The kindness of strangers
I was seven years old. Someone, not sure who, gave me my first camera. It was a classic Zeiss Icon 35mm camera, in a red leather case and had a fixed lens. I took some photographs and was amazed at how they turned out. And so I officially became a photographer.
It’s sad because I wish I knew who had passed that camera on to me via my parents.
I’d like to thank them and explain that because of their generous gift, I have had years of true pleasure being in the fortunate position of making a living from my passion. I’ve recorded fun images (from my time on cruise ships to the birth of my daughter) and sad images (Miami Int. Airport, sometime in 1989 when Cuba allowed X amount of ‘tourists’ out to visit their long lost family members in Florida springs to mind. I had to fight back the tears as I focused on people who hadn’t seen loved ones for 20 or 30 years got to hug each other again)…to commercial shots for editorial clients, to shots I’ve taken for me, for fun. Some of my photographs are sold throughout the world; some hang in my office and fill me with immense joy.
Someone, one day about 38 years ago made a decision to pass on their camera to a child. I wonder if they ever gave it another moment’s notice and thought about how their simple action could affect someone.
Because today, another stranger showed kindness towards my little girl and this time I know who it is.
Our local pharmacist was clearing out his father’s garage and came across an old Spanish guitar. It had been well played, and was slightly bashed about. Rather than just dump it, he asked if Finley would like it. Today, true to his word, Neil presented us with his father’s old battered guitar. What I saw in Finley’s eyes when she held her new guitar for the first time reminded me of when I was handed that old camera for the first time.
She immediately started strumming and singing along to the
noise music she was playing. She was over the moon.
Of course we will thank Neil, and I’ll make sure that he realises what his generous gift means to Finley…and I hope that in years to come, in what ever path music takes Finley along, Neil also gets to hear about it too.
I guess the point of this post is one of hope. Because despite all our issues, all our problems…the recession, and all the things that make us angry and upset, if you look close enough you’ll see that there are lots and lots of good, thoughtful people out there.