Saturday, the Northwest Houston Photo Club had scheduled the monthly field trip not far from where I live at the Farmer’s Market on Airline. They always start with meeting with a meal and all I had eaten the previous two days was two six packs of Ensure and a whole bag of Halloween candy to I thought a descent meal might not be a bad idea.
The meal turned out to be all I was interested in eating, a small bowl of dry grits. After eating I shot a couple of photographs; one of Tiger Moses loading his film camera and one of Leslie Stessel doing his official club photographer duties of photographing the attendees. Afterwards, outside we all stood for a group portrait and then spread out in the market.
As I was entering the building I saw a bentwood chair sitting on the edge of the parking lot and could not resist taking a photograph. I framed the shot and waited for the traffic in the background to clear. Other than being compelled to photograph the chair I didn’t think a lot about a motive until I saw the photograph on the monitor. It was then that I realized how much symbolism was in this photograph of an empty chair. A lot of it was simply the emptiness I was feeling at her lost, but it was not only that. Shortly before we married Janet purchased a set of Thornet bentwood chairs for her dining table. She was extremely proud of the chairs as they were from Gebrüder Thonet the company founded in the 1850's by the man who originally solved the problem of constructing bentwood furniture. The chair was the original hairpin design just like the ones that Janet had. I do not know if the chair on the parking lot was a Thornet because there are so many reproductions that it would be difficult to tell. It had been painted a bright red many years ago. You could tell from the wear patterns on the chair that at one time it was the original blond color like Janet’s.I was taken back on examining the photograph how much the first “art” photograph that I took after Janet’s passing had such tremendous connection to her. I feel this will be a pattern for a very long time to come. She has been my reason for being for so very long and I sincerely pray that presence will remain as long as I live. I have been an extremely fortunate, actually an extremely but undeservedly blessed, man to have had Janet in my life. She was my Rock of Gibraltar, my anchor, my safe haven in the storm, my wife, my lover and most of all my inspiration for life. She was the one that gave me the warm fuzzies when she snuggled up against me at night and made me realize how truly great my life was with her. Even though I know I will miss the strength of her physical presence that she will forever be a presence in my life. I feel certain that there will continue to be posts to the blog about Janet because there is so much that I would like to share with the world about this wonderful person that had allowed me into her life. Those that read the blog will most likely end up like my friends that have heard my Janet Stories dozens of times.