John Edward Moore, World’s Smallest Giant, Died On Saturday

Admiration

His death was not unexpected, but was a shock none-the-less. Partly because my Uncle Eddie spent eighty eight years bending life to his will and there was no reason to expect no less of his treatment of death. Indeed, though terminally ill for the last part of his life, he faced it head on, lasting far longer than anyone thought he could. Classic Eddie, he would only die when he was ready… doctors and hospice professionals be damned. Until then, he would continue to live life on his terms.

What does that even mean? Living life on your own terms could mean any number of things to many people. To Eddie, that often meant being irritating, impatient, and outspoken. He could be a complete jackass.

On the flip side, Eddie could be incredibly generous and thoughtful. He loved art, music, good food, and intelligent conversation. He was fearless and full of adventure. Eddie was driven. He was creative. He was human. He could listen and he could think. He was honest and a straight shooter. He loved his family. He loved his sister dearly and in turn, he loved her family.

For most of my life, he was my crazy uncle, to be tolerated with as much patience as I could muster. My family loved him and there was no doubt that he belonged to us. You see, my family loves characters and Uncle Eddie had character in spades. For many of us, he was the only relative that we really knew. He drove up from Florida to attend every family function and we looked forward to seeing him and learning of his latest adventures and antics.

Eddie could have remained my crazy uncle, but our relationship evolved a few years ago. During a long bout of unemployment, Eddie changed our relationship. I didn’t do it, he did. At a time when I was struggling with the problems of my own life, Eddie used photography, a passion we both shared, to reach out to me. He mentored me. He criticized my work and helped me to become my own photographer. He was generous of his time and of himself. He lent me equipment and we discussed technique and style.

It wasn’t long before we moved beyond photography. We had long conversations about family and politics. We talked about art. I don’t know how many hours we spent in art museums from Ohio to Florida. We grew closer and found that we liked and respected each other in a way we hadn’t before. In the last year, we ended each phone call and each visit with a heartfelt “I love you”. Yeah…I loved that irritating, impatient, crazy, wonderful old man.

Last year, I visited him at his home in Florida and on my last evening with him, he got out the good bottle of rum and made two very strong Cuba Libres. While we drank and the sun set, we swapped stories and told lies for hours. We watched the cars making long trails of light on the street below us and listened to a band playing in a band shell near the beach. I knew that he was dying and I knew to cherish the moment with him. I did then and I do now.

I started by stating the world’s smallest giant had passed. Eddie was a short slim man. It was the man he was and the memories he’s left us that make him a giant. Good bye Eddie. I miss you terribly, but I am comforted in the thought that you are finding new adventures with the giants that have passed before you. You will have them whipped into shape in no time. Try not to drive them crazy. I love you.

We Had a Ball

New Years ball 2015-3850

Last year was the first in a number of years, that I was not able to shoot the New Year’s Eve Grand Ball, held in South Charleston, OH. The ball raises money to preserve the local opera house as well as a number of other local landmarks. You can imagine how excited I became when I found that I could make it to the ball this year.

New Years ball 2015-3890

This is a stunning event. Live music, gorgeous dresses and uniforms, wonderful ball room, and more. For a photographer, the event is also a real challenge. The lighting is dim and the dancing means plenty of motion. Bring your fastest gear because you will need it. I struggle with the low light. Most of the night, I shot with an 85mm prime set around f1.7, ISO 1600 and speeds in the 1/30 – 1/80th of a second. Unfortunately, my camera body can’t create usable images at higher ISOs.

New Years ball 2015-3899

Want to see the rest of the pictures from the ball?
I thought you might, so I created a Flickr album. You can find it here.

Reading in Silence

Reading Quietly

She reads in silence.

Her lips don’t make a sound. However, occasionally they may move as her eyes leap across the page. Scanning. Looking for meaning in the words on the paper.

Understanding slowly creeping in as she reads further. These are after all, instructions. Yes, I said instructions. The lowest form of literature. Tricksters. Words whose only intent is to confuse and misdirect your thoughts under the guise of providing illumination and understanding. Vile words.

No words ever grew up with the dream of becoming instructions. Poetry, yes. Fiction, yes. Instructions, no.

seeing the boy

 

Today is one of those wonderful days that have you giddy the entire week. I’ve been wearing a grin that would put the Cheshire Cat to shame.

And what has had me gleeful with anticipation? Two days with the boy of course. I’ve missed him and this morning he starts his two days off and we are planning a whole bunch of fun. So, if it puts a smile on your face, think of me floating along like a balloon fully of happiness.

Woe unto him that tries to pop me.

Have a great day folks.