Helmar: Craftsman, father, husband, neighbor, friend

Posted: Friday, November 22, 2002

Paul Helmar and I met in Fairbanks during the early 1970s when he was doing a photo documentary of the trans-Alaska pipeline project. I have always liked Paul's funky view of the world, have admired his care and craftsmanship with a camera, and have benefited from his sharing of his detailed knowledge about the mechanics of great photography.

One of the family told me Paul was in the hospital in Seattle, and I had planned to send a card to cheer him up and wish him well. Sometimes we pay a big price for our laziness, and our lack of understanding of what is truly important in our lives. I feel like I am paying that price now. Paul was a good craftsman, a good father and husband, a good neighbor, and a good friend.

There are only a few such people in anyone's life, and I regret that there is one less such person in mine.

Jerry Smetzer


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