Sunday Morning Reflection: A New Year and New Walls

The new year is off to a great start – I slept in on the first day of 2017. Now granted, it was only until 8:00 am, but that’s a far cry from the usual 6:30 – 7:00 am. Besides, we almost made it to midnight on New Year’s Eve.  At 11:30 we chose to go to bed! Seriously, I loved living in California because at 9:00 pm we’d watch the ball go down in Times Square and everybody would go home. My priorities as I age seem to be getting more and more pathetic! LOL

I’m sitting in my “new” home office. We finished the move in record time – eight days from the time the movers left to all pictures hung, boxes unpacked and almost knowing where everything is. What’s been most fun about this move is what we chose to take and how each corner of the house has something of special meaning.  

Sitting here this morning, I’m surrounded by great memories. Images from friends on the walls, memorabilia from past conventions and special events on the book shelves and an endless stream of reminders that the best thing about this industry is the friendships.

The signed Steve McCurry image (sorry about the reflective glass) was a gift from Catherine Hall years ago, but the image itself has always been significant because it’s McCurry’s, an artist I’ve admired for years. It’s also a testimonial to his skill set. He never anticipated that single image would become one of the most iconic portraits in the world.


The typewriter was my “Uncle Joe’s.” My grandfather on my Dad’s side passed away long before my parents were married. My grandmother remarried Joe Morgenstern, and he was pretty special.

​While I know he passed away when I was around four, I still remember taking walks around Shaker Square in Cleveland with him and being sent to the cashier at the counter of a restaurant that was in a basement, with a nickel to buy him a cigar.


The portrait of me, with Sheila in the background, was done by our good friend Elena Hernandez from Dallas. She captured the moment at the Signature Hotel in Las Vegas during a WPPI convention.

I wrote a blog post about it last March. This was captured in between the two doorways going in and out of the Signature. If you know Elena, then you also know there’s no shortage of creativity when it comes to her portraits. With one click of the shutter, she managed to capture one of my most favorite portraits of Sheila and me.
Here’s the link to the blog post and the pictures of the doorway where she captured the image.


 ​The lightbulb, dedicated to Sheila and me, could well be one of the most unique gifts we’ve ever received. 

It’s eclectic and pure fun, but that’s also the way I’d define the friendship with Joe Elario who sent it to us. We met back in my Hasselblad days. Once a year at the New York show we’d catch up and talk about the previous year as if the last sentence from the year before ended with a comma. 

Over the years, “JP,” just a teenager when we first met at the convention, came into the business and the two of them have become one of the strongest father-son teams in professional photography today.

Over the years, Joe and I have made it a point to get out to dinner and share more time together outside conventions. Nothing beats great friendships!


The pocket watch was my grandfather’s. He’s the one I never met before my “Uncle Joe” came into the family. My Dad gave me the watch, and I was able to find the original 1927 Gruen ad on eBay. By the way, the watch keeps perfect time!

Last but not least, is Dad’s fraternity paddle. When being punished once, my Dad came into my room and closed the door. He said, “I know you understand what you did was wrong and your mother wants you to get a few swats from the paddle. So, when I hit my leg you’d better cry like there’s no tomorrow.”

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has fun with memories and maybe that’s a small part of each new year – looking at the journeys from our past.

Happy New Year everybody! Wishing you a year (not just the usual Sunday) filled with achieving your dreams or at least getting you closer to your goals. I hope it’s a year of good health and minimal moments of sadness. However, when sadness does enter your life, I hope it’s with the support of great people to lean on.

And as always on Sunday’s, wishing you time with those most important in your life and plenty of those eleven-second hugs. Thank you for the way you’ve enriched my life and supported one project after another. 2017 is going to be a fantastic year for all of us!

​Happy New Year! 


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