His name was George O. Skrba. He was born in 1950, was wounded three times in Viet Nam, manned a 60 caliber machine gun, was a Crew Chief on a Huey, and died November of 2011. Like many other vets who came back from Viet Nam, he was not greeted with cheers and open arms. The combination of the PTSD and the leftover metal in his body made life difficult and painful for George. For reasons I don’t know, the world erased George.
He had no presence, no one knew much about his past, and his future is now in God’s hands. The powers that be chose to not have an obituary, wake, or a eulogy for George. He was cremated in a day and for all intensive purposes he’s evaporated. George’s and my path only crossed a dozen or so in the last three years. I couldn’t call him a close friend, but I can say he had intense, beautiful but troubled eyes, a great smile, and was a thoroughly warm and lovely human being. George was the Bobby Kyle Band’s sound engineer. On one of our pro workshops, I said to George, I have to do an environmental portrait of you. He was excited. Unfortunately, that portrait sitting never happened. What does this have to do with photography? Just this – Get off your Ass, get off your BUT and make the photos you want to make because they might never be made. Life is precious and fleeting. It moves at the speed if light. That’s the lesson I choose to share with you today. My good friend Bobby Kyle will be putting together a tribute to George and I will give All The Ships At Sea the date and time if you’d like to join us. Big thanks to Brian Struble who sent me off a portrait of George that he made at our Pro Workshop that day.
George, I had the utmost respect for you. I will take off my Beret and say a prayer. JoeD