Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bitter Hippie

I’m taking a brief break from the blog so I can step back in time and attend my 20 year high school reunion. While I spend the weekend glossing over details of shenanigans past, there’s someone you need to know.

Meet Matt Jensen, rock-solid photog, Grateful Dead devotee and at times, a hard guy to love. But love him I do. From the very first day I sauntered into El Ocho, this 1970’s throwback and I quickly hit it off. Books, music, movies - our tastes may have differed but we shared a common language; the embittered, jargon-rich tongue of the grizzled lenslinger. For every angst-ridden yarn I spin, Matt could do me one better with a real-life war story from his time behind the glass. He’s also a righteous imbiber. His fortieth birthday bash from a few years back is one of my favorite Piedmont memories - even if I do recall only a few fuzzy frames of that crowded soiree.

Lately though, Matt and I have grown a little distant. Chalk it up to the competitive stress of prolonged camera combat. Or maybe it’s the by-product of two crusty souls not entirely happy with their ongoing plight. Whatever the reason, the gulf between us has truly bummed me out - for life’s far too fleeting to be pissy with those that matter the most. So consider this post an electronic step in the right direction, for aside from being one of my favorite humans, Matt is the quintessential TV news photog: surly observer, cynical lensmith, artist at heart. He may foster a caustic persona, but deep down inside he’s a real cream-puff, albeit one that would rip open your jugular if you entered his edit bay without first paying the proper respects. Consider yourself warned.


Anonymous said...

I worked with a guy like that in my time in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Chris Kettlewell was this big bear of a guy (looked a bit like Andy Sipowicz on NYPD Blue), kinda surly, caustic, but as you say a real cream-puff in the inside.

Smitty said...

Jensen is a class act. Seeing him again is like a blast from the past. I implore that both of you.. 'Hug it out, bitches!'

Neill McNeill said...

You forgot to mention Matt does THE BEST Sam Kennison impersonation you'll ever see/hear--and it's especially ear-rattling when you're in the car with him and the windows are rolled up! :) He's also a "guru" when it comes to the non-linear editing equipment--a guy from whom many of the other photogs seek advice!

jbjhill said...

You gotta let me know how the reunion goes. Tommy Z is all over me to come out for ours next year (of course I'm going to). Ah, the good old days.

On the topic of fading friendships - Smitty is right. Don't let BS get in the way of the people you care for.