Monday, April 20, 2020

Farewell Old Friend

We lost another good one yesterday. Dr. Ted Grant, O.C. was beloved by people the world over.   I was lucky to meet him six years ago when he came to California to visit his friend, my husband.  We traveled to Yosemite with him (he had never been) and he marveled at it all.  Not very mobile then, he and I shared meals while Steve and our friend Bob took long hikes looking for that perfect shot.

The saying on the back of his t-shirt here was something he said often.  He was also known for the "salute" in which he raised his middle finger if he caught people taking his photograph.  What is it about photographers not liking to be photographed?!  Steve had this as well and would throw his hands up to block the shot.

Steve and I traveled to Ted's home in Victoria, BC a couple of years ago and had a wonderful visit.  In the wind and rain we ventured to Butchart Gardens for a little walk around.  The grounds were beautiful under the gray skies and the color seemed magnified by the rain.  But poor Ted lost his legs at one point and I went back to the visitor center to get a wheelchair for him.

It was a year after that that his son moved him into an Assisted Living apartment.   He seemed to like it just fine, and really needed the help.  It was difficult to leave his home of decades and decades, the place he shared with his wife Irene.  He had the best basement Man Cave -- it looked like a Bavarian Inn.  Back behind his lair lay his darkroom, long abandoned.  Like most of us, the world famous photographer abandoned film for digital.

I learned last week that Ted was under the care of hospice and so I knew his time could be very near.  The last communication I had with him was in January to let him know that Steve was under Hospice care.  He was sad indeed.

Yes, I knew his time was coming, and yet the news was a slap in the face.  His friends from all over the globe are leaving tributes on his Facebook page.  His loss is huge to so many.  He was a great teacher and he loved photography more than words can say.  Here is perhaps his most famous photo, taken in 1968.  Trudeau's son, the current head of state, gave Ted the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honor.  What a beautiful full circle moment.

And so it goes, friends.  So it goes.


  1. It is a shock when news of a death arrives. Such a good person to remember through the lovely photo of him in Yosemite! I remember when you and Steve visited Dr. Ted in Victoria. Wanting to know more about him, I found a wonderful interview with him when he was a young 83 years old, featuring some of his deeply moving hospital photos, so timely now.

  2. Such a sad loss, Tara. I loved reading the back of his tee-shirt. He sounds like quite a guy who will be missed by so many. Oy, life and death, life and death. This endless cycle.

  3. There just never is enough time, is there? Sorry you have another loss in your life. He sounds like he was quite a man and a good friend.

  4. Seems a lot of good people are leaving the planet lately. It's a shame the not-so-good don't even look like leaving soon.

  5. He sounds like he was a great guy. Sorry for your loss.

  6. I am sorry for your loss, but glad to know your life was touched and enriched by such a man.

  7. My condolences on the passing of your dear friend, Dr. Ted, and thank you for sharing some information on him. It's always sad to lose those we love whether family or friends. The deep sadness is always there.


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