the old country

as i’ve been preparing for my trip to spain and lebanon, i’ve been thinking a lot about my grandfather, Casey Cohlmia.

papa passed away in 2004 unexpectedly. i felt it was too early. we always had many passions and gifts in common, but i felt like we were just starting to connect on a deeper, more mature level. but who am i to question the One who gives and takes?

one passion we shared was for “the old country”, as he used to call it – lebanon. he and nana visited back in the ’70’s, but as far as i know, no one in our immediate family has been back since.

so… off i go. i don’t know what i expect to see, or experience. maybe understanding. of where humanity evolved. where hatred grew, and continues to grow. where Love incarnate transfigured, and walked this cursed soil, and died. appropriate meditations on Easter.

papa used to have some awesome letterhead that he printed everything on; business correspondence, graduation letters, birthday notes, etc. it was a caricature of his enormous bald head, smiling, with an unlit cigar protruding from the side of his mouth… in front of a typewriter (as he often was in real life… after all, he was a journalist, author, and marketing genius).

family members have always said that i favor his looks. so i had the thought the other day to compose a portrait of myself as Kenneth (Casey) Cohlmia.

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i must say, i really like the result. but i’m pretty sure papa would not approve. he was way too clean shaven to ever look that raggedy…

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2009