Yesterday morning, like I do every day, I hit the birthday notices on Facebook. It's a great way to keep track of what's going on in the lives of friends. Carl Nunn came up, and as I went to wish him a happy birthday, because I hadn't caught up with him in over a year, I clicked on his FB page first. Several people had posted birthday wishes, and then I scrolled down a little farther...
Carl passed away on Monday night, October 23, 2017.
He had been sick for a very long time but had maintained his intimate sense of humor and deep kindness.
Alix Linda Merritt
It's probably fifteen years ago I met Carl via a phone call at Rangefinder Magazine. It was late, and everybody had gone home when the phone rang. I did what I usually do...answered it. It was Carl Nunn. He had seen a cover of Rangefinder and was calling to find out how he could submit work. We talked for a long time, and that kicked off a new friendship. (Bill Hurter, then Editor-in-Chief loved Carl's work, and we did a feature story on him a few months later!)
Over the years we'd catch up to each other at the PPE convention in NYC, even grabbed lunch one time. But then, as life often does, time just moved at a rapid speed, and we lost track of each other. Carl wasn't traveling, and I've missed the last couple of PPE shows.
So, here's my point, the best things about our industry involve the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. Life is too short to let those special friendships just die on the vine like a vineyard in a drought. You need to Invest a little time into growing those friendships, and keeping them healthy.
As I'm writing this, there are bittersweet tears in my eyes - bitter because I didn't stay in touch with Carl and sweet, because he came into my life all because I answered a phone. He was a remarkable artist, but even more important as a man. He and I would easily spend an hour on every phone call talking about the industry, photography and here and there personal challenges we both had in our lives. He had a huge heart and was one of the kindest people I've ever met.
I've shared this in other posts: Tennyson wrote in Ulysses, "I am a part of all that I have met." Well everyone who comes into our lives for whatever reason contributes something to who we become. I'm going to miss my conversations with Carl, and I'm sad we didn't talk before he passed away, but I also know he's at peace and I like to think he's hanging out with other great friends our industry has lost over the years.
And that brings me to my usual close of wishing you a spectacular Sunday, and reminding you to go for those eleven-second hugs with those people who are special in your life. Do something today that makes this Sunday just a little more special. Take five minutes and dedicate it to one old friend who you've lost touch with. Find the time to pick up the phone and call them. Time goes by way too fast - don't let old friends disappear like I did Carl.
Happy Sunday Everybody!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.