I was born at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. I find inspiration in the lives of so many people from Joan of Arc to Oscar Wilde. While my primary avocation is photography, I also enjoy philosophy, theology and most of all, history. My beloved wife, Robin Anne Smith, who passed away in 2013 is an inspiration to me. My beloved partner, Dana is also a great support and inspiration to me. I'd be remiss if I did not mention my cats: Maxwell, Nigel, Pirouette and GarGar.
Princess Pirouette stood at GarGar’s bedside, looking down on him. What she saw was enough to break her heart. There lay her fiancé who was but a pale, shrunken shadow of his former self. Where was the virile youth of yesterday? Although it had been but a few days since le comte took ill, to Pirouette it seemed like an eternity. “Surely he’ll recover!” She thought aloud.
When the priest arrived, GarGar at first reacted violently, coughing and kicking off his bed covers. As soon at the prelate blessed him and placed a consecrated wafer in his mouth, GarGar seemed to calm, resting his head on his pillow and breathing evenly. Pirouette dutifully knelt during the ceremony and afterwards, thanked the father profusely. “God bless you, my child,” he said to her, making the sign of the cross.
“Please save all your blessing for Monsieur le comte,” replied Pirouette through watery eyes.
When news reached the old King that GarGar, le comte des Deux Chats, was ill, and that his malady might be the cause of witchcraft, he sprang into action. Though very old, there were few things that could get his ire up, but the black arts were one of them. He immediately ordered the Archbishop to begin an inquiry, and His Majesty expected arrests in short order. The King, who always wore amulets and charms as protection against any spells, went to visit GarGar in order to share his personal knowledge of such things, and to offer le comte any remedies he might have at his disposal.
When the news reached GarGar’s household that the old King was coming for a visit, there was a whirlwind of activity. Princess Pirouette, who had been at GarGar’s bedside for several days, helped to clean GarGar up so that he would be presentable. When the customary blast of trumpets announced His Majesty’s arrival, GarGar was propped up with a mountain of pillows and his best wig was placed on his head. Pirouette had been a tower of strength throughout the ordeal, allowed herself to be put to bed before the King entered GarGar’s house.
“Please tell His Majesty that I am too overcome to greet him personally,” said the Princess to Abigail Hoffenhoff, her official dresser and confidant.
“Yes, ma’am,” said Abigail who curtsied and then fled to greet His Majesty.