26 January 2009


Around 3 o'clock every Thursday afternoon, I ring the doorbell of my grandpa's Northeast Minneapolis 4-plex. He lets me in saying, "Come in! Come in! Come in!" and I do helping myself to a cookie a can of soda. I sit down in his lone recliner & he takes post at his desk. Sometimes the television is on, sometimes it's not. If it is it's usually tuned into baseball or CSPAN.

Sometimes we tell each other jokes, sometimes we don't. We always talk about current politics, current events and about the most recent issue of the magazine, The Week. He allows me to read his latest piece for his weekly writing group and typically has a new trick to show me that involves his color photo printer. At some point he asks "Now, where in the world is Randy today?" as he gestures at his world atlas and I give him the latest. Later on he'll say, "It's nearly 4! You better get to work!", and so I bid him farewell and am on my way.

He gets a lot of credit for who I am today, the convictions I carry and the manner in which I do so. He is part of the reason I adore & enjoy the elderly so very much (my other two grandparents are the other part). He is why I have the ability to think critically and embrace unconventional ways. He is a great man who has led an extraordinary life giving service for others.

A few weeks ago as we talked I couldn't help but notice what a perfect portrait he was making of himself. The lighting, his mood and disposition. So I snapped a few shots. Initially he laughed as he always does, but soon enough he relaxed, continued our conversation and I shot some pretty good ones. These are my favorite.

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