I just received a phone call from my cousin Gerard and he described the military ceremony for my cousin Denis. We talked for an hour trying to play catch up. A dear friend of mine in Scottsdale is going to go and photograph the stone, in which Denis requested it to say “Walk in Peace”. It doesn’t get better than that, no clichés for my cousin.
Denis J. Dermody: loving husband, father, brother, uncle and great friend to many passed away March 2, 2013 at the age of 68. He was born in Queens, New York to Gerard and Francesca Dermody. Denis is survived by his wife Ann, daughter Maureen, his brother Gerard (Ann), Kevin (Barbara) and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, sister Maureen and brother in law Frank Testagrossa. Denis spent his childhood in Port Washington, New York where he developed his passion for fishing and being on the water. Denis, a highly decorated Marine served in Vietnam 1967-1968. Among his many awards he earned a Silver Star and Purple Heart. He embraced a career as a firefighter. He was a founding member of Port Washington Fire Medic Company Number 1, after which he was honored with a plaque on an ambulance. He later worked in the printing industry. He was a bon vivant who loved cooking and sharing meals with family and friends. An avid sports fan, Denis also enjoyed golfing. He had an infectious laugh and a gift for storytelling. He will be missed greatly by the many whose lives he’s touched. Memorial services will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery, 23029 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, on Monday March 11th at 10:30 am. A reception will follow at Rude Family Northwest Mortuary, 4033 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to .http://www.hov.org/.
For anyone who didn’t know, Ann Raine was a great photographer, an absolute lovely human being, and a brilliant business women. She had the unique ability to adapt to any and all situations. Last Saturday she made an executive decision to take a long trip. There’s no doubt in my mind that everyone she touches on that trip will fall in love with her. We’ll still be able to talk to her – it’ll just be a slightly different conversation. It’s a little known fact that she was the first member of our Board of Directors – she of course, will continue to be on the Board. When we have our meetings, she will have a vote.
She paid me a compliment once and thanked me for everything that I taught her. In reality, she taught me more. Many of you including Dennis Wheeler, Hugh Brodie, Bobby Kyle, Brian Struble, Larry Malang, David Kenny, Linda Pederson, Dan Horton, Jeff Thomas, John Dryzga, Ralph Mocciola, Monica Cipnic, Dylan, JoAnne Kalish, Lourdes Merson and to be quite honest with you a few hundred others would like to wish you an amazing journey.
Keep that smile on your face and your camera close to your heart. Remember to open up 2 stops for back light.
I never put a name on a photograph nor do I put titles, and for the most part, I don’t dedicate photographs to anyone. Last night JoAnne and I had the opportunity to go visit an old friend, Ann Raine. Ann is one of the most beautiful, lovely, wonderful people I have ever met. In a world before multi-tasking, she was an international horse woman, potter, smart banker, business woman and more recently a great photographer. We went to say hello and we did. She is as beautiful today as when I met her 10 years ago. So I dedicate this photo to Ann, she inspired me to take it. It’s not my usual style. Thanks for the inspiration.
I would like to wish everybody a healthy happy, new year (hey idiot, it’s the 15th-where have you been?!) Sorry guys, the last 45 days have been brutal, and I’m not going to go there today. I decided to take Saturday off, and I went to visit my former English professor/football coach, who has just been admitted to the Stoney Brook VA Nursing Home. It was the best 60 seconds and the worst 19.5 minutes I’ve ever spent in my life. I’ve loved this man for 50 plus years, and I’ve resolved myself to the fact that will be the last time I get to see him. I drove 7 miles to see one of my former assistants, he showed my three photographs that blew my head off. They were just gorgeous. He explained how he did them,why he did them, not that he had to; the photographs did not require any information, they moved me from a very negative place to a very good place. 15 miles west and an hour later, I went to see my oldest friend Pat Nap and he looked great! In the day he was a great football player and a world-class amateur wrestler, and ya know what, he still looks great today. OK-this moves us another hour and a half down the road and I stopped by to see my spiritual advisor, Jess Weiss. We had three or four emails in the last week, and three or four phone calls. His lovely bride of 38 years passed away four weeks ago. I went to see him because he’s my hero. The first time I walked into his office, above his desk was the silver star and ten other medals. I told him he was a true hero. He explained to me that he was a coward. He felt guilty that he left Omaha Beach alive during the D-day invasion and thousands of his brothers did not. Jess has written five books, I strongly recommend reading one of them or more…he’s not only a true hero, but he’s a visionary. He is one of the most spiritual people I have ever met. His 97th birthday is in two weeks and looking into his eyes, I saw a 20 year old man. Thank God for Jess. My life partner JoAnne Kalish reminds me that I’m a photographer and filmmaker and that my blogs should be about photography and filmmaking. This blog IS about communication and respect and history. That’s what photography is. I remember someone telling me, life is hills and valleys. In twelve hours I went from the highest mountain to the lowest peak and back to the highest mountain, so I guess that person was right. LIFE IS PRECIOUS. Please spend every second you can enjoying what you have.