Fall 2007/Winter 2008
A Globe-Trotter Finds Roots in Wine Country
By Betty Teller
Photojournalist Chick Harrity has photographed royalty, heads of state, nine presidents-and the mayor of Calistoga.
He's spent more time at the White House than any president. He's traveled on Air Force One, accompanied heads of state around the world, and photographed troops in Vietnam. What does one do after a career like this? Some serious recharging-and for Chick Harrity, that meant moving to Calistoga.
Harrity's 51-year career as a globe-trotting photographer started at his local newspaper in Pennsylvania. In 1965, he got a job with the Associated Press and landed in the Washington, D.C., bureau, where he worked for 36 years-16 years for AP and 20 for U.S. News & World Report. During that time, he accompanied Nixon on an around-the-world trip; went to China with presidents Ford, Reagan, and Bush; and was in Vietnam in 1973-returning to that country 27 years later with President Clinton. He hit the campaign trail with Nixon, Reagan, Mondale, and Dukakis. And all the while clicking his shutter. After years of increasingly longer "re-charging" vacations, Harrity and his wife, Yvonne Henry, decided to relocate permanently. They thought about where they felt most relaxed-and the answer was Calistoga. They moved to the town in 2001.
Harrity doesn't call his move retirement, however, just a "permanent sabbatical." "I haven't had a day off since I moved out here," he says. He's a contributor at the Calistoga Tribune and is enjoying numerous projects. One of them-a series of images documenting Napa winemaking-is on display at Enoteca wine shop. Another he's been waiting for time to start? Sifting through his archive for forgotten gems from a wholly amazing career."