Monday, August 13, 2018

1956 Dick's portrait of Margaret Bourke White

I was excited recently when I saw a well-worn autobiography written in 1963 by the famous "LIFE" magazine writer Margaret Bourke White on the sale table of our local library. Of course I bought it ("25 cents for Hardcover's") and it brought back this poignant memory.

I met my husband in 1957 in New York City.  He had left "LIFE" a year earlier to start his own business as a free lance commercial photographer.  During his 3 years with "LIFE" he was privileged to assist some of the best known photographers in the world.... not least of which was Ms. White.   It was on one of these ventures that he took a picture of her that he felt captured her adventurous nature and beauty.  He cropped and enlarged it and presented it to her on the day that he left.   

Fast forward to Dick and I marrying in 1958 and our busy days spent concentrating on enlarging his business venture.  We were still living in NY City and one evening when he came home late he explained that he'd run into his old "LIFE" group and not only did they enjoy getting caught up but they told him that Margaret Bourke White had left a letter for him before she retired but they didn't know where to send it.  Of course he was excited and couldn't wait to see what it was.

It was a lovely short letter thanking Dick for the picture and telling him that it was the best portrait that had every been taken of her.  Of course we were thrilled and when, in 1963 she came out with her autobiography we got our copy and proudly tucked her letter into the pages.  Sadly, many moves later we realized we'd lost the book with her wonderful hand-written letter inside.

Luckily memories are not so easily cast aside and it was fun to be able to resurrect this one.


Blogger Marie Smith said...

I love your stories Ginnie. Such wonderful memories to share!

3:10 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

What a shame you no longer have that letter but how sweet you still remember it.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Did she ever use that photo in a publication of any kind? It would be great to see it.

5:50 PM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

What a lovely story. Thanks for sharing it.

6:40 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

What a neat reminiscence. I always enjoy yours...:)

4:35 PM  
Blogger possum said...

Another great story!
What ever happened to his negatives?

3:32 AM  
Blogger Linda P. said...

I have enjoyed reading about your husband's career, some of his triumphs, and the work you both were doing in your early marriage to build his career before illness hit. Then I got to a post that had preceded it, one that included a recent tweet by President Trump attacking the free press. That made reading about your husband's early career and the hope and energy I felt pulsing from those memories all the more poignant.

11:09 AM  

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