I am remarkably blessed to have six wonderful children, Eric, Kurt, Karl, Molly, Madeleine and Franz by name. As proof of my claim, I like to lightly say they are all out of jail, employed and paying taxes...admittedly an odd way of not putting too much pressure on them. Let me also say, I love and respect them all.
Today, though, I want to single out Molly, my tall, fair, willowy red-headed girl (a woman now, far too soon) for special thanks. You see, last week Molly wrote a very flattering item about me on Facebook. Turnabout is not only fair play, it’s long overdue. Molly is the means and reason for this blog of mine; she coaxed me out of journalistic retirement and dragged me, age 83, into the on-line world so I could comment on the tumultuous passing scene. Now she is my editor, my art director, my proofreader and my production manager all in one. Which brings me to how she came by her qualifications.
Much of my working life was spent as a magazine editor. We had a saying in the business about those we bought content from; there were word people and there were camera people, and rarely did you ever find a person with both talents. Molly is that rare exception. An insatiable reader as a child, she went on to graduate with honors from UC Berkeley in English Literature, with a special interest in poetry—always a promising sign. Her interest in photography came later in life, and I like to think I played a part in its flowering. She asked me one day who my favorite photographer was. A word person totally inept with a camera, I immediately said “Henri Cartier-Bresson,” a man who had a background in letters as well the graphic arts. Molly looked at me skeptically; she had never heard of the famous Frenchman. Apparently research remedied that. She was soon extolling the master of “street photography” to me as though I had never mentioned his name.
Though I see some influence of Cartier-Bresson in Molly’s work, she seems less intent on capturing people in candid moments than catching through her lens nature at its beautiful best. Her photographic art better resembles that of Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter and Philip Hyde, so much so that I’m starting to think of her as the spiritual great-granddaughter of John Muir. Whence this love of wilderness? Well, she was a Girl Scout for years. And as a family we took our share of camping trips into the Western wilds. But I suspect it is largely due to the influence of her gentleman friend and companion (and frequent model), Rama Geroux. (He’s the original nature boy grown to manhood.)
I’m pleased to say Molly’s photographic work has been accepted and shown in a few exhibitions. And her writing is clean, smooth and pleasant to the ear as you hear it, always the sign of a good writer. Yes, she is blessed to be one of the lucky few who has can marry art for the mind with that for the eye. Take a moment to check out my judgment by going to her blog, mollymargaretmeyer.com. See if you don’t agree it’s as spirit-cleansing as a day hiking the John Muir Trail.