I was pleased to get some response from my new listing on Wonderful Machine.
I quickly received a nice portrait assignment to photograph a group of lawyers who worked in rural areas for the American Bar Association. I photographed Francy Foral (above) on a rock outcropping above historic Deadwood in South Dakota’s Black Hills, Cody Cooper and Mary Depuydt in North Dakota ranch country with cattle and a windmill, and Jake Swier on a lonely gravel road near Corsica, South Dakota. Fun shoot!
I always enjoy an excuse to head for the hills. The Black Hills, that is.
In particular, the lakes of the Black Hills. On a still summer morning, with just a touch of ground/water fog and clear skies, the scenery can be downright therapeutic. My favorite is Stockade Lake, just east of Custer. Just a couple of hours hiking around and photographing stuff on Stockade Lake’s shores is great soul renewal for an eastern South Dakota flatlander like me.
Rollie is a farmer in central South Dakota. His wife, Irene, is the love of his life.
Several years ago Irene started losing her battle with alzheimer’s and became more and more unresponsive. It must have been a tragic existence for them both; her memories of their decades-long marriage disappearing into the ether and Rollie’s confusion over what he should do mounting by the month.
Well, Rollie decided to take care of Irene. He didn’t want her living in a home, and wanted to remain her primary caregiver. He carries her around the house, he attends to her when nature calls, and he feeds her. They are inseparable.
I met them during a shoot for South Dakota Wheat Growers, a large agricultural company. SDWG had helped Rollie plant his fields that spring, and got him hooked up with an agency that helps farmers with planting and harvest when they or a family member are sick or otherwise incapacitated.
What a lesson to unexpectedly find on a routine corporate shoot. I think about Rollie often, and what he and Irene have to do just to get through each day. The human spirit is awe-inspiring.