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Sunday, 12 June 2011


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¡¡Enhorabuena Mike !! I am from Spain and write the english language very bad (as you can see): You don't know me but I know you well enough. You must be a sensible and good guy. I am very pleasantly impressed with your human work named Zander. Congratulations. Paco from Spain.

Congratulations to Zander!

Mike, I have enjoyed your stories over the years concerning parenting, photography and puppies. Living deep in my heart is the story of Zander's unannounced entrance and how you dealt with it. You too are a graduate today; "Congratulations Mike." Some fathers may not of had the courage.

Dear Mike,

Congrats to both you and Zander. 'Course, by now you've long realized that legal adulthood and high school graduation do NOT unchain you from your kid. I am suspecting you're not unhappy about that.

Regarding Grinnell, it's an *excellent* and surprisingly-little-known school. I know several graduates, besides Henry. My oft-referenced good friend, Howard Davidson (most recently mentioned in the "Vexed by fb+f" comments) is a Grinnell graduate of the same vintage as Henry.

And he has a copy of the late-published 1966 yearbook. As is so often the case with censorship, it is now immensely more famous and wide-spread than it would have been if the admin had simply let it be published.

pax / Ctein

Congratulations to both you and Zander!

As read on many online posts on the topic, "The college president at the time, Glenn Leggett, had banned the 1966 yearbook co-edited by Wilhelm because of allegedly libelous photos that today barely seem scandalous. (There was a close-up of a student's hand, for instance, that held a smoldering joint.)"

The likely first source is http://tinyurl.com/5ua66en

Grinnell...haven't heard that name for a while. In about 1965 or '66, I hitchhiked to Grinnell from Iowa City with a friend, to see Dizzy Gillespie; on the way back, caught a ride with a guy so drunk, who scared me so badly, that I mostly forgot about Dizzy until, uh, now.


Congratulations to you, Zander and your family!

I have some empathy for the sudden arrival of a small child, and considering your circumstances, well, good on you Mike, good on you!


Congatulations Mike and Zander!
You have a great web-presence here Mike because you bring humanity to photography, and not the other way 'round.

Congratulations to you, Mike, on getting your son to this milestone - you have a great deal to be proud of!

Well done to you both. Single-parenting is hard for both the parent and the child. May you both find continuing success.


Mike, Zander is truly a lucky man. That being said, you will never stop worrying about him, hoping for all goodness to come to him and even continuing to teach him without him even realizing it. As my son is now 28 and has truly started to understand how the world works, we have become closer than ever. I wish the same for you and Zander.

Congratulations to Zander and to his Dad.


Mike, you are one stand up guy.When it comes to credit, you deserve truck loads.I have 60 years of perspective and being a single parent has to be one of the most difficult jobs there is.In the long run Zander,I'm sure, has & will benifit from the example you set in how you have chosen to be his Dad.

A while back, reading the archives, you mentioned telling the story of Zander's birth in a book you shopped to Oprah. Is that project something you completed and could share? on the back burner?

Wow. You're so much more than just a photographer, man. Congratulations on getting there and on having such a clear view of the road travelled.


My wife, the Museum Directer, is away 3-4 weeks a year, and I've always found single parenthood daunting, especially feeding the varmints. Daddy glop for seven nights sickens even me.

So, knowing that you've done this for the last 17-18 years, 24-7, is truly inspirational. I've had a partner, and hiring somebody to help clean really helps. Longevity, maybe, 35 years now, with a kid underfoot, but you are the inspiration!

Good on you!



I've followed the Mike and Zander story for 18 years. I admired you then as you accepted the responsibility of this new born and I congratulate you now for doing what it took to arrive at this momentous day.

Rob Spring

Congrats to you and Zander, Mike! There has to be a book in your life with Zander but you both have to be willing to have your private lives exposed. I wouldn't want that and I have a really dull life! Best of luck to you and Zander on each of your new beginnings!

Congratulations to you and Zander. It was obvious the way you wrote in the past that there was not a mother around. But I never knew the details.
You are a courageous man. I never had the desire or the courage to have kids.
My hat is off to you and I wish you the best regards. Good luck to your son also.

Mike, what can I say? Good job! Congratulations to Zander and niece.

"As my son is now 28 and has truly started to understand how the world works, we have become closer than ever. I wish the same for you and Zander."

From your lips to god's ear, as the old saying goes!


Congrats Zander...and Mike!

You've always been a great example of just what a person can pull off under tough circumstances. Zander has always been an excellent (though I'm sure imperfect) example of a "good kid". You deserve some, and probably a lot, of credit for that. Well done.

And secondly, Zander graduated high school?! Crap...I'm old.

Congratulations, Mike, to you and your son! On my second family, I and many others can attest to the joys, the challenges, the wonder and frustrations that make parenting the most rewarding experience to be had. That you did this on your own is testament to your patience and good humor needed to survive.

I, too, am not much on ceremony, but congratulations. As a parent of five months, with 18 years ahead of me, and not being alone in the matter, moments like this make me wonder at the passage of time, and at all we do in response to such a variety of ever-shifting circumstances that is life.

Enjoy your moment and be proud–clearly you've earned it!

As we like to say in these parts.... Mazel Tov!! =)

It seems a short time ago I read your monthly column in Black and White Magazine and the touching story of your decision to raise your son Zander. Now here he is grown and graduated. It happens so fast. Congratulations to both of you.

"And secondly, Zander graduated high school?! Crap...I'm old."

No you aren't. But you will feel that way when your baby graduates from high school!


(P.S. Josh was the manager of the old Oak Park Camera when Zander used to run around behind the counters like he owned the place, age 2-5.)

Congratulations to both!

Man that's a great story, I tip my hat to you.

My Ma was 35 when she had me, she passed at 54. Even though she could have written a book on how not to do it (she got to see me drop out of school) I still miss the old girl.

She'd have been 74 today

Wow. Keep thinking about you in that 9 hours midnight to nine o'clock in the morning with the bags of supplies. I'm assuming you didn't get much sleep that night. Or from my own experience for the next couple of years.
Wonderful story.

Deep respect to any single parent; the ones I've known have always brought up better people than the newspapers would have you believe.

best phil

Congratulations. We can relate to the short notice. When we adopted our son we got a phone call in the morning, and were told if all goes well you can take him home today. Fortunately we had friends who had, or bought, supplies for us (he was 3 days old; we didn't have anything, because we didn't know how old a child we would get). We had friends, who had 9 months to prepare, but were just as unprepared as us.



Congratulations to you and Zander! Also to David and Christy.

Our kids just turned 29 and 25. Whenever I look at them, I'm looking at my greatest accomplishments. Kudos for you for being a good Dad, just about the most important job in the world.

Mazel tov to the both of you. I hope you'll keep giving us periodic Zander updates. I wish him lots of luck in the next phase of his endeavors, whatever that might be.

Holy Heck, Mike! I didn't know the story of Zander. As a new father myself, a new baby is hard enough with 9 MONTHS OF PREPARATIONS, let alone less than 9 hours! Whatever awards the Brotherhood Of Fathers confers, you deserve the highest!

- Mike I.

Much congratulations! As noted by someone else, you never stop being a parent although the meaning changes. As my 30-year-old son marries next month, I am happy to recall that I gained the 100 IQ points back when he turned 21 that I lost when he was 11. It is an infinitely richer time now, although I would not change any of my less intelligent years either.

Heartfelt congratulations. It's a bonus for everyone when the good guys celebrate!

Congratulations to Zander for making it through the minefield of High School - never easy, but considerably more complex these days.

Mike, your adventure with Zander has only just begun. Someday there will be (gasp !!) grandchildren. Best Wishes to you for the next leg of your fatherhood journey.

BTW, cool name, "Zander".

Mike, we have disagreed sometimes in the past, but I want to tell you that I have the utmost respect for the way you took responsibility for the care of your newborn son and brought him up.

My first wife passed away when our son was 22 months old. I remarried some years later, but in the interim had sole responsibility for his care. My son will be 50 years old in a few days. He is a fine man with a lovely family.

I know Zander has already been a blessing to you, and I believe he will be even more so as the years pass.

Oooops! How did I miss a whole post? Belated congratulations for a job well done. Yep, a job. It's no mean thing you did.

Fatherhood is the hardest and most rewarding job I've ever had. Congratulations on Zander's success. Ben is three years away from graduating. I can only imagine the bitterweet emotional cocktail I'll have. Congratulations to YOU.

Mike I.,
Congratulations to you and your wife...the expression I used to like (and repeat frequently) when Zander was a baby was, "There's a reason why nature intended the creature called 'parent' to have two heads and four hands."


Congratulations, Zander, and to you, too, Mike!


A hearty congratulations to both you and Zander, a job well done in raising a child as a single parent and in graduating high school. As a father of a 4 month old I can only imagine how hard it was to do that alone. Congratulations to David too. As an alum of the University of Texas at Dallas (Go Comets) - welcome to Dallas (Mavericks Rock). He will be moving to Dallas at a high point (now we just need to do something about the Cowboys).


Congrats to both you and Zander. I wasn't aware, I don't think, of the circumstances of his arrival in your life, but job well done on getting the two of you to now.

On a related note, around Thanksgiving of 2008, just days after my 50th birthday, we were presented with a bundle of poop, drool, and joy, in the form of a 21-month-old grand niece who had spent most of her short life bouncing from bad to worse environments.

The original plan was a temporary stay, but life intruded and she has been with us straight through, the second child we didn't know we wanted. It was an adjustment, to be sure; our son was long out of diapers and Goodnight, Moon, and she's much faster than we are, but I can no longer imagine life without her.

On topic, she has helped me rediscover a love for photographs with people in them. She is a regular subject if you ever scroll through my photo blog on posterous, and her unaffected enthusiasm for life is precious to record.

To wit: http://dougbrewer.posterous.com/painting-contractor#

Again, congrats. You've done a good thing. But don't start thinking it's over.

oh, I forgot the other thing. I just officially (finally) graduated from college, earning a BA in General Studies from Eastern Kentucky University.

Another degree in Art is next and application to grad school is in the works.

It's a short while since I follow your (very interesting!) blog, so I never have read anything about Zander so far. Just want to say: I am very touched by this story. It is great what you did, what Karl did, what Doug did.

What a great story - I can't imagine how tough it must have been, especially in the early days. You must be very proud of your son (and of yourself for what you have achieved as a Father.)

I came across this Proverb earlier and thought of you and Zander:

"The father of a righteous child has great joy;
a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him."

I'm a bit late to this thread, but congratulations to you and to Zander. What a momentous achievement for both of you.

Your rapid entry into the world of fatherhood remains one of the stories I was most proud to publish while editor of Black & White Photography.

Mike, what an evocative day for you; a well-earned milestone. One to cherish. There must have been many shocks along the journey. Well done!

Although I really enjoyed my daughter's younger years, she's now 26 and I look back on those since she was 18 as the best. May your experience be likewise.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

"Your rapid entry into the world of fatherhood remains one of the stories I was most proud to publish while editor of Black & White Photography."

Cool! Thanks. For the kind thought, and also for publishing my only portfolio.

I found the issue the other day and took another look at it, and I still like it, too. Of course they are "family pictures" for me, and everybody likes their own family pictures. :-)


P.S. While I'm in thanking mode, thanks to everyone for all the kind comments and good wishes, too. Right back at you all.

I give Zander himself a lot of credit. He was an easy kid at pretty much every stage of his childhood, even-tempered and adaptable. Getting along has had to go both ways. He's done his part too.

Hey, I went to UTD on a full scholarship (and studied Computer Science)! I met my wife there and we still live close to the university with our growing family. If David needs anything at all (info about the town if he's not from here, to borrow a spare film camera or ten, etc.), then he needs just to ask.

Congrats to all!

Sorry to be late in congratulating you, Zander and Christy. Her choice of college was excellent.
This Grinnell grad was there during the late sixties and remembers well Henry's "fight" with Glenn Leggett, with the typical result when an idealist runs into a realist. President Leggett was a genuinely nice man and demonstrated amazing patience with my generation, but he could not predict the future well enough to shrug his shoulders on this one. He took the advice of Grinnell's lawyers.
Also related to Grinnell photography in the same era was the Playboy demonstration. Several students disrobed during a presentation by Brice Draper, the Playboy rep on campus for a sexuality conference. They were protesting Playboy's objectification of women through its photography. Another student snapped a photo of the naked students, which if I recall correctly, was the key evidence that eventually led to their conviction by a reluctant Poweshiek County jury.
Like many of my Grinnell contemporaries, I bought my first good camera while at Grinnell (or rather while in Costa Rica and Panama on a Grinnell semester abroad). In the late 60s and early 70s Grinnell students shot thousands of rolls of mostly Tri-X, printed many, lost many, and so far as tell, took too little advantage of Henry's archival printing techniques even though many of us knew Henry's East Street Gallery next to campus quite well. I had stored hundreds of prints with my mother after college. That system was not archival. She lost them all in a move.

As someone who was there to witness Mike in the early days of his life with Zander, I can attest that he picked up the necessary skills quite quickly. (He really had no choice)

Congrats to Mike and Z-man! Patrick made it too! I really need to dig out those photos you did of Patrick way back then.

Take care and good luck to both of you!

Thanks John! Too bad that apartment was so noisy--the courtyard was nice and the social life with other residents was great. Still wish I lived closer to you and Jane and/or saw you more often.

All best to you too--and congratulations to Patrick.


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