Jim Byrnes - God ExistsTuesday, February 06, 2007
Sometimes when I dwell on finding an explanation as to why Art Bergmann isn't alive and well, rich, famous, and living in a farm in Alberta, I despair and think that God does not exist. But he does (or must) as Art Bergmann while not famous and rich is alive (many would have wagered against that) and well and living in a farm in Alberta.
Now Jim Byrnes, whom I have known almost as long as Art Bergmann (the b+w photo here is of Byrnes on July 1981) is ample proof that there is some sort of heavenly justice and that God exists. He keeps winning awards (the latest including three nominations and one award for best contemporary Canadian folk singer in 2006) for his songs and his singing, he can act and I am sure he also does windows.
I remember him fondly but best in the one time we met where I did not take his photograph. We ran into each other at Birks in Oakridge around 1997. He said, "How's Rosemary and how are Ale and Hilary (my daughters)? Are you still living on Athlone Street?"
In March of 1989 I had to find an outdoor swimming pool in Vancouver (it ended up being in West Vancouver) to photograph Byrnes for TV Guide. I remember his uncommon patience with all the discomforts of posing for me in a bitterly cold but sunny day.
I can safely say that I have never had to regret not practicing the advice that Les Wiseman gave me on Jim Byrnes. "Alex, Jim Byrnes is the kind of guy you never introduce to a woman you love. They will all fall for him." Byrnes is the perfect gentleman and Vancouver and Canada should be proud to have him here.
Some may note the odd but dramatic lighting of the b+w photograph. This is due to my unfortunate use of 1/125 of second shutter speed with the cloth focal plane shutter of my Pentax Spotmatic F. My on camera flash failed to sychronize from the top to the bottom of the frame. Had I held the camera differently (I am not consistent in this) the fortunate mistake would have been lethal and his face would have been dark. Perhaps Byrnes's God was helping me just a bit.