Monday, January 15, 2018
This is a historic photograph that is only given to us through the advances of modern computer technology. I've had the negative of this picture since the early 1990s, but I have never been able to pull an image from it--until now. I was going through old notebooks of negatives and proof sheets and decided to try scanning this one more time. Then I took into a couple different photo programs and finally got this. It is the meeting of John Steinbeck's wife and Jim Harrison at a Key West Writers Conference. I was standing there when she walked up and introduced herself. Harrison, who had been a mean old bear toward people, lit up. He talked about the correspondence between himself and her husband and as they chatted, I asked them to let me take a picture. I had a little Olympus XA with an attached flash, but something went wrong and the flash terribly overexposed them both. Why I only took one, I'll never understand.
What do I do with such a photo? It is important, I think, but to whom? Maybe a Harrison biographer. Maybe.
Or, like all my photographs, it will go into a dusty room to get thrown away one day. The permanence of photography.