Friday, September 21, 2012

A Love Letter in Photos to Jaylee Mead

This week, all of Washington, DC and the theatre world beyond the Beltway celebrated the life of Jaylee Mead. Her passing this week brought forth tributes from several generations of actors, actresses, directors, and writers. We have all been touched, in some way, by Mrs. Mead's passion for performance and her generosity. I first met Mrs. Mead, along with her late husband, Gilbert, at a charity event about fifteen years ago. I was working at a radio station and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and there were the Meads, talking excitedly with the young artists we were there to fete. Over the years, I would see the Meads, and later, just Mrs. Mead, at other arts and charity events, always excitedly talking to the performers and encouraging them to live out their creative dreams. When I made the decision to pursue photography full time, there was Mrs. Mead, talking excitedly to me. I spent one of the best afternoons at Mrs. Mead's home. With the sparkling Potomac River glistening just beyond her balcony, Mrs. Mead shared with me a bit of her story, including old scrapbooks and photos. She taught me that generosity isn't just about writing a big check - no, it's simpler than that. It's about giving your whole heart enthusiastically and unreservedly. She will be missed.

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