I learned of him through craigslist. But I never actually met him in person, just through word of mouth. The Russian immigrant who lived in Sonoma, collected rare albums and kept them in this beautiful wood case he had custom built to fit them perfectly. He had passed away and a young couple who knew him well were put in trust of auctioning off his belongings. That's how it came to be mine. It seemed sad to me that he hadn't left this lovely belonging to anyone special, family or a friend. But then, maybe these things are meant to be, because I surely treasure this bookcase as much as he had treasured the records he collected and kept upon its shelves. Like his favorite music, I keep my some of my most prized possessions in these shelves that at one time probably held the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Sergei Rachmaninoff.
My vintage camera collection, photo albums filled with friends and family, the Peggy Guggenheim Glasses from her museum in Venice, the much obsessed over inspiration journals, my iTunes music and some of my favorite photography books, including an all-time favorite I Am A Camera which I got on a 2001 trip to the Saatchi Gallery on Abbey Road in London.
So you see, all of it, just as cherished as his record collection. It turns out, this could be like the passing down of a special piece of furniture to someone he never even knew. I get pretty sentimental over furniture and collectibles - because it's so interesting to picture the lives they had before the life you're about to give them. Perhaps he pictured it ending up in the home of someone who would love it as much as he had and as much as I do. That's the way I choose to look at it. And I hope the tradition continues.