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Rest Peacefully My Friend

One thing that I can say for sure, after Shooting Full Time for over Eighteen Years now, is that I get to meet a heck of a lot of people, see a lot of things that I wouldn’t normally have seen, and get to be a part of many, many events. Some Happy, Some Sad, Some Trivial, and Some that are just Kinda Special. This is one of those Special Ones…
Enter Mr. Bill Shaw…
I never knew Bill, till that big Knitting Mills Fire in Elmira Heights in January 2016. That night I laughed so hard after hearing what this Lifetime Heights Fireman said that night….He was in the Elmira Heights FD for over Seventy Years….some of those years even as Chief. But it seems that Bill always had something on his mind regarding that massive, old brick structure……and that night it was reported that 90 year old Bill uttered over & over the profound statement “I’ve been waiting Seventy Years for this S.O.B. to Burn!”…..and since no one was injured during the blaze, and it was an unusually warm & comfortable night for January 30, I just thought his quip was totally hilarious! This Old Boy is Pretty Cool I thought to myself! Sounds EXACTLY like something I would say!!!
Well, this January 2017 I had the Pleasure to Personally Meet The Legend…when he graced my 211 Studios while coming in for his Formal E.H.F.D. Portrait. His F.D. Buddy Brad Nicholson came along with him, and we all joked and clowned around while capturing a little bit of Bill for Eternity.
Little did we know, but Bill wasn’t going to be with us much longer, and sadly, he passed away this Monday, May 8th.
I only spent 20 minutes with him that Winter Morning, but I’m very glad I had the chance to share those moments with him.
Today I chatted with Heights Fire Chief Mike Cadek here at the Studio, and he quipped that I probably had a Wedding to shoot on Saturday, but I told him actually No, I didn’t have anything going on Saturday….till then that is…. because Mike asked me if I could be there for Bill’s Final Farewell & do the Photographic Coverage as Bill is Laid To Rest. It will once again be my honor to document this very special farewell to a Local Firefighting Legend.
I’m getting pretty practiced & familiar at shooting these things……as Bill will be Number 4 for me…. Dickie Sullivan – HFD, Ryan Barker – HFD & WHVFD, Tommy Lynch – HFD.
So Bill… more time……SMILE!
R.I.P. My Friend….

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