Sunday, February 29, 2004
The other day I was looking through the photos that Norman took of you for the New York Times and I was thinking about how handsome you looked and I was thinking about how nice Norman and Joanna were to you and us.
Interestingly just a week ago or so I called the photographer, Seva Raskin, who took photos of you and us at the Make-a-Wish event we went to way back in 1999. You were the guest of honor at the Willard Hotel, and you lit the Christmas tree and got some nice gifts. Remember the Iron Giant action figure?!
After I saw the photos published in Washington Life magazine, I called or emailed Seva and asked if we could get copies of other photos that she took from that evening. She explained she was busy or something and couldn't help me.
A couple of months went by and I tried again but didn't get anywhere.
Then you died and it became so much more important to me to try and gather up all memories of you. I called Seva and she told me that she couldn't get to the negatives or proofs of the photos because they were being stored in someone's garage. I offered her as much money as she wanted and I'd pay the person storing the photos for their trouble, too, and even offered to help go through the material to help identify the right ones. She told me that it wasn't convenient for her or the person who was storing the photos. Trying not to be a pest and being respectful of the fact that although it might be important to me it might not have been very important to her, I waited another 6 months or so to ask Seva's help. Finally, when I called last week I added an offer to store her stuff in our garage so she could have easier access to her old rolls of film. I told her I'd do whatever I could to make this as easy as possible for her. Again, I told her I would pay any price. Sadly, she told me that she couldn't help me.
I knew it was time to give up even though I didn't want to. I said to Seva that I thought most people in her position would try to make an effort to help someone like me. She didn't like that and said she didn't have to listen to me insult her. And then she hung up. Wow. I didn't expect that.