Tell Them What You Remember

“Sure, I remember you,” the highly accomplished Houston-area photographer said to me.  “You wrote for Rangefinder Magazine.” I am so glad he told me that he remembers my writing.

I wanted to be a freelance writer and photographer and started on that quest after high school. I pursued it throughout my college years and was full-time in the field until 1987. The last time that I was published in Rangefinder Magazine was about 1985, but Alvin remembered. I wrote for them for several years. In fact, the first appearance of my name in the magazine was in a marketing column. I had sent one of their columnists some samples of my letterhead and business card, explaining that I did not want to be perceived “as just another college kid with a camera.” The columnist featured me in one of his columns; I was about 21 years old.

Alvin reached out to invite me to a tour of his studio, which is actually very close to where I grew up, and for catching up over lunch.  I haven’t see him in decades, though I have always been a fan of his work. He is very well known in the field, and beyond. I look forward to the visit. In our call was an important reminder – tell folks things you remember.

I remember his modest beginnings and called them out. He acknowledged that my recollection was correct. He has come a long way. He seemed pleased that I remembered.

People are pleased when they hear of the things others remember (focus on the good, the positive, the loving and the humorous) about them. The stories travel across time and space. Sometimes the recollections strike a familiar chord, and sometimes they touch on something that is important to the other person but is assumed to have been long-since forgotten…like writing for a photography magazine.

Recollections, big and small, and stories, short or long, compress time and remind people that others have been listening, have noticed and remember. Tell people things you remember about them.

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