Some 20-ish years ago, I met Michael in grad school. He was from Prince Edward Island, Canada, which sounds exotic when you live in central Illinois. We hung around with a group of mutual friends those couple of years. He took me to play hockey once (I was really bad but had fun) and he was in my wedding party.
Since then I've stayed in Lincoln and Michael's moved around some. He got married and has eventually settled in Marble, Colorado, where he and his wife run a retreat center for ministers.
Michael was in town last week teaching a doctoral class and we invited him over to the house for dinner Thursday night. It was fun to chat about school, our families, our work, and where our lives have gone in the past 20 years.
I was in the middle of a session at the studio on Saturday morning when Michael texted and asked if I wanted to have lunch. I thought he'd already left to return to Colorado but, no, his flight didn't leave until Saturday evening. The timing was perfect, so he stopped by at 12:30 and we went next door to the Mama's Arcade Cafe. Michael ate a horseshoe (a piece of toast topped with meat, french fries, and slathered in melted cheese). It's a central Illinois thing—I'd never heard of it before I moved here. I ordered a big hamburger and fries. We continued where we'd left off from Thursday night, talking about the joys and challenges of raising kids and being fathers.
An hour and a half later, we wandered back over to the studio and I asked Michael if I could make his picture. I used the light I'd set up from my morning session (a Paul Buff Einstein in a beauty dish) and made the picture above.
I hope to have more opportunities to do this--to make pictures of my friends. Time and distance will separate us but I'll see this picture and remember our food and conversation and laughter. And I'll look forward to the chance to do it again.