That was certainly one of the most exciting nights of my life. It's now the morning after and all my family is still asleep.
I'm hungover, but still grinning. Gee, I'm thinking, boy I must have really had a good time.
Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.
Last night was the artist's reception at the NoHo Gallery LA. I have four photographs on display as part of their current "The Art of News" exhibition. By itself, that's a huge honor and really a mind blowing experience.
Quite a thrill to see pictures I've taken on display in a gallery show.
I'll get to some of the details, but let me say off the top, the biggest thrill of the night for me was having my wife and kids there. Our older son and daughter drove down from San Francisco and it just felt great to have my whole little group together.
In a day where every time I turned around, there was another great moment for me personally, this was a gift that nothing else could really touch.
Photo by Victor Webb
Not that I want to take away anything from every other mind blowing moment of the day, but I was also interviewed by Cary Berglund for KNBC. I'll link to the story on their web site after they post the video later today.
I used to work with Cary when he was with KCAL and it was a blast to suffer on the other side of an interview.
Gosh, it was also a funny coincidence that our new Business Conduct Statements were distributed on the same day that I do an interview with one of our competitors.
After I had done the interview, I found out that some people were just slightly alarmed that I hadn't ran it past our corporate-guy-in-charge-of-this-kind-of-stuff (swear to goodness, I think that's his actual title).
I went to one of the people I trust the most in the newsroom (hi, Paul!) and asked if I was going to get fired for doing an interview for KNBC. I don't recall his exact words, but it came down to "probably not".
My thought? Okay, good enough for me.
He pointed me in the right direction to get a final ruling on the situation. It was fine, no violation of policy.
But, I digress. The show was packed through much of the evening. Over the course of the evening, I had a pretty large group that had fought through a lot of traffic to be there.
Some of my best friends from periods of my life as far back as grade school showed up.
Photo by Daniel C. DeBevoise
I think everybody liked my shot of the Vatican the best of my four pieces. I got a lot of great compliment from everyone, but there was really good work from all the artists on display.
I also wanted to point out that CBS2/KCAL9 did cover the event also. We couldn't send a reporter out, but I still really appreciated them sending a photographer. No worries. Remember, I was filling in for the Chief Photog this week. I worked on the schedule and the crew assign and I know how tight our resources were on Friday.
I don't know if it was the promise of punch and pie or the implied threat of sending me completely over my normally comfortable perch on the edge of sanity that prompted people who know me to show up. I do know it was in part the love, support, and threatening undercurrent of fear of my wife that kept me from behaving too outrageously in public.
I think my friends and family got to see a different side of me.
Photo by (aw heck, I forgot who took this one)
It's not all that unusual that I find myself at the center of attention. The nature of what I do for a living often finds me with an opinion or perspective on the world that others find of interest. Most often those moments are random and spontaneously at my discretion. It's extremely rare that I spend so much time in a spotlight (microscope) position.
I thank Dan, currator of the gallery for inviting me to be a part of his show, but I enjoyed the day for reasons that go beyond the art of mine on the wall.
You could easily see it in their faces. Different friends of mine who haven't seen each other in long time (or never knew each other) had the opportunity last night to connect. It felt as if the bonds that tie us together were strengthened.
I feel like a group of the folks I know from different parts of my life, well, we're all of us more of a family now. It's really kind of humbling to recognize myself as the one of thing people I invited had in common. As cool a thing as it was to see my pictures in a gallery show, it was cooler still to see the happy faces of everyone I claimed as mine mingling with each other and enjoying life and the day.
Trust me, it's not a lack of anything (self-esteem, ego, ambition, yadda-yadda), it just kind of how I look at things. Really, with nothing but great affection, thanks to everyone for coming out.
Just know that there's a small corner of my mind where I look at the evening and say to myself.
It's really not about me. I'm just happy we had the time togther.
Although maybe you could all chip in and you know, like buy something next time?