Wednesday, September 28, 2022

RIP Sonia Handelman Meyer

Being around Sonia Handelman Meyer was always special. Stories of the old New York that gave her such a beautiful canvas. The photos she took of children, of subways and street corners, and life. She had taken the first ever professional photos of Pete Seeger and the Weavers, and had been the only full-time employee of the influential Photo League. The world finally began to pay attention to Sonia at the age of 87. Recognition does not always arrive in one's life span, but Sonia thankfully had more than a lifetime on this earth, and she embraced it when the honors finally arrived.

A few years, I was honored to scan and digitize her work with the Weavers. Contact sheets and negatives that document a moment in music history, and world history. Sonia's photos from that day are amazing, and I look forward to when you all can see more of those photos. They, like Sonia, will live forever.

I loved spending time with Sonia. I loved documenting her, and her newest exhibits. I loved the way she scolded me for "taking too many photos" of her, knowing that she also loved the attention that she and her work were now receiving. It was a conversation that I never wanted to end. At 102 and a half years old, I had hoped for more time with her. Perhaps that the greatest thing you can say about anyone.

Farewell, Sonia. You will always be a friend, an inspiration, and a New Yorker. A neverending window to possibilities, and a voice that will remain as familiar as my own.

Until the next adventure, see you in the stars.

September 28, 2022

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