Julius Lester’s Memorial Service…

:Julius Lester is ALIVE!

Since JAN 18, when Julius Lester went on ahead, I have been in a deep funk. Too young. Too early. A shift in the force. He was to have lived…forever.

My dear friend who I loved was the most creative photographer I ever knew, read about, or heard of in my lifetime. To others Julius was a loving husband, loving father, grandfather, college professor, author, poet, radio host, PBS TV talk show host, literary award winner, folk singer, congregational leader in St. Johnsbuury, VT, civil rights activist extraordinaire, converter to Judaism, speaker et al. Nope! Not by Julius. Their wrold, not mine. It seemed I had him all to myself when we visited togethe oftenr in his home reviewing hundreds of his prints. Yesterday, I learned I was not alone. Julius made people feel that they were all that was on his mind. WOW!

Yes, I was nervous. First time speaking at a synagouge. The JCA, Jewish Community of Amherst, is most impressive…and large. It was a deep honor to be invited by his wife Milan Sabatini to speak. An honor I will always cherish. I so admire Milan and enjoy her presence. The conversations with audience members who approached me after the service was so unexpected and filled with love and curiousity. Sparks of friendships to be.

This particular image “breaks” accepted rules of composition, leading lines, and more. When I first saw it, I asked Julius, “Why?' He glowed with seemingly built up emotion. “I looked at it and saw it was ALIVE!” he strongly expressed. That impressed me. I shared this print from The Gallery with the audience, yesterday. Then, I held it up again at the end of my talk, “Julius is alive!”, I expressed…well, actually sobbed. Oh well. Julius may not be here in physical form yet when we look at his prints, we see his soul.

Julius is A-L-I-V-E!

Image: “Opening Leaves” ©Julius Lester

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