Let's set the stage. Rudy Guttosch, who today is VP at Foveon was Hasselblad USA's first "Electronic Imaging Manager". As a kid, he grew up in the photographic industry and there's nobody more passionate about imaging. During his time with Hasselblad he was an amazing asset. The only sad part was, Hasselblad really didn't have any products! Remember, this is before digital imaging and the only product, which Sweden pretty much controlled was a system for wire photo transmission for photojournalists.
As a result, Rudy, who absolutely loved photography, got involved in so many other aspects of our business before good buddy, Ray DeMoulin called me one day to tell me he wanted to hire Rudy. As much as we hated to lose him, it was the right decision. With his incredible background he just wasn't being utilized. To this day, Ray calling me first, is one of the classiest things I've ever heard happening in our industry.
Well, a year before Rudy left we were at Photo West, then sister show to PPE today. It was at Mosconi Center in San Francisco and it was Rudy's birthday. An hour before the show opened, a woman singing Swedish opera walked in. As she started singing "Rudy" in a full soprano at max volume, Rudy started turning red, but she had a full routine and he wasn't about to escape.
It was one of the all time great "gotchas" as vendors from all over the trade show floor came over to see what was going on. The more people showed up the redder Rudy got. At the end of the day one of the guys from Canon came over to me and said, "Nicely done - you get the award for best humiliation of an employee at a trade show!"
One last point to all of this. Rudy and I don't see each other very often, but I called him to make sure he was okay with me running this today. There will always be an amazing friendship from the Hasselblad chapter we shared and that's what this industry is all about. The longer you're in it, the more people you'll meet and the more stories you'll have about the good old days, which for many of you are right now! You'll start to cherish the photographs and the memories. What an