Friday, March 03, 2006

Someone Special To Me

Originally uploaded by argusmaniac.
Every once in a while, a truly special person comes into your life (aside from a spouse). Bill Brudon -- artist, photographer, bibliophile, story teller, historian, and medical illustrator. I met Bill years ago, but knew of him by reputaion long before that. He was the Scientific Illustrator in the Museum of Zoology until about 21 years before I started work there. His work was legendary. Then, I met him at some museum function, and many years later, met him again when he was volunteering as an artist for the Ann Arbor Flower Show, which was being done by Matthaei Botanical Gardens. He and my wife Adrienne became good buddies, and I would run into Bill frequently -- either at the gardens, or the flower show itself. Sometime around 2000, Bill became aware of my renewed passion for photography , and started giving me tips about what to do, and seeing my enthusiasm grow, also provided me with cameras and lenses, and film. Bill's roots in photography go back to when he used to develop sheet negatives for his father, who was also an illustrator and photographer.
So, Bill knows his way around a darkroom, and his art background gives him a different perspective on photography.
Fast forward to 2002. I find out that Bill and Margaret are thinking of moving to a retirement community in Chelsea, MI. I was of course, saddened, because stopping at Bill's on the way back from work had become commonplace, and whether it was to shoot the breeze for a few minutes, or hear his "hey, young fella" followed by " how would you like one of these?" whereupon he might pass along a candy, a roll of film, or a lens.. I never knew what to expect, but his enthusiasm for looking over my progress never waned. Well, it so happened that Bill and Margaret's home was a dream home for us, and we ended up buying it from them in 2002. In the span of a couple of days, we helped them move out, moved in, cleaned up our old house so the buyers could move in to it the next day. That was just a whirlwind of activity, that I am still amazed that it all happened the way it did.
The house came with extras -- a fully furnished darkroom, a film fridge, a few more cameras, and a lot of photography books. Each time I use the darkroom, I imagine Bill there at some point.
Bill and Margaret are still in Chelsea, and I talk to him frequently on the phone, and make a trip over every once in a while. If there is one regret that I have, is that I did not know Bill before throat cancer took away his once-beautiful voice. Luckily, he still does have a voice, though it is raspy... Make that two regrets -- it would have been fun to have spent a week on a photography safari with him on Beaver Island.
Here's to Bill. I call him Dad because he's like father to me, and will always appreciate the many ways he has enriched my life.


Leesa said...

What a wonderful post, sweetie!

Wenchy said...


Anais Anais said...

Nice portrait of a man..