On The Cover Of The Rolling Stone
31 Dec 2009
Cover of the Rolling Stone
There are many things that stand out to me about my childhood. One is my dad's love of photography. Another is dad's gardening skills, most important of which was his skill growing roses. As I grew older one thing led to another and I too took up gardening and there are not many times I have been without my camera. It makes me smile to look back and remember how much of a pain in the butt my dad was while taking photos. What is now funny is, I have become my father.
Last year my life and the lives of our family took on a whole new direction. The things we used to think were important didn't matter as much as they once did. Fourteen months before my dad had gotten really sick and doctors told us they didn't think dad would make it home from the hospital, or even see his next birthday, which was only a few weeks away. Dad surprised them by not only making it home, but he made it another fourteen months. "Thank you God"
During one of our many trips to the hospital we found out dad had lung cancer. Dad decided not to seek treatment due to his belief he would loose his quality of life.
Now imagine you are a photographer and you know each time you see your dad, it might be the last time. What kind of photos would you take? Those are the thoughts that ran through my mind all the time. And Yes, I got the photos of many of those moments, and yes, they took our breath away.
Over dad's last year we took many photos, but the one that took my dad's breath away was a photo I had taken for a gardening magazine.
The magazine had sent an advertisement about a photo contest they were having and told how the winning photo was going to be published on the front cover of their magazine. Wow I thought, now that would be cool!
I entered the contest with a photo of one of our first spring roses. It was an awesome photo and it showed every detail, even the veins running through the pedals.
A few weeks later I learned that I had won first prize, which included having the photo I took published on the front cover of their spring magazine.
When it was finally published in the magazine, they sent me many copies. The fist person I sent the magazine to was my dad. A few days later I received a call, it was dad and he could hardly talk. I asked him, "Dad, are you alright?" he said he was fine, but he had just received the package I sent him.
When he opened the package, he saw my name on the front cover of the magazine with the photo I had taken. Dad asked me how I knew how to grow such wonderful roses and how I took a photograph like that. I think it was one of the proudest moments of my life when I told him, "Dad I learned it from you!" my dad couldn't talk and I was equally touched.
As a kid growing up I remember a song sung by Dr Hook and the Medicine Show, which had a verse, "is the thrill that'll get you when you get your picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone"
No I hadn't made the cover of the Rolling Stone but my photo had touched a very special place in my Father's heart.
I will always remember the thrill that will gitcha when you get your picture and it finds its way home.
William J. Garvey