…. I’m tired and burnt out. Lack of sleep again and the nightmares that have haunted my time to rest for decades, taking it’s toll. It’s Memorial Day and I need to get down to the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial. Hey, don’t even think about me being a one day a year advocate or supporter. I live this every single moment of my life. The POW/MIA issue is first and foremost on my agenda of living. So, don’t even think I’m a one day a memory guy.
…chuga chuga chuga, the RT67 is pulling up and exactly on time. I get on the bus and swipe my Drivers License and the fair is paid. Bus is not full cause people are celebrating the holiday. I get ready to sit and I hear a voice call to me…”Don, back here”…..I turn to look and low and behold, it’s the Girl Child Linda. She’s sitting in the very back of the bus. So, I smile and slowly walk to her with the Frank Sinatra strut. Nah, kidding, more John Wayne… giggles.
I sit next to her and we greet each other and immediately, any ice is melted. Linda sees my camera around my neck and ask me what it is. I reply, it’s the Olympus Pen-F with the 12mm sees 24mm. She looks at it and I hand Garry the Oly Pen-F to her. First thing she says is, oh my, it’s so small and light. She ask me if it’s named after Garry Winogrand. I smile and say, no way, it’s naed after Garry the fish guy at the fish store. He can can gut and clean a weakie in 11 seconds. I figure any man that can do that deserves to have my camera named after him. 11 seconds, he’s won every fish gutting competition world wide for at least 6 weeks. I’m smiling, see I love when someone just takes the bait and goes for it.
Linda shoves her shoulder against my side. I said, Winogrand for sure. So, I show her some things about the camera and her eyes are glistening. She loves the EVF and the tilt screen. The art filter knob kinda went over the top. So she starts looking thru the finder and ust grabs her vith the FOV and DOF. I put the 25mm 1.8 on and she sees that and now it’s all over. She ask me if it’s a good camera. I replied, ya know how ya buy a camera and fall in love and then sell it cause another camera gets your heart? She smiles, yes. Well, this is my 3rd copy of this camera. So, her iPhone goes to work and she gets to B&H and orders the camera, and some lenses and a battery. 2 minutes and she says, I’ll have it all on Wednesday. Will you help me get it set up and running? Sure.
Linda ask me where I’m heading and I tell her the Memorials. She smiles and ask if she can accompany me. Sure. She says she’s going to see her Grandfather’s name on the wall. I know too many people on the wall but I go because it’s hallowed ground for me. There will be many there and all kinds of ceremonies. She ask if I take pictures there and I reply, not really. I bring my camera here in case of some fight or vandalism etc. Then I make photos. She looks at me as if she understands and respect my feelings.
We now are exiting the bus and boarding the train. We grab a seat and I tell her to sit by the window. I hand her Garry the Olympus Pen-F and she starts looking thru him and I can sense excitement. She starts flippin’ thru the menu and tells me that this camera has so many options. Options, is that what you call it? I call it, Points of Confusion but your right, it has many options.
Linda ask me a question, why do you always call your photography, work? I tell her, it’s my life’s work and always was and will be. It’s not your life’s joy? If it’s always work, what do you do for the joy of it all? I can’t answer this so quickly because I need to reflect on it all. I need to formulate an answer that will be truth and at the moment and many moments in the past, maybe i don’t see or even know the truth anymore. Perhaps she has triggered a key element in my stance and essence of it all.
Finally we get to the Memorail and we walk to the names on the wall. I know many but interested in seeing the one that means the most to her. She walks to the name of her Grandfather and puts her hand on it and moves closer and kisses it. Many cameras are clicking away. Mine is still and just holding everything in reverance. ….a tap on my shoulder, a voice speaks, Don, good too see you brother. It’s an old friend, Rob. You gonna introduce me to your daughter? Immediately Linda, with some tears in her eyes says, oh, we are just close friends. Rob smiles and then hugs me and then Linda and salutes and say’s he’ll call me later.
Linda takes my hand and then I say, let’s go. She ask why I didn’t make any photos and I told her I don’t need to. This place for me is a Center Point of Sorrow and Loss. Not from the people that visit and not for the people whose names are on the wall. It’s a constant reminder that the Gov’t and people of the country not only have forgotten the soldiers, lost and POW/MIA and those on the walls all over the country, not forgotten but disregarded.
So she’s smart enough to switch the subject and she ask me, again about my difference between work and joy.
The answer to her question is in my next post and hopefully no later than Monday, perhaps sooner.
Be blessed all and I have started the next post… have a blessed weekend …………. shooter out…..