Deacon’s lesson

1 06 2009

For the past several months, I’ve been working on a project documenting all the regulars at the local tavern. It’s one of those places where the same people have been coming for decades, while the tavern has changed hands and names, and everyone knows each other. The younger crowd tends to take over at night, but the “old crusties”, as we affectionately refer to them, still rule the roost.

It’s been great fun and a great honor (even if at times a GREAT challenge!) photographing all my friends. I’ve only needed one more portrait in order to call the project complete: Deacon, who arrives in his motorized wheelchair nearly every day at 11am, as he has been for forty years. The project wouldn’t be complete without him, and I’ve been meaning to do it for several weeks now. Unfortunately, I waited too long. Deacon passed away last week after making what looked like a good recovery from a stroke. He is greatly missed, and there’s an empty bar stool where he should be.

I’ve missed shots before because I assumed there would be another chance, but this one stings more than the others. My way of honoring Deacon will be to learn the lesson he taught me, once and for all. No more putting off the important things and taking tomorrow for granted.

This is the photograph of Deacon that I never took. It’s a fitting end to “the regulars”.

You can see the project in its entirety at http://www.cherylnicolai.com in “the regulars” gallery.

deacon

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5 responses

2 06 2009
Lori

Wow, I just checked out the gallery, and I LOVED it. I’m sorry about Deacon :(. I’m sure he will be missed.

10 07 2009
rob

Some nice portraits in the group.

I guess we can all learn from Deacon’s passing…. things keep changing, even in a place where nothing ever changes.

We’ve all put off taking a picture when we should have made time to do it. I just came back from an assignment in China. Everyday I passed this old man smoking a long pipe. I keep saying to myself…. I’m going to make a portrait of him. Then when I found the time to do it, I couldn’t find him…. then I had to leave the area…. without the picture.

Enjoy your blog…. really enjoyed the first posting.

-Rob Skeoch

27 10 2009
Robert

I really enjoyed exploring your gallery of friends. A fine tribute to Deacon. I’m sure he’s pleased you remembered him.

28 10 2009
Whitney Hardie

I navigated over to your website and want to say that I absolutely love this body of work. The idea is beautiful and the insights about each person are just perfect.

31 10 2009
Bruce Nall

I found your Blog from Doug Plummer’s. My favorite quote for “doing it now” follows. His is one of the best books on artistry, creativity and “the process.”

“If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you.” – Gordon MacKenzie: Orbiting the Giant Hairball – A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace.

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