I spent last weekend helping to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of the parents of my best friend of 40 years, Randall Updegrove. All of his siblings were in town and I hadn't seen any of them in well over 15 years or more. We spent hours catching up and reminiscing about old times. Randall's parents were married one month and four days before my parents in 1958, and Randall was born one month and a day before I was in 1959. In 1968, his family moved onto the same street that I lived on, and we spent countless hours hanging out at each other's houses, seamlessly blending into one another's families. Randall and I have stayed in touch continuously for 40 years, and his parents and siblings are a second family to me.
Randall's brother Mark is a writer and presidential historian, and the author of Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House. The cover photo of this book is the historic five president portrait taken by David Hume Kennerly, the pulitzer prize winning photographer. Mark and Kennerly are personal friends from their working relationship at Time Magazine.
We spent lot's of time during the weekend discussing politics, history, and photojournalism, and the events of our childhoods and especially our memories of those events as we remember them from the media coverage. My first vivid photo journalistic memories are those from Robert F Kennedy's assassination in 1968. The images and audio recordings of the event were so powerful and stunning to me at the age of nine. I am sure that this scrapbook I assembled at the time was my attempt to organize and make some sense of the chaos of that week.
This is a portrait I took of Mark Updegrove and his son Charlie at the 50th Anniversary party of his parents. Charlie is about the same age as Mark was when I first met him...
And this is a portrait of Robert F Kennedy taken by David Hume Kennerly in 1968...
Second Acts, by Mark K Updegrove
David Hume Kennerly
J Randall Updegrove Photography