Friday Five – Volume 85

Friday Five-Mere Observations

— 1 —

First up is one of the best stories I read in August. It’s about Vivian Maier, a quiet woman and an outstanding photographer whose talent and gift to us was almost lost to history.

In 2007, a young man named John Maloof bought boxes of photographic negatives at a Chicago auction house. Taking a chance and spending a few hundred dollars, he made the purchase knowing the items could prove worthless. On first look, this appeared to be the case, however, the images he saw were intriguing enough to spark his curiosity. Maloof thought the photographs good, but then had to admit he knew nothing about photography. Nevertheless, he felt there was something here, if not sure what exactly. It was at this point that his quest began. With little more than the name of the photographer, and even that had multiple spellings, he started to search for answers. The principal question he faced being: who was Vivian Maier? Initial searches drew a blank—a complete blank in fact. Frustratingly, nothing turned up, it was like she had never existed, but he had evidence to the contrary and so persisted.

Maloof and his collaborators are to be commended, as, watching the film, one feels Maier did all she could to cover her tracks. Nevertheless, through a combination of dogged determination and more than a little sleuthing the filmmakers managed to construct a portrait of an artist as compelling as any committed to screen in recent years. And, in the process, unearthed a unique photographic record of New York City and Chicago. In addition, what was becoming apparent, from the reactions of professional photographers and public alike, was the power of these images: once seen they were unlikely to be forgotten.

Read the story and get to know Vivian Maier. Watch the trailer to the documentary. And finally visit her website. But don’t just click quickly through the portolios. Take your time and really look deep into what she captured. If you are a storyteller just think of the hundreds of stories within the most common, every day and unassuming photos shown here.

— 2 —

I have many favorites in her gallery, but one stood out to me. It is a perfect representation of the throw-away culture that exists today.

June 1953, New York, NY

June 1953, New York, NY – (Photograph by Vivian Maier)

— 3 —

Last Thursday, August 28th, was the feast day of St. Augustine of Hippo and I’d copied this quote to use in last week’s Friday Five. And since I forgot here it is this week.

Recalling the rapture of the soul seized by God on the far side of death, St. Augustine reminds us of the joys that await those who love God.

There we shall rest and we shall see;
there we shall see and we shall love.
Behold what shall be in the end and
shall not end.

— 4 —

This article written by Deacon Branson Hipp is a much needed reminder that men are more than the sum of the checks on our checklists. Or at least we should be.

My dad never read Chesterton in his life. He doesn’t smoke a pipe or dress like he lives in the 1930’s. He often wears jean shorts (sorry to sell you out Dad), and he doesn’t have a fancy beard. He appears as just another guy.

But my dad works hard, is good at his work, is faithful to his wife, and lovingly raised five kids with no complaints. Very often he would get the raw deal in birthdays and celebrations, but he never seemed to mind. I never, ever, heard him fight with my mom, because whenever they had a disagreement, they would go behind closed doors to rationally figure out what to do next. He goes to Church every Sunday and he prays daily for his family. He is an amazing cook and is funnier than I give him credit for.

He’s stubborn and often drives me crazy.

But he is a real man, and he taught all of us kids that to be a man means humility and faithfulness, holy steadfastness to one’s state of life, whatever that is. He is a man, and a great father. At the end of the day, the externals matter a whole lot less than we think they do. They are flashy, but they don’t endure.

— 5 —

the office_cast

Several months ago my oldest son got hooked on watching The Office on Netflix. After several attempts at persuading me to do the same by he and his girlfriend (who is also a fan) I succumbed over Labor Day weekend and agreed to watch the first few episodes.

As of last night I’m halfway through the third season. This is the first time ever that I’ve binge watched a series on Netflix. How on earth did I miss this show was it was on from 2005-2013? What Office Space (1999) was to movies this series is to television for any of us who have spent significant time working in an office environment.

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