I was away from the desk for most of yesterday. Which, much as I love you, I need sometimes.
One of the oddities of the Internet age is "friends you've never met." At this point I've had ongoing online friendships that have lasted for as much as 18 years with people I've never met face to face! (Bob and Walt, Ailsa, et al., you all know who you are.) In a number of other cases, such people have gone on to become good in-person friends too (Nick, Oren, and more...).
Possibly my best friend-I've-never-met I finally met yesterday. A momentous event! And what do you know, Peter Turnley in person is—speaking objectively, now—one of the world's great guys.
The mountain had to come to Mahomet*. Milwaukee isn't on the way to anywhere, and visitors seldom pass this way. But Peter has been photographing Harley-Davidson's periodic anniversary bashes here for a decade now, and H-D hired him this time for three days of shooting at the 110th Anniversary celebration this week. So he flew in a day early so we could meet and break bread.
Peter and I have a lot in common. We also have a lot not in common, for instance the fact that he's a globetrotter and I'm a homebody, and he'll photograph anything and anyone fearlessly and I'm afraid to shoot anyone I don't know. This would seem to predict that I'd enjoy his company more than he'd enjoy mine, but we got along great and talked nonstop all afternoon and evening. I think our shared idealistic love of photography trumps all, when you get right down to it.
We stopped by the Milwaukee Art Museum and had a nice long talk with Photography Curator Lisa Sutcliffe, too (they'd never met). I really like Lisa as well, and always enjoy seeing her.
Anyway I had a great time. I think the word for the effect of such visits on my psyche is "revivifying." I had to look up that word to make sure it fits. It does.
We are going to do our level best to get me to one of Peter's Paris Workshops in the coming year, something I finally feel free to do now that Zander's in college and has his own car (Lulu will have to go to the doggie hotel). Granted, I got lost twice yesterday driving around in my own town, so travel might not be my strong suit. But I think the revivification will make it worth it.
*"Mahomet cald the Hill to come to him. And when the Hill stood still, he
was neuer a whit abashed, but said; If the Hill will not come to
Mahomet, Mahomet wil go to the hil." —Francis Bacon, Essays, A.D. 1625.
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Featured Comments from:
Steve Rosenblum: "Since I'm pretty sure I 'introduced' you guys eight or nine years ago, this post made my day. It's not necessary for people to be very similar to become good friends, only that they have enough in common to connect on a core level and otherwise admire/respect the parts that are different. You are both lovely guys (who I know and admire individually) and I'm very happy that you enjoyed each others' company. I would love to see Peter's photos of you!"
Mike replies: What, and break that nice Leica?
Ken Jarecke: "Sounds like a wonderful day. I hope you pulled some great stories out of him...he's got a few!"
Mike replies: Ken, on the way back to the hotel I got regaled with one of the greatest lost-camera stories I've ever heard. One I'm not allowed to repeat, very unfortunately. But...yeah.