On a High Note

We’ve all been through a long rough patch lately - for almost two years. To be candid, not a lot of good news is around and it has become clear that some form of Covid will be with us for years and that we will learn to live with it. I tend to be a glass-half-full kind of guy, but even my mood can be challenged, so when something truly warms my heart, I want to share it. 

I got an email today from the executive director of the Sitar Arts Center, an organization that offers arts education programs in the visual arts, music, drama, dance, digital arts, and creative writing. Sitar serves more than 900 students a year, 80% of whom come from low-income households. They are doing what public schools used to do. 

“Dear Aboud, 

… On another note, I need to share a story with you about your book. We have a long-term volunteer Sam Miller who is 85. Early in the pandemic he had a stroke and is now residing  in an assisted living facility in Rockville. A few weeks ago, I went to visit him and brought your book with me. 
Sam has lived in the Brookland neighborhood of DC for 40 years. After retirement, he regularly walked to the nearby Franciscan Monastery and helped with the bee keeping. He also sang in the Cathedral Chorus and often worshiped at the National Cathedral. I can’t tell you how much joy your pictures brought him.
We then moved to the war monuments and it gave Sam an opportunity to share stories about his experience in the army during the Korean War. The pictures of the mall helped him recall the Civil Rights marches he participated in. 
Sam is struggling with his memory and for him your beautiful book really was “Home Again.” I left him the copy that you gave me and would love to purchase another from you.
Thanks so much,

This note affirms how I’ve always viewed the art of photography, it can touch people on a very personal level. In this particular instance, it stirred up memories and brought Mr. Miller joy and a reminder of his life well spent. I am so glad Maureen passed this along. It touched me deeply. Maureen’s note was the perfect gift to end this difficult year.  

I want to wish you and yours a Healthy, Happy New Year. I


P.S. No, I will not let Maureen pay for the book. 

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