**Lineaus Hooper Lorette**
Lineaus Lorette died. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t write an obit again, but I had a long history with Lineaus. We made some great photographs together. He was a true eccentric, a self described communist, which I always took with a grain of salt. He was an accountant, and was mine until we had a disagreement. The best accounting advice he gave me was the only thing you can go to jail for regarding the IRS is not claiming income. He said you can be very liberal with deductions, and if the IRS calls you on it, you simply explain it, if they don’t agree, you pay the tax, and possibly a little fine or fee. He knew tax law more than anyone I’ve ever met.
He made athletic equipment. Medicine balls and footballs. They were beautiful. I used to sell them in the early 90’s, and I believe that is how we met. Lineaus was strong and muscular. He had a book showing how to use a medicine ball. It was photographs of him and another man throwing the ball to each other. Pages full of two, inch and a half men, scantily dressed throwing a ball to each other, illustrating an exercise. I laughed out loud when he showed it to me, but I don’t think he thought it was humorous at all..
Lineaus had lots of dogs, and was never without a few of them. He asked me to do a portrait of him with his dog, Lucy Parsons, who had cancer. When I went in the gate to his house, dogs were surrounding me, and one kept trying to bite me. On the way out I asked Lineaus to sit down, and the dogs started to gather around him. I was looking through the viewfinder and I see this dog coming after me again, but I get the shot first and then put my foot up to block him. My remembrance is he bounced off my shoe and left me alone after that. But in the the image he is mid air and determined to protect Lineaus.
Hooper was an art collector. He has the most extensive collection of Patty Manning’s masks, and Abby Levine’s wood burning pieces.
I photographed Lineaus many times. I photographed his parents, and especially his Mom. She was a beautiful woman with a kind and gentle disposition. She taught art in Odessa, Texas. There is an image of her in my book Crazy From the Heat. I recall she was telling me a story of one her students. She said "he liked to pick up things.” On the way home recalling the conversation Lineaus put a finer point on the description. He said the guy was a kleptomaniac.
Lineaus was there when the Duncan’s purchased the Paisano Hotel. I think he was their accountant too.
He told me he became a millionaire selling real estate in Marfa.
Lineaus was very vocal and political. He didn’t hesitate to speak his mind or create controversy. And if he was done with you, he was done with you. We had a falling out over a mistake he made with our taxes and Marci called him on it, and that was pretty much it for us. I did see him occasionally after, but we were never as close. He was obsessed with lamps in later years, and I think I sold him a lamp or two I had from Aaron Ristau.
Here’s the thing. Lineaus was dear to me in those times we were close. As I get older every friend I lose is another scar and nick in my heart. This is not to say that a small child or young person is exempt, because we all know that is not true. But as you get older, the nicks come faster and steadier. If you could see a picture of it, it would look like it fell out of the truck and rolled down the highway. If there is an afterlife, it’s going to be a wonderful thing to see these people again.
I have a confession to make. I openly socialized yesterday. A friend of mine called me to ask if I would photograph his daughter’s wedding on their private ranch with a dozen people. I was torn. To witness a wedding in the desert on a ranch goes to the very center of why I moved here. I have always considered myself part artist, part historian, part documentarian. To miss this would be denying my purpose. So I said yes, but I also demanded that I would wear a mask, be socially distant and very cautious. They were fine with it. At first I was distant, but as soon as I saw the bride, and people I love and care for, who were not wearing masks and gloves and distancing, I just gave in to it. It was like opening a pint of ice cream and saying to yourself, I’m only going to eat an inch down. Then you get down to the inch and think, I’ll eat a little more. You keep going, and before you know it, you’re at the bottom of the container, and it was great and tasted so good. But now I have some guilt and little anxiety, and I think I knew better. But I have to say. Seeing and touching, and hugging people I love, sitting around the table eating together, enjoying wedding cake, telling stories with my friends, and listening to theirs is something that I miss more than I even knew.
Happy Full Moon. Get Outside.