More from the early days

Members of "Silence of the Slams" compete in the 7th annual Epilepsy Foundation Mud Volleyball Tournament Saturday, August 28, 1993 at Zoar Pond State Park in Middletown.
Members of "Silence of the Slams" compete in the 7th annual Epilepsy Foundation Mud Volleyball Tournament Saturday, August 28, 1993 at Zoar Pond State Park in Middletown. Sean D. Elliot/The Day

With my 20th anniversary at The Day in the books (it was July 9th for those who missed my previous blog on the subject of my first published photo) I found and scanned a few more photos from those early months in 1993. I will probably, as time allows, delve into early 1994 as well.

The images hit a range of assignments, from the local angle on the aftermath of a state tragedy in Suffield, to the launch of a submarine and a mud volleyball tournament.

It was late August, not long after my first photo had been published when I found a press release in the newsroom about this mud volleyball tournament.

Now, Middletown is somewhat distant from The Day's traditional coverage area, but I was able to find out that at least one team was from the local area so I made the trip on a Saturday morning. It was worth the trip, seeing the organized, muddy mayhem that was the event. I noticed recently that the tournament is in its 27th year. Perhaps next year I'll go back?

Of course we in Connecticut are familiar enough with tragedy lately. In November of 1993 there was sad case in Suffield where three middle-schoolers, a brother and sister and the sister's friend, died of carbon monoxide poisoning when a gas furnace malfunctioned.

The family dog also suffered ill effects and the local veterinarian sought help from the U.S. Navy to use their hyperbaric chamber, the same way the humans were being treated, to flush the poisonous gas from its bloodstream.

I was sent over to the base to watch through the view ports as two navy divemasters, the vet and the dog were pressurized in the chamber.

The third image is from the launch of the USS Hartford, or technically at the time the PCU Hartford, at General Dynamics Electric Boat Division.

The Day had a photographer in the building at EB for the launch, so I took it on myself to see what it looked like from across the river. I'd never seen a sub launched before and I'd just learned that the Hartford was the second-to-last that would actually slide down the ways.

Of course the saddest part of this story is that the image I liked best and was published that next day, has been lost. A plumbing leak in the basement here at The Day soaked the box of negatives containing that assignment and all but this one frame are destroyed. So, I'll have to settle for this frame as the tiny piece of history I'm able to preserve.

Stay tuned for 1994.

Two U.S. Navy Divemasters and a veterinarian care for a German shepherd in a hyperbaric chamber at the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Groton Friday, November 12, 1993. The dog was suffering from effects of carbon monoxide poisoning after a tragedy in Suffield that claimed the lives of three children.
Two U.S. Navy Divemasters and a veterinarian care for a German shepherd in a hyperbaric chamber at the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Groton Friday, November 12, 1993. The dog was suffering from effects of carbon monoxide poisoning after a tragedy in Suffield that claimed the lives of three children. Sean D. Elliot/The Day
The Pre-Commisioning Unit (PCU) Hartford (SSN 768) slides down the rails at General Dynamics Electric Boat Division into the Thames River Saturday, December 4, 1993. The Hartford, the 60th boat in the Los Angeles class of nuclear-powered attack submarines, was the next to last ship in the class to be launched by the traditional slide down the rails. The USS Columbia, launched Sept. 1994, was the
The Pre-Commisioning Unit (PCU) Hartford (SSN 768) slides down the rails at General Dynamics Electric Boat Division into the Thames River Saturday, December 4, 1993. The Hartford, the 60th boat in the Los Angeles class of nuclear-powered attack submarines, was the next to last ship in the class to be launched by the traditional slide down the rails. The USS Columbia, launched Sept. 1994, was the "last slider". Sean D. Elliot/The Day
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