Farewell My Hero

A little girl’s dad is her hero. He provides for her, protects her, teaches her the ways of life and spoils her rotten. My dad did all of that and more. It was my dad who put a camera in my hands for the first time when I was ten years old little knowing that he was opening doors for a shy little girl who gained confidence behind a camera. It was my dad who taught me the basics of photography and in the process a love of nature that would later lead me on the path to a career in nature and wildlife photography. He was my mentor and was so proud when I won awards for my photography. But, my dad wasn’t just my hero. He was a hero to so many people over the years and was known in Salt lake as Mr Photography through all his teaching and his wedding and portrait photography. He taught many a photographic class with students who later went on to become professional photographers themselves. He was well loved and respected in the photographic industry and had loyal clients who would gladly wait for hours for a chance to talk shop with him and get his direction on what new camera, lens, accessory to buy next. I can honestly say that my father ate, drank and slept photography.

My dad was in the Korean war where it became known that he loved photography so, he was assigned to work with the generals to protect them as well as photograph them. He carried a gun in one hand and a camera in the other. I know he was much more comfortable with the camera. He told me so many stories over the years that I took for granted never, thinking about the time when I would yearn for just one more story told in his words and his voice. Unfortunately, that time has come and passed. First with the onset of dementia where he started forgetting his own stories, and later on when he began to forget my mom and me. But through it all he kept a positive attitude and no matter how bad things were for him he always showed concern for others.

My hero, my dad died this morning and I already miss him so much. But, I have the photographs and the stories to carry me through the sad times and to put a smile on my face when I think of one of his jokes. Farewell my hero, farewell my dad! I am so proud to be able to say, I was his daughter!