Sunday, December 18, 2011

Passing of Passion

I like photos that tell a story. I like writing. I almost never write about my photos. If I have to explain a photo, to me, it's an admission that the photo isn't good. I'm too vain for that. :) For my friends that don't have my intended context for these photos I write:

I've known of Bob Taylor for many years. He was an early pioneer of whitewater. Moreover, for a paddler that roamed NC, AL, TN, GA, he was a WV paddling god. Yet, in a peculiar twist of fate, to me, he was a ghost. In the early paddling world there were two Bob Taylors. Both were outstanding paddlers and many camp fire stories were told of their exploits. The paranormal underpinnings of my context comes from the simple fact that for about five years, I thought there had been only one Bob Taylor. I had seen his name in print. He was killed in a horrible accident on the Gauley River in 1977.

So, when I started hearing about Appomattox River Company in Farmville, VA, I erroneously thought that it was a posthumous business that was carrying on. I actually met Bob in about 1986. I doubt he remembers but a significant amount of that first day’s conversation was a cleansing of my conscience. I harbored significant regrets for assuming someone’s demise in spite of significant evidence to the contrary. And, I have regrets for never knowing someone that will always be woven in the terrors of my mind regarding the Upper Gauley river.

Bob is a dear friend and his family has been a blessing to me. After many river miles and much instruction to me, to see him pass on the passion to Mack was as close to a spiritual moment as I will likely have for a while.

Peace in these Holidays.