Thursday, December 02, 2004

Day 2: It’s a Time for Thanks

Sometimes we get so involved in our own insular world that we think everything revolves around us and if some minor incident comes along that creates a little problem it gets magnified into a tragedy. That’s been happening on in my own little inner world this week

This blog is a way of helping me get past these “speed bumps” on the road of life by sharing what’s good about the world and the people in it, instead of just complaining. There will always be petty people who enjoy inflicting pain and anguish on others, for whatever reasons, but most of us do the best we can every day and try to do the right thing. For that, I’m thankful.

I most thankful that my wife Mary is doing well after she was diagnosed with breast cancer on 12/17/03. Since then she has gone through several surgeries, a chemotherapy regimen that there’s no way to put a positive spin on, and radiation therapy with a team of people she so loved that she photographed after the treatment was finished. You can see their portrait here. (http://mfarace.smugmug.com/photos/10722453-L.jpg) This year on Dec 17th, we’re going to dinner to celebrate life.

Yesterday she had her first mammogram after completing radiation therapy and everything looks “clear.” We’re both thankful for that good news. Mary is the love of my life and the singular most unselfish person I’ve ever met. I can’t imagine life without her.

Photography is a big crazy business populated with some larger-than-life personalities along with many kind people that have helped me achieve whatever success I’ve had. The late Fred Schmidt and the effervescent Elinor Stecker-Orel brought me into Photomethods magazine more than 20 years ago when I didn’t know what an adverb was. (I still don’t know) and in doing so launched a writing career that continues to this day.

The phantasmagoric Rick Sammon introduced me to the world of photographic workshops, were I got to meet talented photographers like National Geographic’s Sarah Lee, who shared breakfast and delightful conversation with me at FOTOfusion in Florida and nature photographer extraordinaire Darrell Gulin who I met in the wilds of Montana.

There are so many wonderful photographers I’ve met over the years that I couldn’t list all of them, but here’s a few for now: I’ve enjoyed the time spent hanging out and taking pictures with my buddy, photojournalist Barry Staver and occasionally his talented son Matthew Staver.

On the hardware side of the business, there are lots of great people too, like Adorama retailer Jerry Deutsch; Mark Tahmin the “T” in RTS, camera bag manufacturer Paul Peregrine, who’s been a friend for 20 years; and that one true inventive genius in the photographic industry Gary Regester. Canon camera’s Deb Szajngarten and Roberto LeBron who took me behind the scenes and into the pits of the Audi Racing Team at Laguna Seca.

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