If the clock is right, it’s 11:17. Paul Hemphill, chronicler of the unsung trucker and the well sung country star ponders a photographer, Louie Favorite, whose face is partly covered by a Leica.
The image he captures resonates of a man at ease, comfortable with and surrounded by his life. The photograph of Jimmy Carter above his desk, an unpretentious bookshelf filled with books of literature and art and a comfortable sofa to ponder it all.
Awards hang in the corner, an after thought. A love of the game lines the top of the shelves, a reminder of the start of this writer’s life as a sports writer. Favorite photos, notes and mementos glow in the soft light of a lamp and a drawing of the Bard stands watch, a reminder of the history of his craft.
In a sixtieth of a second Louie captured a slice of life and time from a writer that will be missed.
“I wish I had read all his books. There’s still time for that and I’ll be reading his Hank Williams book as soon as I can find a copy. We really didn’t talk much, he had a quiet, but friendly demeanor. He was most cooperative with whatever my needs for the photograph might have been. He was a very nice and unassuming gentleman.” Louie said.
“He was quiet but in a friendly way, he made me feel welcome without using a lot of excessive words.” Louie’s impression of the moment was another way of saying that Paul Hemphill was a man with grace. We know ourselves better because of his writing and because he was among us.