Traveling Man is a well deserved
gift for the photographer of this book, Tom Shea. He's been a good friend, a generous giver of fine clothes, fine wine, mediocre beer, and tall tales.
And in this weird world where promises are rarely kept, Tom as been,
for the most part, exacting - he's kept nearly all of his promises.
He did, however, break one pledge.
When my daughter was 8 years old,
Tom assured her that he would
accompany her to her
High School Prom.
She's glad that Tom shied
away from that commitment
- she went with a testosterone-enhanced Klingon instead.
I, on the other hand,
almost wish Tom
hadn't welched on that deal.
I've known Tom Shea for over twenty years.
During that time he's been a dentist,
a land owner,
an Hawaiian construction worker,
and - again - a dentist.
Yet, in all of these occupational permutations,
he's remained consistent in two unique ways:
He's reserved a good chunk of his time
and sanity for traveling all over the world,
and he's made an art out of friendship.
The traveling part comes easy, I suppose,
but the friendship part
- well, that's a rarer talent.
He's also a damn good photographer.