I spent a good part of Tuesday morning before last in Kalamazoo looking at a big computer screen where passed over 268 shots Linda Hoard had taken of my sweetheart in various comely poses. The issue came to the fore because of a birthday present. In June’s South County News, the monthly paper that serves my little home village of Vicksburg and all the surrounding ‘burgs, there appeared an ad for “40 over 40”, a program offered by photographer Linda Hoard (niece-in-law of my classmate and one-time girlfriend Kevvie) for mature women seeking to have captured their still evident beauty.
Sounded perfect for my sweetie’s 64th, which then was coming right up. My interactions with Linda prior to pushing off to Ireland in July got garbled, but we straightened things out upon return, arranging an interview, which Kathy passed. Kathy’s birthday competed in Ireland with my mom’s 90th (same day), but I had a purple sash made for her that read “Needed, fed”.which she wore to the several birthday parties.
After their interview in September, Kathy and Linda arranged a mid-October shoot.
Kathy and I both had some “glamour shots” already. We came across the pictures as we rummaged through our huge collection of posters and pictures over the summer. Apparently, our folks decided as we entered our thirties that we should have captured our fading youthful looks. I recall my Aunt Dorie telling me she wanted pictures “before I lost my looks”. Aunt Dorie, who took over mom duties when my mom died when I was 10, has been gone nearly 20 years, and I still have some looks, after a fashion, but I’m happy she made me do it. Kathy’s mom Ruth sent her to a professional photographer while Aunt Dorie sent me to Sears. Ruth’s been gone since ’05, so she can’t defend her decisions either. We’ve framed both pics and set them on our living room credenza, but no visitors have yet suspected us of being Hollywood celebrities.
Handsome couple, eh? They should get married!
Kathy picked 34 from Linda’s 268 to keep. Linda’s said it would 6-8 weeks to process them, particularly since she had a vacation coming up not to mention the Holidays. But she gave us 4, and here they are.
This first is a diptych I made. Kathy asked Linda to duplicate that pose from the ’87 shot.
A Beevis once said, “I’d do the mom.”
Then the rest.
Clearly this is a woman who means business, regardless of which uniform she’s wearing. She got that flight suit as a guest of the admiral on the carrier U.S.S. George Washington, a perk of her duties as NASA’s Chief Scientist for human spaceflight. She flew an F-18, from the back seat, for 18 cats (catapult launchings) and traps (hook-snagged cords for landing) off the carrier.
But don’t let that stern visage fool you. Ultimately, she’s a sweetheart. My sweetheart. I’m truly the luckiest man in the world.