Dan is one of the good guys. One of the best, really.
I just returned home from his retirement party, which was in a park just a few blocks from my house.
I’ve known Dan nearly 20 years, and at one time he was my immediate manager. Although it was short, it was memorable. He was awesome-sauce. He was old school.
He treated me with respect and kindness, and I admired his sense of self with his responsibilities as manager.
Dan is the guy who see’s through ridiculousness and chest puffing. He’s grounded. He knows what’s important and what’s horseshit. He understands employees are people, too. And, that is what made him a successful manager, an admired manager, and a success for the company.
Tonight I felt especially inspired. With my departure from my manager duties coming soon, I felt a sense of peace and calm listening to Dan tonight. I felt, “I can fucking do this”. I will succeed because I know what’s important to me, as Dan has showed with those around him, and with his words.
Eventually, as the sun hung low, hugs were given and tears streamed down cheeks. In his signature Hawaiian shirt, Dan left us, climbed into his truck and drove off, waving at those of us still in the park. We’ll miss you Dan, but we know we’ll see you often in your new, growing business!
I’m not exactly sure what’s causing the nostalgia in me, but I’m seeing everything in my day as aged and curled, cracked and washed. I can’t shut it off. I’m reminded of the garage where my mustang sat up on blocks one summer long ago as we worked to put in new tie-rods. The oil and grease mixing with the dirt, and the dank of dirty rags, I can smell it and see it all.
I’ve always loved old photos, and even now, I spend a lot of time going through my own which have suddenly started to fade. I just noticed it. I don’t mind though, I kind of like it actually. My very own memories in beautiful tinges of yellows and browns.
Recently, I spent a day with friends Russ and Jodi as they day-tripped up to the lake to take the boys fishing. I shot two rolls of medium format film, but as soon as we got home I misplaced them, and in true absent minded fashion, kind of forgot about them. Last week, they were rediscovered and I quickly sent them into my lab. It kind of felt like I was finding old film from years and years ago, and it was exciting awaiting their return.
Today, I got the film back, and almost immediately, as the images slowly appeared on my screen, my mind’s eye imagined them all in a beautiful and faded way. I sat down and started playing. Since it was already film, it wasn’t too hard to find a tone I liked. I could’ve played for hours experimenting with all the colors in my tool palette, but I settled on how I first imagined that day at the lake, like the sun had baked away the colors.
A couple years after moving to Montana, I’d take all these long solo trips to do some exploring. I was all on my own since there were no cell phones and such. This trip took me to the Badlands and Sturgis for the very first time. At night, I stared up at the star-clustered sky, while in the distance, the banter of yipping coyotes filled up the dark. During the day I’d hike around or drink beers with bikers I would meet at the rally. I had no fear back then. One night, with Mt. Rushmore in my view, I set my sleeping bag down in a parking lot between my car and the next. Within minutes I met my new neighbors who had also just landed a spot here. We spent most of the night sitting between our cars, wrapped in our bags and blankets, talking over their homemade wine. I’ll never forget that, although, now, I feel I’ve really lost hold of that adventuresome part of me.
When Jon came to me over a year ago and asked if I’d shoot his surprise proposal to his girlfriend, I was all over it.
It was a very cold day, but despite the weather and wind, we hiked those hills, all the while, wheezing and struggling for full breathes, sometimes falling down in exhaustion. Yet, we pressed on.
Ok, it was just me struggling and falling down all over myself. Ok, I didn’t fall, but my lungs were burning…kind of.
Regardless, the landscape was awesome and so was the mood. Stacie just thought we were out on a “couples” shoot, for fun. Little did she know Jon was about to kneel down on one knee.
And when he did, I snapped away.
Jon, I’m so glad you asked me to be there for that, it was a first for me, and I had some great fun. Even though I can’t be at your wedding, since I was already booked in Seattle (sad face), I’ll be thinking of you both, and I’ll be anxious to hear all about it.
You’ve been a good friend and co-worker, and I enjoy our times cranking out the laughs.
My best wishes to you both!!