"I've got no regrets, because I did it all when I was younger!"
September 8, 2022
by Skip Cohen
I've got one goal with this post - many of you never met Duncan MacNab, but when I'm done writing, you will at least know him just a little. Since meeting "Dunc" in 1987, when I joined Hasselblad, he's been a great buddy and often an inspiration on so many different levels.
Bob Thompson introduced me to Duncan at a convention somewhere on the planet in 1988. Dunc was a professional photographer and owner of F11, a Hasselblad dealer in Bozeman, MT. He was active in PPA, and in later years, we'd serve together on the PPA Board. He was also responsible for the Rocky Mountain Professional Photographer conference each year. But that was only part of his life in Bozeman and the West - he served as Mayor, at one time Assistant Coroner, and later Coroner.
So, that's what his resume would highlight, but that doesn't begin to tell you about the man himself. Nobody did it better, from his sense of humor to his zest for life to his love for this industry and integrity! Thanks to Duncan, many of us got to experience sights in the west reserved for only a handful of people. For ten years, every winter, a group of us went into Yellowstone on snowmobiles for three intense days of photographing the park.
There's that old line: "He who dies with the most toys wins!" We used to say Duncan doesn't need to die - he's already got all the toys. From snowmobiles to Harleys to camera gear, woodworking, dive gear, gun collecting, and the most incredible stereo system I'd ever heard, hanging out with Dunc was always a blast.
And we covered it all - from the bottom of the ocean to the top of snow-covered mountains in Yellowstone and everything in between - Duncan's been a part of my life on so many different levels.
The picture of the three of us above was taken less than a week ago. Bob Thompson and I had an idea. Duncan had been in the hospital and was being moved to a rehab center - so let's visit him. Bob headed out from Tucson to Spokane, and I from Sarasota. We walked into Duncan's room a week ago this morning.
The three of us spent two days together, laughing non-stop. Like telling jokes in a bar with friends, one story led to another. We covered every adventure we'd ever been on, and it was wonderful.
I got home on Friday and called Dunc Saturday with an idea - I wanted to write the "MacNab Manifesto." I wanted to have some fun with "Duncanisms" about being a photographer, running a business, being a dedicated husband and Dad - whatever. Well, we never got to put his thoughts down, but here's what I want to share...
Duncan is one of the finest men I've ever known. While he had a serious side, he never took life so seriously that he forgot to have fun. He believed in friendship, a firm handshake, and always being upfront in whatever he was feeling. His dedication to his wife Donna, who had severe rheumatoid arthritis and twenty-nine surgeries in her life, was legendary. He couldn't have been more devoted.
And to Dunc - Buddy, you will be missed. But with all the stories, laughs, and incredible memories, you achieved immortality with a whole bunch of us. So just to say I'll miss you is a huge understatement. I love ya, pal!
“The business of life is the acquisition of memories."
Mr Carson from Downton Abbey.
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