Thursday, August 27, 2009

Life Ain't Fair-A Terrible Loss

I have always approached life with two thoughts in mind; "You can't win if you don't enter" and "Life ain't fair." It keeps me grounded and puts things in perspective.

A communication to my office yesterday caused my heart to sink.

Will Powers, the Minnesota Historical Society Press Design and Production Manager died unexpectedly while vacationing at a family cabin in Canada.

I first met Will when he worked on my last book "A HARD WATER WORLD." A book that peeked into the whacky culture of ice fishing in North America and Russia. Within minutes of meeting with Will I knew this project was in good hands. I've never met anyone who could multi-task like this man, still smile and offer appreciations for the projects he was overseeing. He loved to talk about the photography and we engaged in conversations well beyond production lingo. Quite simply, he got it. It made me feel secure and I think he truly enjoyed participating in the works managed.

At the risk of revealing emotions so immediate after the news of this loss, I can't hold back. I liked Will. I feel like I need to call him today and ask him "what the heck are you doing?"
I can't believe he's gone. My frequent phone and email communications with Will allowed
an advance look into a relationship I believe was on a lifelong track. A valued friendship. I've tried to hold back the tears but the loss is real. I will miss him.

Working on a book project is no easy task. The pressure to find time, be in the right place at the right time, capturing the essence of your topic can be stressful. I want a perfect book. One that presents the topic in precise fashion. I don't photograph books for myself. I think I photograph them for the audience. I want to share these experiences with people. However, working with Will at the MHS Press, I think I was working hardest to please him. I knew if he liked what was coming in, I had done a good job. That inspired me in a quiet and fullfilling way.

There is no question in my heart to whom this book will be dedicated. Each and every image I create on this effort from here on out I will think of Will.

I wish like hell I could call and tell him this. I'm still in shock. Our know our paths will once again meet. Our common journey splits off here but will continue later.

I'll gaze into the night sky to say hello often. Safe travels my friend.


  1. Layne, me heart breaks for you at what is obviously such a tremendous loss. I can only imagine the joy Will also felt at the opportunity to work with you.

    Please know you are in my thoughts during this very difficult time


  2. The loss of a friend... like a shooting star, bright, alive and full of energy and then its gone... but looking up you can still see the beauty of his spirit.
    I will cry with you my friend... may the force be with you always...