People: A year in photos

Meghan Ralston, Columbus Alive

1.Theyear I got my editor to run in a hot dog costume

Anytime you have a hot dog costume available, I highly suggest putting someone of authority in it, and then make them run. Hilarious. Every. Time.

We were doing a story on the Columbus Clippers and they graciously let us partake in a little mascot racing. Justin McIntosh volunteered his amazing calf muscles. I still watch the gif of him running about once a month.

2.Theyear I met Fritz the Night Owl

Fritz has been a cultural figure in Columbus for at least as long as I've been alive. I remember his shows from when I was a kid. Honestly, until I got older, I thought his show ran nationally. I thought everyone had the pleasure of watching Fritz the Night Owl, but instead he's a treasure specifically to Columbus. When Fritz re-mastered and published his old shows and then made plans to show classic movies like "Jaws," I was interested. When we showed up at his house - yeah, I've been to HIS HOUSE - he had his owl glasses and his five Emmys ready to go. Talk about a good day.

3.Theyear I saw a dude pick up girls with chains

Chris DeVille and I went to The Spot Athletics to interview and photograph JL Holdsworth, who was competing in the Mighty Mitt competition at The Arnold Classic this past spring. JL had the idea of using the chains and the girls, and I just captured the moment. I think one of my favorite parts of the whole thing was when Chris turned to me and just said, "2 Chainz."

4.Theyear when On Friday We Wear Pink

Following three brutal assaults on gay members of the community, Nina West and Co. put on a show at Axis nightclub in the Short North to raise money for BRAVO (Buckeye Regional Anti-Violence Organization) to help the victims and to try to prevent this from happening again. Nina called, but a few people didn't just show up, the entire city of Columbus did. Alison Rose, Outlook Columbus, FCKH8 and SugarDaddy's all made pink T-shirts available just for the day. The Columbus police were present at the show for security and also as members of the community. Axis was completely full of people, gay and straight, who were there for the cause of tolerance and peace. It was truly inspiring to witness the event, and it still gives me goose bumps and a lump in my throat when I think about it.

5.Theyear we dressed Justin and Jackie like "Mad Men"

Season 6 of "Mad Men" was a big deal this year. In honor of the then up-coming season, we dressed staff reporter Jackie Mantey and editor Justin McIntosh like "Mad Men" characters. And then we made them drink all day. This photo was taken at The Top, which was our fourth and last stop for the day. By that time, we had become slightly less focused on getting the photos than we had been earlier in the day. But it resulted in hilarious outtakes of both Justin and Jackie. I think this one is my favorite because Jackie looks insane and Justin looks like he's blindly reaching for his drink in reaction to her craziness. A print-out of this hangs on our office walls - true story.

6.TheyearTanisha Robinson was in People to Watch

Our People to Watch issue was one of my favorite features this year. I got to meet and celebrate 12 people who were important in Columbus this year. Tanisha founded and runs two businesses in Columbus right now - she's done even more in the past - Print Syndicate and Ticketfire. She's successful, funny and kind. While we were photographing her for the issue, she found a paint can in a big pile of scraps and trash, and then she asked if we could take her photo with it. Weird? Non sequitur? Maybe, but totally awesome.

7.TheyearI first saw the keg bike

The brainchild of Ray George and Joe Pipia was a bike that could ride around with a full keg on it. They made it out of parts of BMX and mountain bikes, and then used an Ikea bed frame to carry the keg. The result is a franken-bike that is known around the city. After seeing Ray riding it at the Ride the Elevator bike ride in May, I've since spotted the keg bike at most of the summer festivals, and sometimes just around town. It makes me smile every time I see it.

8.Theyear we talked to Mitch of Vice Barber

Mitch let us take photos in his barber area of Virtue Salon a few times over the past year, but this time I was there to take photos of him. He has so many cool knick-knacks around it made it easy to get a good photo of him, but when he started to shave his face with an axe, I knew that was the one. The antique bottle of Grand Marnier in his hand made it all the better.