Friday, December 20, 2013

Photojournalist Joe Rimkus Jr. Reflects On His 40-Year Career At The Miami Herald

For the first time since the Miami Dolphins have started playing football, there won't be a Joe Rimkus on the sidelines.
By Joe Rimkus Jr.
My father worked as a photographer at the evening newspaper, The Miami News, covering everything from John F. Kennedy to the Miami Dolphins. I followed in his footsteps and started work at the Miami Herald in 1973 while still attending Florida International University. At first I worked in the photo lab developing and printing reporters film from all the Miami Herald bureaus all over the State, gradually working my way up to staff photographer. I’m now retiring after 40 years photographing history.

I mainly worked in the Broward County bureau of the Herald, but I often covered news and sports in Miami including the Dolphins, Florida Marlins, several Super Bowls, college championships, the University of Miami football team and traveling to Omaha with UM for the College World Series.

Some of my most memorable assignments were covering the Olympics for Knight-Ridder and then McClatchy newspapers. The best time was the Torino Olympics. Based in the Italian Alps in a ski condo with Alan Greth of the Contra Costa Times, I learned fast how to cover sports I’ve never heard of like snowboard cross competition. Living in South Florida I never had much experience covering luge, bobsled, ski jumping, halfpipe and curling. Alan and I had a good time working during the day and eating "anti-stress spaghetti" in a family run great Italian restaurant in this 500 year-old town.
One of my stories I often tell was the time I was covering the NFC Championship game at Soldier field with the wind chill at minus 30 degrees. For a Florida boy it was quite the education on how not to shoot in cold weather. Besides my film getting brittle and tearing from the cold, my Canon T90's viewfinder flashed HELP then died. Frozen up!

For now, my time will be split time between Sunrise and Vero Beach where I have my "retirement" home. I’m hoping to catch more fish, reduce my golf handicap, take art classes at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, do some freelance and finally take it easy.

It’s been a whirlwind ride and a great experience working with some of the greatest photographers and journalists anywhere. I've learned an awful lot about photography and life from our staff and I will never forget that.....



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