Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pumpkins with Purpose: Galeaux d'Eysines

Galeaux d'Eysines Pumpkin

For our second annual Pumpkins with Purpose I have chosen the Galeaux d'Eysines pumpkin for it's stunningly unique appearance and great flavor.  As for the "purpose" part of Pumpkins with Purpose I have chosen the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation in honor of an incredible life that I had the opportunity to know during my short 364 day stay in Chicago.

I spent most of my time in Chicago living in hotels in Northern Indiana, flying home or back to South Carolina and day dreaming about farming. However I did have the idea to take photography classes - something I had always wanted to learn. I signed up for a free introductory class at Richard Stromberg's Chicago Photography Classes.  This was basically just to test the waters and to let us know what we'd have to buy. So after the introduction that day I signed up for the Photo I and bought myself a Nikon D90 camera body + a lens + lightroom for editing and I was ready!

Richard as a young man {photo from HERE}

Richard taught the Photo I class.  And he was not only teaching...but telling us stories.

And not just stories about the day to day but about life, his travels across the United States, and as you can imagine photography....his passion and spark in life.  But it was his stories of the people he had photographed and the places he had seen that stuck with me.

I remember thinking to myself this man was the guy who gave them the idea for the Dos Equis beer man: The Most Interesting Man in the World.  He had camped among wild buffalo in the Dakotas. Had made his way across the country just camping. Had captured and frozen in time forever the spirit of those he interacted with.  He had strikingly gorgeous photo of an elderly woman leaning against the left wall of his classroom. The woman was in her 90's when he took the photo quite a few years prior. She would have been well into her 100's and while I'm sure she was gone...I still got to know her. A very small part of her story, at least.

The power of a picture.

We were never allowed to delete any photos in his class. No matter how out of focus, off center, or horrific we had to present them for review. He said we learn from our mistakes and with a laugh said he is the most learned man in the world. The mistakes started from the moment he stepped out of bed in the morning.

I like to joke about "lifetime learning" and strive to be a "lifetime learner." I try to challenge myself to always be taking a class or reading or trying something new because these things are "self gifts."

Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing enough. I'm not seizing all there is to learn and do.  I would confidently say that in Richard's life he experienced.  He saw. He experienced and saw through the lens of his camera with focus and great respect.

It's so important to surround ourselves with people who inspire us and challenge us.

Richard had a passion that I was part envious of and part past ready for in my own life in 2011.

Richard lost his life to pancreatic cancer on November 7, 2014 at the age of 66.

In honor of him a portion of the sales of the Galeaux d'Eysines pumpkins will be donated to the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.  Also $0.20 of all pumpkins sold will be donated as well.

Here's some photos I took while taking classes at Richard's photography school: 

farm visit in mt. horeb, wisconsin

farmer friends in dover, minnesota 

ribbon wall at a new leaf florist shop in chicago, il

chicken friend in Michigan

farm visit mt. horeb, wisconsin

antique shop in elkhart, indiana

madison wisconsin farmers market honey vendor

middlebrook farm in michigan

jean in the greenhouse

a portrait one of my classmates took of me

1 comment:

  1. My Father in law had a form of Pancreatic Cancer and we were lucky and fortunate enough to catch it early enough for him to recover, thank you for donating to this wonderful foundation..


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