Wally McNamee, the longtime photojournalist at the Washington Post and Newsweek Magazine died recently. He was 84 years old. I remember my first encounter with Wally quite well. It was the spring of 1967. The cherry blossoms were in all their glory in Washingon and I was trying to compose a shot of them with the Jefferson Memorial in the near background. Wally had seen me searching for a decent vantage point. He came up to me, and wearing a broad smile, introduced himself. I quickly volunteered that I was a student at American University and was doing some field shooting for the photography course I was taking. “Well,” he said, “this scene with the cherry blossoms and the Jefferson Memorial is a classic this time of the year. You’ll do well with it. ” He then suggested a vantage point on the path along the Tidal Basin about 50 yards closer to the Memorial. He offered a few tips for camera settings, shook my hand and said, “See you around John.” I ran into him several more times during my time in the District: at the DC riots after Doctor King was assassinated in Memphis, the Washington anti-Vietnam War March and several other occasions. He always had a friendly word. Wally McNamee was a good person in a tough town. I invite you to read Dee Swann’s remembrance of Wally on the Washington Post’s Photography Blog, “Insight.” Here’s the link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-sight/
Thanks for the visit. See you next time.