This work is an ode to life, youth, past whims, and what the days ahead might look like. It is as much inspired by Walter Niemac as by the declining health of my mother, who forbade me to make any images of her in her remaining days. In the summer of 2008 I moved back to the United States from Berlin. Specifically, I moved to Easthampton, Massachusetts, a town I knew from my teenage years. It was am impulsive move — my brother had told me that our mother’s health was failing and he needed assistance in caring for her. I had long been gone from the East Coast, but my brother and I are quite close, and I felt I should come “home” and assist with our mother’s care. After relocating to Western Massachusetts, I advertised for a studio assistant, and Erica Ann Flood answered the ad. She became my assistant and friend. In the first weeks back there were always things to do to prepare my newly rented loft as a working studio and living space. At one point I needed some power tools, and Erica Ann suggested I go to her uncle’s house and ask to borrow what I needed. Her uncle was Walter Neimec. The first time I met Walter he was a bit gruff and wondered about this intruder. But as we spoke over the next few days — me borrowing and returning tools — it was clear we had some similar interests, even while being at odds on most other things such as politics, race, culture and so forth. There was something in Walter that fascinated me, and it coincided with this moment in my life where my mother — who had forbidden me from photographing her — was failing. Here was a person who had followed his dreams, dealt with and moved beyond his addiction to alcohol, and still retained the passions of his youth, though he was 85 years old and soon to be seriously ill. Walter was an individual who collected things, much like a photographer collects images. His whole dwelling mirrored a lifetime of eccentricity, even though his niece Erica Ann shared the house with him. Over the course of the next year or so I spent many moments at Walter’s and was allowed access to his most private areas. I explored the intriguing scenes I came upon, the collections of model airplanes, radios, cameras and of course ammo for his guns, all the while taking care of my own mother whose health was deteriorating. I began to see and intimately think about what would happen to me in the ensuing years. It was a glimpse into my own mortality and aging, something I had not really given much thought to prior. I had for so many years photographed outside the USA that when I finally returned I wanted to work right at home, nearby, and Walter was exotic for me, curious, totally different from people I knew growing up and also somehow both the archetype of a New Englander but not, his politics being somewhere right of center. I think by diving into Walter’s world and all his objects, in our talks and interactions, I was looking for clues to both know more about him and somehow relieve me of the situation my own mother was in over which I had no control. Underlying everything was the awareness of the onrushing moment where my mother and I had to come to terms with the ephemerality of life. This work was a cathartic experience in order to move forward and to come home.