My mother passed away almost five years ago, and after her funeral service we were going through her belongings in my parents’ home. In that process I found some really interesting things, and at the top of the list were my grandfather’s photographic equipment and books. My cousin had sent these things to my mother before she passed away, but for some reason I never received them. Since I didn’t have much time to do more than sort, pack up and throw out different items, I brought back these goodies and put them in my closet. They sat in my closet until recently, and one specific book caught my eye that required further investigation.
Beating Around The Bush by Clara Lee Brown was the book, and it decribed an extended safari that she had taken with her husband. I opened the book and quickly noticed that my grandfather had highlighted some passages throughout the book. These highlighted passages were obviously a way for him to help in planning a safari that he wanted to take, but never did. This is very poignant for me, as I guide photographic safaris to the same exact locations that he highlighted. My grandfather passed away in the early 1970’s and I didn’t have a chance to know him very well, and through this book I have a connection with him that I cherish. Call this book a baton, of sorts. A continuation of a passion for photography and for travel. I know that he was a Leica man, and I wish that I could have found his collection of rangefinder cameras that he once owned. Nobody in the family can figure out where they went, but at least I was able to possess his Weston light meter. How cool is that? To me it is extremely cool. This latent gift is my best Christmas gift for 2014, as it reminds me of how important family is, whether alive or deceased. And it reminds me to always seek out new experiences and destinations with a camera in my hand.
Pawpaw, I don’t remember you very much, but you have enriched my life more than you will ever know.