Eve Arnold passed away this week. It's sad whenever someone with great talent dies.
I'd never met her but her pictures touched me in an unexpted way. During her travels to produce "In America", Eve Arnold stopped in Craig, Nebraska, which happened to be holding its annual town picnic that day. Two photos from the picnic are in the book. The pictures show people that I once knew.
Craig was then a town of about 250 people. It's where my parents grew up and 7 miles from where I grew up, in a much larger town of 1,800. My uncle and two cousins still farm in the Craig area.
I bought Eve's book a long time ago, early in my photographic life, not knowing that she had been to Craig. Turning the pages for the first time and landing on the photos from Craig was like getting a present from the past. It made me remember the outfits my mom would make for us to wear in the Craig Picnic Parade. My favorite was when my brother, sister and I dressed as pioneers and our red wagon became a Conestoga. Memories.
Some people in Craig told me a few years ago that they still remembered the famous photographer who passed through so long ago.
That's one of the powers of photography, I guess: To create connections and enliven the past. Thank you Eve Arnold.