June 20th, 2008


The lives of strangers, and tragedy

One of the things I love about working at a photo-lab is the glimpses into other people's lives that I get from their photos. People are usually photographing the happy things in their lives. Sometimes, though, it's not so happy.

Today I got to see the life of this talented young man, Joe Sodd III

A customer called at about 2:30 wondering how fast the turn around time would be on about 200 digital pictures. That late on a Friday the standard answer would be that we'd have them done on Monday. But she said they were for a memorial service this weekend, and I didn't have any other work that had to be done today, so I let her know that if she could have them there by 3:00 or so that I would make sure they got printed before the end of the day so they could be picked up on Saturday.

She was there about 15 minutes later with the CD that had the files. She had collected the photos from friends and family, and taken the time to scan them into the computer making sure that they looked as good as possible. In between apologizing for needing them done so last minute and thanking me for being willing to do them, she said that they were for a memorial on Sunday. She said that it was for the 20 yr. old who had been stabbed outside the Triple Rock last week. I hadn't heard about the stabbing.

I got started immediately with loading all the files into the printer. An entire all-too-short life, condensed into 200 images.

I'd never met Joseph Sodd III. I'd never even heard of him before today.

Now I know these things about him:
He was a cute baby.
He had a great smile, and he smiled a lot.
He had hair that if he let it grow out, it would explode into a riot of curls.
He had amazing beautiful grey eyes.
He was a dancer.
He had a younger brother.
He loved his parents and they loved him.
He had cousins close in age.
He wasn't shy.
He had lots of friends.
His nickname was Bougie.
His life was too damn short.

Yeah, the peeks into other people's lives aren't always sunshine and puppies. This one looked like a good life and it's sad to know that it has ended. I just hope that the photos I printed bring some smiles to the family and friends.
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