The End of the Beginning

20 JULY 1979 — Of all the images that I’ve selected and scanned for this blog, this is the only one for which I cannot find the print that was actually transmitted to UPI. Perhaps the transmitted version got lost in the urgency and tumult of those heady days. We worked long hours. Slept short nights. So the transmitted version, probably better exposed and certainly with typed caption paper, simply got lost in the shuffle. But we can see at the bottom of the print that somebody had scrawled “7/20/79.” And I remember making the image in Managua just as some Sandinistas approached the Intercontinental Hotel, which you can barely see in the background.

It was the end. Or, at least, it was the end of the beginning.

The image making and storytelling skills I acquired during this conflict are the foundation of my role today as backpack journalist. As we mark the 30th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution, I’m posting scans of some of the original images I made for UPI during that war, and explaining their significance. I do this in recognition and gratitude to the country and people who have given me so much. Thank you.