My friend and photo buddy Dave Orcutt passed away last Tuesday. Many of you knew him, either from my in-the-field workshops or in my online classes.
He and his wife Letty have been a part of my life since the late 1980s, when they both signed up for various workshops in Joshua Tree, the eastern Sierra, Nevada City, and more. In fact, it was during a workshop I was conducting in Nevada City that they found and bought their home in Grass Valley. Chris and I figured "there goes the neighborhood," and moved to Oregon, but they managed to track us down here, too.
Dave was a total gearhead and suffered from G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). He'd call just to shoot the breeze, "you still shooting with that Canon?" That was his not-so-subtle way of segueing into telling ME all about the latest and greatest camera he'd just acquired, how much it cost, not to mention what a deal he'd gotten on it. The "deal" was important to Dave, whether buying or selling camera gear. In fact, it was when Dave was up here on the Oregon coast that he showed me the Lumix camera he'd just bought, spurring me to buy my red one, CJ her blue one, another red one for Rich, etc.
In his later years, I was impressed with how much artistry Dave was putting into his work, how he was really trying to improve, and how much he was succeeding. I was so proud of him. I am so proud of him.
Dave was funny, smart, loving and stubborn. Man, was he stubborn! Highly principled and very loyal. I could not have asked for a better friend. I will miss him deeply.
A healthy man all his life, his passing was sudden. So sudden. And once again I'm reminded how short this life is, and how unpredictable. We think we'll live forever. So far, so good, right? But our beloved friends can be gone in a heartbeat.
David was a fine man, a good friend, and a devoted husband to Letty (a self-admitted "high maintenance" woman!). I miss him already.
If any of you knew Dave and want to send a card to Letty, e-mail me and I will send you her address.
What better day than today to give someone a hug and tell them you love them? Happy Valentine's Day to you all. So happy you are in my life.