Mar 9, 2006

In Memory of a Renaissance Man...Gordon Parks

Who's the cat that won't cop out
When there's danger all about?
Right On!

The Theme from Shaft, performed by Isaac Hayes

"Newt Winger lay belly-flat at the edge of the cornfield, his brown chin close to the ground, his eyes glued to a hill of busy ants. He singled out one struggling with tree bark twice it's size,
tugging it forward then sideways then backward up the incline. Being a veteran ant-watcher,
Newt tracked its course near perfect over the rough and slippery terrain." excerpt from the Learning Tree, the 1963 autobiographical Novel turned film

Ella Watson, a Washington, D.C. charwoman shown here in one of Parks' most famous photographs taken in 1942. - Library of Congress

Gordon Parks was an author, songwriter, screen writer, musician, and Life Magazine's first black photographer. His passing yesterday at the age of 93 is the subject of a very enlightening NPR interview that I highly recommend. I learned two main things listening to this story...(1) we know and love so many things, but have no idea where they came from or who created them, and (2) you absolutely CAN do all the creative and inspiring things you love and be good at them.

We are so fortunate that people like Mr. Parks honor us for a time, stay for a while, and leave us with so rich a legacy to enjoy.

Yeah - I listen to NPR talk's got a good beat. And sometimes...I dance to it.