Gareld Gedrose Remembered
Tony Greiner, Faculty Adviser.
Elsewhere in this issue is Kathi Rick’s tribute to her friend and student Gareld Gedrose. Gareld
I was walking through the Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building at Cascade last year, looking at some photographs from an art class, and stopped to look at a large (3 foot by 4 foot) richly-hued black and white photograph of a canyon on Steen’s Mountain in Southeast Oregon. It was beautiful.
I tracked the photographer, Gerald Gedrose down, gave him a call, and asked him the location of the shot. He said “Go 100 miles east from Bend, and then 150 miles south, and you are there.” He also said he would consider giving us permission to run that photograph in The Bridge. Gerald came by my office and I answered the knock to find a grizzled fellow with a kind face and a grumbly voice, flavored perhaps by an old cigarette habit. As we talked, I learned that he had picked up photography as a hobby after retirement after a career at Metropolitan Public Defender services, a non-profit law firm that provides criminal defense services to the poor.
I learned last week that Gareld had died a couple of weeks ago.
I had several wide-ranging conversations with him over the year, and I always enjoyed them. He was a Vietnam Vet, had an artificial leg as a result of an amputation for diabetes, and that he had a lot of beautiful photographs that he was willing to share with us. Some of those photographs accompany this article, and more can be found in a slideshow on The Bridge website.
I asked him about the unusual spelling of his first name, wondering if it was an old family name, but he said “No, just a mother with a creative streak.” His career as a public defender wasn’t particularly lucrative, so Gareld did some cab driving and “ditch digging” on occasion to make ends meet. It didn’t seem to hurt him any. He projected a warm, crusty humanity that I was drawn to, and I was sad to learn of his passing.
Gareld’s photograph of Steens Mountain was nominated in the feature photography category for the Pacific Northwest Journalism Educators Association annual contest, and it won an honorable mention. I have always believed that had the judges been able to see the original, in its large format and beautiful detail, rather than the reduced version that appeared in The Bridge, he would have won first place. He deserved it.