Date registered: Apr 2004
Location: The BlueGrass State
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Comments from Editor of Digital Photography Magazine
This was a morning when I rather wish I hadn't bothered to check my
email before heading off to work. First day of term and my heart
wasn't really in it to say the least.
Walt was one of the reasons I hung around this list long after I
drifted away from OM useage. I can hardly recall a single thing we
ever agreed on except temperament, the considered opinion that it's
mostly nonsense and you don't actually have to put up with any of it.
Oh and the heroes we shared such as Tom Waits and Kinky Freidman.
I often harbored a quiet fantasy that it would be good to meet up
with him sometime, share a drink and rail against the degeneration of
the world in general and many of its inhabitants in particular. That
is now impossible and a matter of deep regret, even though it was
probably utterly unrealistic. We'd probably have fallen out over some
trifle anyway and it's hard to forget that he was always very well
armed. Still, it was good to know that he was out there somewhere,
irritating the hell out of some poor fool. So instead I made a small
resolution today to renew contact with a few people before they
become lost to me as well. And another to further develop the
curmudgeon in me - one has been lost and the balance must be restored
He seems to have lived a remarkable life, experienced much, loved and
been loved. There isn't much else that you can really desire. He goes
to his oblivion too early of course, but well exercised. I suspected
that all was not well, even before the awful loss of his partner -
the car, the Leica - he seemed to be doing some serious living as if
he knew time was short. Very sensible - as Epicurus said, it is
pointless to fear death for when we live, it has not come and when it
has come, we do not suffer from it.
One of my last personal contacts with him was when he bought a couple
of small but rare items from KEH for me and then made a gift of them
to me as a simple and unexpected act of kindness. For those in Oz,
the latest issue of Digital Photography' contains an extended quote
from him on the subject of avoiding wedding photography, a statement
so pithy, sharp and perfect that it needed to be used and stimulated
the article. Amusingly, my editor assumed that I had invented him. I
wish I could have done.
I suppose that some of you will be tempted to pray for him again but
I rather wish you wouldn't, not that you'll take any notice. Given
his personal position, it would seem rather presumptuous but then I
share his lack of faith. Better to accept the inevitable, remember
him fondly and take a drink in his memory from time to time.
Strangely I had to discuss Plato's Phaedo with a class this morning,
a passage in which he discusses the immortality of the soul and the
nature of the afterlife - and which may be partly the origin of the
Christian conception of heaven and hell; the more modern view that
is. I found that difficult as you may imagine but wishful thinking
did not make it seem any more convincing to me nor would it have done
to him I suspect.
I'll be dedicating a little Jamieson's to him this evening.
That's a more appropriate memorial.
Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.