March 23, 1982: Duane and Laura Spindler of Benicia, California, hug after the return of the USS Coral Sea to Alameda Air Station. The aircraft carrier returned from a seven-month tour that included 78 days in the Indian Ocean.
The carrier's return sparked a media event. Politicians were fighting for a share of the Navy's buildup during the Reagan years.
I covered the ship's arrival for the Vallejo Times-Herald. By staying after most photographers departed, I got this image of the Spindlers – which told the story.
Later that day, I offered this image to Associated Press but was told they had already moved a photo on the regional news wire. After I promised a better picture, AP moved this during a Northern California geographical split.
The next morning, this photograph appeared on the front page of many Bay Area newspapers, including the San Jose Mercury -News and Oakland Tribune.
The USS Coral Sea was decommissioned in 1990 and later scrapped.
My thoughts on images past and present.