please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Friday, December 12, 2008

On Dyin', not 'Dyin'

Here's a pretty good shot of Terry Toedtemeier, who apparently died yesterday, in Hood River. He was 61.
Out of all the curators I worked with in my time at the art museum, he was easily the most human of them. He still had that mad spark that really honestly is the 'art' part of "art". He was nice, too.

Recently he had published a book called Wild Beauty, which was a historic overview of photography involving the Columbia Gorge from its earliest practitioners to present day. He was giving a lecture about it yesterday and had a heart attack immediately afterward.

Terry obviously loved the Gorge as much as I do. I once found a wide-format shot he did on his desk: it was of what is sometimes called Community Arch, and it lies on a not-exactly-trail that goes off and up the side of the mountain above Horsetail Falls. This trail will lead your ass right out into the middle o' nowhere, and oddly, some wag who came before affixed a sign to a tree high, high up that reads "Mystery Trail".
Point is, either Terry stumbled upon the arch like I did, entirely by accident, or spent just as much time as me and my friends examining every possible route, slide and gully. This takes years, but is entirely worth it.

I'm unsurprised to note that his first love was geology. The Gorge is like a museum entirely dedicated to that particular study. I've taken lots of pictures out there too, and they often rely on the intricacy of the rock formations. For anyone with a mind that likes wandering down long, endless roads, this is the place.

On the other hand, George did not die. He was nearly felled by Fresca, of all things, a couple days ago. I'll let him tell that one.

UPDATE: So Josh Westhaver is dead, as well. Here is how I found out. The fact that two of the nicer people I have worked with have died in the run-up to my birthday is kinda fucking me up.

As I have said before, it's not like death is some alien concept to me, but it's still the kind of thing that will trip one up, especially when said person was always very nice to you, and despite a huge propensity for accidents, should have lived many more years than they did.
I'm pretty sure Josh was younger than me. I've never been sure. He did have a huge propensity for accidents. If someone was going to plunge a blade into his palm, that'd be Josh. I first met him three years ago, during the first show I did for PICA, and I recall him being one of the few sane voices around there.

I recall at the after-party, which ran until dawn (partially because we worked until two...or four?), Josh and I were sitting there -shitfaced- talking to some guy who had shown up. I don't recall how we got to this juncture in the conversation, but the guy who had shown up was looking at me incredulously, saying, "So you're saying that things don't change?"
And I said, "No, I'm saying that change is the nature of the universe!" Josh started laughing and clapping.

This morning was given over to awkward emails to people I don't often speak to. One of them was ultimately answered by an old pal of mine who, it turns out, has moved to New Orleans but is coming back for the memorial.
This too: I have so severely limited my social contact in the last two years, I can't be said to be close to many people at all. This also leaves me feeling strange about two people that I liked and cared about dying, as I don't feel that I could honestly attend their memorial services as a friend. I'd be a stranger.

Ah shit: there's Apollo again. You Must Change Your Life; yeah, I know buddy. I know.

You can read what other people had to say about him here and here.



Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

He sounds like a cool guy.
Baruch shalom.

2:56 PM  

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