It’s still friends week here at the Bradstein Household, and today I’m celebrating friends old and new, near and far, including one who gave us the gift of his services for a professional photoshoot of 3B.
In high school, I believed that I would know all those people for the rest of my days, that our kids would play together, that we’d hang out at the bar together, that we would support each other as we won our Grammys, Oscars, Tonys, and Nobel Prizes. OK, there are a select few–two, actually–who I still keep in touch with somewhat regularly, but it’s been the rule rather than the exception that friends drift, move, run, and slip away.
One such character was Jason Helvey, who Mama and I knew in Colorado, pre-wedding, pre-Barky, and pre-3B. He headed down to Tex-ass around the time that we were getting ready to leave Colorado, and that was the last we saw of his long-haired, Allman Brother-lovin’, bike ridin’, hippie ass. We’ve never forgotten about him, however, and often wondered where he was these days. It wasn’t without hope of a reunion that I included his name in a post awhile back. Sure enough, a friend of his pointed him over our way, and after about a year, Jason got out of the stream, put down the rod and the flies, and figured out enough about computers to post a reply. We haven’t heard from him since, but those few words from a young Dickey Betts was all we needed to keep hope alive that someday we’ll see him again. You know, when he comes back east to check out some real rivers, not those cricks they have out there in east Tex-ass.
But he’s not the only one we left out west. In fact, my whole family is still out there–not without good reason, which I’ll remember in July and August, when my eyeballs melt from the heat and we all once again wonder why George Washington hated his new country so much that he stuck the capital in a place referred to as Foggy Bottom. But back to the family–one member of the family out there is Cousin #63 or something. One of my other cousins came up with an intricate scheme for numbering all of us to preserve our online anonymity, but honestly, once I get past my five siblings, any scheme is too complex because it automatically requires going over to my second hand, which I need to hold my martini while I type. Besides, she has her name all over her website, where she displays all kinds of cool art that she’s made. Although it’s not included on her site, the shiny newish header on this blog is her creation as well, from a photo of 3B she found while
stalking seeing what was up with us.
Speaking of photos of 3B, two Sundays ago, all of us Bradsteins headed down to Kevin Davis’ studio for a professional photoshoot of 3B. Kevin and his wife, who are both coworkers of mine, and their kids all gave us this photoshoot as a newborn gift for 3B. At Kevin’s suggestion, we waited until 3B was a bit more sturdy and expressive to make the most of the session, and man, was 3B expressive and active.
The session was a family affair, with Kevin’s wife and kids helping out while Kevin shot. Mama and I were positioned just out of the frame–most of the time–ready to catch 3B, who crawled headlong off the table a half-dozen times. Kevin said that’s the first time he’s seen a baby do that, which doesn’t bode well for 3B’s chances of surviving his teenage years. In between set-ups, as we were changing 3B’s outfit or feeding him, it was so much fun to hang out with their whole family. Awhile back, Mama and Kevin’s wife, who is Korean, talked for a long time at an office holiday party about Korea, where Mama lived for six months during her Watson Fellowship. At work, however, it’s hard to find the time to really get to know someone, even over a number of years, so it was nice to have this space to relax with each other and our kids.
By the time the strobes stopped flashing, we ended up with 230 or so photos to choose from, which is many more than Kevin says he usually ends up with. As he said of 3B, “He’s a very expressive baby.” Now we need to have Kevin and his family up to help us figure how to display some of them in our house. The quality is high enough that we could display them “billboard size,” according to Kevin. That may overwhelm our living room and violate a few building codes, but I think we have room for some large prints, nonetheless.
Mama and I narrowed them down to our favorites–although these copies aren’t at billboard resolution. I figured that you weren’t going to be printing them for your living room–and that you’d want to be able to download one in under a day. We hope that you enjoy these, and for those of you in the Northern Virginia area, or if you’re coming to visit, consider swinging by Kevin’s to get some priceless photos of your little beauties.