This Lens -He Gave Me

At thirteen, he contracted polio and would never use his limbs to run again.  In South Webster every one knew him as Teddy and he never let on about his disability and stayed right up with the best of ‘em.

His resilience and determination caught the eye of his waitress who worked at Star 60.  A short time after memorizing his daily order, they were married and the cans that were tied to the bumper clanged nearly all the way to Washington, DC.

Upright with the spine of an oak -he walked through the door of the brace and limb shop for an adjustment.  The hidden metal beneath the hem of his pants that ran into shoes would begin squeak as the up and down movement picked up the lifeless feet beneath him.    

The boy who never ran was the young man of resilience bound to land the job and needed the grinding metal silenced to pull it off.

The job was with National Geographic!

Those braces were tuned to near precision that afternoon in that brace and limb shop.  Ted left with a bounce in his step and headed for home to what his waitress had readied for dinner.

The two of them shared the kitchen space, laughed, and celebrated at the little table that overlooked East Capital.  They cleaned up, shared a prayer of thanksgiving and headed for bed.

The following morning -Crace, with the same bounce in his step, returned to the brace and limb shop, made his way to the time clock and punched in.

My dad -who is my hero, never made it to that Nat Geo interview.  He would go on to graduate from Northwestern and become a certified orthotist and prosthesis.  He had a remarkable, rewarding, career helping others to walk and live with the use of prosthetic limbs. 

He gave me a Konica FT-1 camera prior to me becoming a teen.  While I haven’t earned Nat Geo status or made the interview that he never made -it is my hope, he can see the shots I compose and create through my lens as if it were his.  I hope through my lens I’ve made my dad proud.

This image was one of the first shots I took after moving to Fujifilm in 2017.  It is just like any other evening spent with him.  Once dinner is cleared from the table, everyone remains pitted for a game of Blow It. 🎲

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