Friday, January 18, 2013
Andrew has introduced me to so many people over the last couple of years but who knew he'd actually help me reconnect with a long lost cousin. Eric Howard is a fascinating individual. This is a word I rarely use but no other word would do him justice. Andrew first met him in 1987 but he had known the name 'Eric Howard' long before. Andrew was surprised when the famous photographer approached him about working on a project together. The two arranged to meet at a local pub to discuss a calendar for Bob Carlos Clarke. Carlos had just published the book, 'The Dark Summer' and was looking for another avenue to display the photographs.
Eric had agreed to act as the design consultant. Andrew and Eric both South London boys hit it off well. Eric convinced Andrew to do the calligraphy for the calendar and became a Jamieson Private Patron. The two admire each others work so paintings are exchanged for photographs. The most recent is a Jamieson, 'Gold Leaf' for an Eric Howard, 'Young Dancer'.
Andrew and Eric have so much in common. They both fought their way to the top of their respective fields and encountered a lot of prejudice along the way due to where they came from. I grew up in America where working hard was all that mattered. You are judged by your own personal actions not your family ties. But in England some people still believe whole heartedly in the class system. Andrew, Eric and I believe in hard work which is why the three of us get along so well.
Eric has accomplished much throughout his career as a photographer. His highest achievement was winning the Royal Photographic Societies Gold Metal. However, his resume doesn't tell you what is most important about this man. I'm honored to know him not because he is famous but because he is simply a good person. It's the way he treats his fellow man that truly makes him special. He is a wonderful friend. When he invites you to his home he makes you feel like royalty. Eric is extremely thoughtful. One afternoon knowing Andrew and I needed some alone time he just showed up at our cottage with his son who is the same age as ours and took the boys bowling. Another day he invited us over and gave us a long private tour of the gardens in his backyard even taking time to teach me a bit about photography.
I haven't seen Eric in several months now as we've been busy with projects and he has as well. I look forward to Summer when we can all just relax with a bottle of wine and catch up. Yes, Andrew has introduced me to many nice people. What is it they say, 'good people know good people'. In Andrew's case this is not just a quote but a true statement.