Remembering Fred

It's funny what you keep. We throw away a lot of things that would still have purpose for many, and we hang on to seemingly useless things, often only because of some sentiment somewhere along the line. My father died when I was 17, and more than 30 years later I have an odd assortment of his belongings, that I don't pay much attention to. Most are in boxes in the attic. An assortment of military hats and belts and clothing from his marine days and time in Korea. Some books, often pen and ink art tombs on rendering techniques. Some of his drawings from engineering school at NC State. I have an old Fayetteville High School T-shirt from his school days. It is not in the attic. It's in my chest of drawers along with all the other clothes I really wear. When Walker was young, I draped it over him, when he was so small it hit the floor. I don't even know why it was important to hang onto the shirt, or take my son's picture in it. But I did and I have it. The picture and the tee shirt. It's too fragile to be worn, but it still lives in the drawer, like my life's paper weight. And one pair of shoes I've kept. I think my father loved shoes. And I think he loved the idea of looking dapper. He had good ties, dress shirts in nice colors, and seersucker suits in summer. But always good shoes. So I hung on to this pair of black and white wing tips. I don't know why other than they appealed to me. I couldn't wear them, surprisingly too small. And I'm sure I was early on my way to becoming a shooter and thought somehow they'd be something to shoot someday. Evidence to be captured that my dad was alive and well and stylish, though I remember so little of him now.

So I pulled one out of the studio closet the other day when I was working a Tank watch shot for a magazine. Here's to new memories.

(click on photo to enlarge)