, you worry about yourself. You do what you keep indicating that he's going to do a triple somersault and land behind our lines.

It's just not going to happen. I know this guy. He's just another human being.

And the other, secondly, that these are fellow Americans that you're fighting against. Grant's demeanor was more like his mother as opposed to his father. He was a calm individual.

He didn't really show a lot of emotion. And so if you take his Mexican War experience, learning from Taylor, learning from Scott, his own demeanor, you really see a very calm, calculated individual in battle. He's also going back to his earlier time when he's willing to act whether or not he has the power to do it. He's just going to do it. The whole idea is you keep moving forward, you keep moving forward.

If you're going this way and you're stopped, it doesn't matter. Keep going, keep going, keep going. And that's what Lincoln comes to believe. And after winning countless victory after countless victory in the West, Lincoln would promote Grant to General. When Grant is promoted and he's recalled back to Washington, you know, no one really knows him.

He's sort of quietly been fighting in the West, just whipping the rebels, so to speak. But he comes back to Washington and when he checks into the hotel with his son, they basically put him up in an attic. You know, Grant, again, his personality was not flashy. He didn't really like attention or anything like that.

He was never known to be, you know, have his uniform super clean or anything. And so he just goes along with it until the clerk, after a few minutes, realizes who he is because they had read about him. And certainly they could see pictures of him, but they weren't accurate to what Grant looked like. He sees that U.S. Grant has signed in and he realizes the mistake he's made. And so he very quickly puts the hotel staff to, I believe, get a guest out of the room so the General Grant can have a room. And then certainly when he when he goes to the White House to meet President Lincoln, you know, it's full of people. And so here it is again, shy Grant walking in into this room full of high society Washington people.

I don't want to say he shrinks in the moment, but he's certainly taken by the moment of Lincoln sort of presenting him to all these Washington elite. And at the end of the war and after seeing so much bloodshed, Grant would show humility and respect to his former enemies at Appomattox, allowing them to keep their guns and horses, provided they simply return home. He pretty much follows what Lincoln has said. Lincoln kept saying, let them off easy, let them off easy. So one of the things that happens at Appomattox is they get together and Grant is willing to give Lee and give the Confederates and treat them fairly. And what he does is we're not going to put it to you, Confederates.

We're going to let you off easy, which Lincoln agrees with and other Americans agree with, because after all, these are all Americans. And great job to Monty Montgomery for putting that together and a special thanks to the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library in Starkville, Mississippi, for their contributions to this piece. And what an American story. What a turnaround from selling wood on a street corner, begging his dad for a job as a grown man to only a couple of years later leading the U.S. Army in the Civil War and in the end becoming a U.S. president.

Just remarkable. And my goodness, he's charged to always be moving forward and to take action. Well, this is why Lincoln finally put him in command, because he was just willing to fight. And also what he said about, well, your enemy or something you might fear and perhaps his greatest insight as a commander. They feared us as much as we feared them. The life of U.S. Grant here on Our American Story. And we continue with Our American Stories. Up next, the story of Mike Olbinski, an Arizona-based photographer that takes family photos, shoots weddings and also chases storms.

Here's Mike with how he got into this unique line of work. All I know is I've loved weather my entire life. I know that there's a moment where a lightning bolt hit behind her house and I was outside on the patio with my dad watching the storm and a lightning bolt hit probably like a hundred feet away, a couple hundred feet away. That was like seven or eight. And I just remember it still vividly. Like, it was so bright and intense. I don't even know if I remember the sound of thunder.

All I remember is I couldn't see anything for like felt like five, 10 seconds. It was so bright. And that always stuck with me. And that came back to me. That memory came back to me when I heard some other storm chasers talking about why they loved chasing tornadoes. And when they were little kids, their trailer park with their parents' own got hit by a tornado.

And their mom, they said anyway, got sucked out a window and then came back in and then jumped on top of her two boys and was holding them down on the couch or the floor to make sure, you know, they didn't, nothing happened to them. And then those boys grew up into teenagers and all they want to do is chase tornadoes. They were fascinated with them. So I was like, so that's like a little origin story kind of a thing that they had.

And I'm like, maybe this was mine. Because when I was getting into photography, it was lightning is what I wanted to shoot. That was the, that was what I was looking at online, seeing people take these pictures of lightning. And I'm like, how do you do that? I want to do that.

That's amazing. And so that's really what kind of drew me to, I think, photography in the first place. But even after, you know, kind of figuring that out once I was into it, I was looking back at old photos of mine from high school and later. And I have a photo from high school of a really, you know, kind of crazy severe storm. And I couldn't, I guess at the time I couldn't help it. I ran outside with a camera and took a picture of the storm. And, but that was, you know, when I was like 16 or something.

And so I think that's always been there. I just didn't ever realize that was anything I could do. So I was just staring at lightning photos, couldn't believe people could take those pictures and I want to learn how to do that.

Around the same time my daughter was born, she's almost 13 now. And all I, of course, want to do is take pictures of her. And, you know, I had a little dinky point and shoot camera that could do really close up macro mode. And so when she was a little baby, I'm just sitting there taking really close ups of her face and her hands. And I'm like, man, I really like this.

This is fun. And, and then I tried to use that and get picture of lightning and I captured somehow with this dumb camera, this amazing lightning strike right by my house. And I was like, holy crap, I want to do this.

This is amazing, but I can't do it with this camera. I need a better camera. And I went home that night and told my wife, Gina, I need a real camera can do long exposures.

This point and click thing is no good for me. And she was like, all right, well, let's do it. And we sold all our DVD, like box sets of DVDs we had at the time that we really weren't watching, but they actually sold for good money back then on eBay. It was surprising and made like five or 600 bucks, bought my first real camera. And then, and then from there it was, you know, taking pictures of my daughter with a better camera, better lenses, doing, you know, you know, cooler stuff with it and then getting a little bit better.

We're friends are like, Hey, can you just take a few Christmas card picture for us? Which is like the old story that always happens when people get a camera. And then I started, you know, taking pictures of storms.

And so it kind of all kind of happened at the same time. And I, you know, I shoot weddings and family stuff now on top of doing the storms. And so I still am doing the same thing.

I never decided really anything. It was just more of, I want to chase these storms and capture these images. And back in the day I was watching storm chasers on discovery channel. And that was a big kind of inspiration because I didn't even know people really did that until I was watching that. I was just blown away.

I'm like, wow, there's people out there that that like this as much as me. And then they drive thousands of miles to chase it. And at that time I would have been just waiting for storms around my house. Like, wow, I have a better camera.

And now I can actually drive out and try to get closer to storms that are that aren't right here and increase my odds of getting good pictures and good lightning photos. And that's really kind of how it started. It just slowly grew.

You know, I just would start going chasing. And then it also my daughter was also kind of part of it because, you know, I was starting to go out a lot. And so, you know, to to kind of justify me being gone all the time, I would take Lila with me.

She was a year and a half. She'd watch movies in the back and give my wife a break at night. And it was kind of my way to be able to get out a little more. So we kind of started doing that together. And then every, you know, every summer it was just kind of driving more and more around Arizona. And then at some point I decided I'm going to go try to chase a supercell or tornado out in the plains and went out for one day in like 2009 or 2010.

And it was a horrible bust. And then, you know, a couple of days the next year, a couple of days the year after. And and then that just all slowly grew. But probably I would say if there was ever like a conscious decision was in 2011 and July 5th, actually 2011, I time lapsed and it was like my third ever time lapse. I was just practicing kind of.

But there's this monumental apocalyptic wall of dust coming into Phoenix. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before. And then I posted that online within an hour or two. And then it went viral.

It was all across the world on all the news stations, everything. At that moment, I remember thinking, man, I really love doing this. And people and then people ended up licensing that video for commercials and all this stuff. And I'm like, man, I love doing this and I would do it for free.

But here's people paying me for it. And so there was a decision there that I'm like, OK, I'm going to I'm going to keep doing this time lapse thing and seeing what kind of footage I can get and then seeing what comes of it. And so I just kept doing that. And then slowly, you know, people would see some things and license it. In 2013, I had another good one go viral.

And that's been licensed and still licensed to this day. And and so it was kind of like confirmation that I had made the right decision. But then I also started putting all these time lapse clips I shot. I started putting them to music and making little short films out of them. You know, they started off kind of crappy, in my opinion, but I did my best. But as time went on, they got better and better and they would get they were more popular. People hadn't really seen that as much. They would get staff picks on Vimeo.

They would get shared on a bunch of blogs all over. I get them in film festivals and things like that. So I think a lot of that stuff has just been kind of a progression of just continued kind of my my passion for it is what really drives me. It's almost like an addiction.

So I never kind of quit. I just keep going and going and going. And when I'm out chasing, I never it's hard for me to ever stop. You know, I mean, if I'm by myself and there's lightning or something, I will just keep chasing, you know, and other if there's people with me, I'm like, I got to go to a hotel.

It's tired and stuff. But but for me, I just go to the ends of the earth kind of thing. And and so I think, you know, however my story has been, it's been one of just being passionate and dedicated to what I do and kind of just continually proving that all the time. You know, I just every year it's keep chasing, keep getting footage, keep putting these films out and kind of being consistent with it. And so, yeah, at some point, you know, I had I have a book published on Amazon and I got I won an Emmy with a local news station here that used my footage about five, six years ago. So I got that Emmy.

So the verified thing on Twitter and Instagram and all that stuff was kind of a result of that. It's been about 10, 11 years now. We're just trying to be really consistent.

It's been. And as and as I've grown, you know, myself in my photography, the time lapse stuff, people around the world will have kind of known me for this kind of thing, like the BBC National Geographic. They come to me for things where this year people are, you know, they're trying to get footage for a show. And so I'm like a forecaster for them. I'm guiding you see that we just did a TV production and I was kind of a guide, a forecaster.

And a couple of years ago, Pearl Jam license, a bunch of clips from the stock footage place I use and have all like a ton of my footage in it. And then they did a preview, a little sneak trailer for it where they were all on stage playing in the background was just my lightning time lapse flashing behind Pearl Jam. And I'm sitting there just going like, this isn't that surprising, but it's also insanely surprising. And I just can't believe it. And I'm really, really kind of humbled and blown away that that this ever happened.

And all I really did was want to just chase storms and take pictures. And I just love it that much. And somehow this has happened. And a great job on the production by our team who really combined their efforts, Madison, Faith and Robbie. And a special thanks to Mike Olbinski.

And again, you heard it from him. He does take pictures of weddings and family photos and he loves doing it. But the real thing he loves, the passion is the chase and the chase of storms. Lightning drew him to photography.

Storms pull them in all the way. The story of Mike Olbinski. Like so many Americans, their passion becomes their business. Their business is their passion. His story here on Our American Stories.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-17 08:22:51 / 2023-02-17 08:37:22 / 15

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