Joe died yesterday. His real name was Jon. He was a gifted photographer. He was sensitive, intelligent, opinionated, and loyal. He had green-gold eyes and a mischievous smile. He was my best friend. We loved each other as much as two people are capable of loving. I can’t fathom a world without him in it. Jon was very troubled and very sick, especially in the weeks before he died. Life was a battle for him. Jon endured a lot of pain, and those of us who loved him endured it too. I’m relieved that he’s not suffering anymore.
Yesterday was my grandmother’s memorial celebration, held on our family farm in Ellicott City, Maryland. It was also the day that Hurricane Irene hit America’s East Coast. (Ellicott City is a couple of hours from the coast so all we got were some downed trees and power outages. But still.) My grandmother’s name was Frances Wellford Mason, born Frances Colquhoun Wellford. Colqhuoun is pronounced “Cuh-HOON”, which is how she got the nickname Cooncie. All of her grandchildren called her that. Cooncie at age 24. She was stunning, right? (Photo: Wendell Powell)
Joe and I just got back from an epic road trip around South Africa: from Joburg, to Durban, to Port Shepstone, to Hogsback, to Port Elizabeth, to Joburg. On the road at sunrise in Hogsback, deep in the mountains of the Eastern Cape. It was a fascinating, fun, and utterly exhausting trip. More than 3100 kilometers, R7500 in car repairs (!), and hundreds of photographs later, we’re back home.