Due to the limitations of my digital camera, this picture just doesn't do justice to today's encounter with Matthew Lewis. But how could a hastily-taken shot compare with the work of this revered Lensmaster? It can't. In the quarter century he wielded a 35 millimeter for the Washington Post, Lewis captured shot after staggering shot of century-shaping events. JFK's funeral, Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech, the launch of Apollo IX, Vince Lombardi at his zenith: this third-generation photographer was there - and the images he walked away with usually became icons.
Today he enjoys semi-retirement here in the Piedmont, but he's still willing to walk virtual strangers through his jaw-dropping portfolio. Reporter Caron Myers and I dropped by to take a peek at his old White House shots of former President Ford. Mr. Lewis obliged and even threw in a rambling tour of his incredible career. Leafing through his tattered masterpieces, I shook my head in in awe at the pony-tailed old man beside me. Though he claims to have wandered through history quite by accident, his indelible images are the hard-won trophies of a fierce competitor. It was then I realized I had a new hero.
And that was before I noticed the dusty bronze medal hanging off a downstairs doorknob was in fact a 1975 Pulitzer Prize.