Mr Cleve is 97.
I've wanted to photograph him from the first cookie-delivery the kids and I made to his home. While we often chat on his front porch in fairer weather - he with beer and newspaper in hand - it was the interior of his home, with awesome wallpaper and a museum of treasures, that spoke to me. Having recently reno'ed and redecorated our own home, it's become glaringly apparent just how our spaces reflect who we are.
And Mr Cleve's was wonderfully telling.
A hockey ball-cap was thrown haphazardly on the couch, a beer can at his feet. Hockey brought him from Manitoba as a young man to the Kootenays where he played for the Smoke Eaters. A man in uniform beemed with his young bride through an oval frame. As an adult he joined the Air Force and travelled to England, France and Germany for work as an airplane mechanic. Portraits reflecting life with his wife, a daughter, grand-daughter and great grand-daughter. Mementoes collected over 40 years of service at Teck, certificates of appreciation for volunteering at the hospital.
That sort of upstanding stuff.
Now he lives alone, down the street, reliant upon neighbours, nurses and a son-in-law (since his only child passed away from cancer last year.) He likes his papers stacked high, portraits on the wall and Ol Milwaukee beer.
Mr Cleve is surrounded with treasures of old in his little home. A miniature train on the windowsill, accomplishments and certificates and his wife's collections. There are stuffed animals, crafts and pink knick-knacks as if his wife were in the next room. Except now it is the cleaning lady that gets rid of the cobwebs, the care-aid that cooks his meals, and a wonderful son-in-law to visit with laundry basket in hand.
Another instalment of Mr Cleve's lifestyle session here: http://freshphotos.blogspot.ca/2013/03/love-thy-neighbors-mr-cleve-ii.html
FYI Mr Cleve's modelling - which he didn't mind one bit - was paid for in cookies.
Ginger Molasses, but he's not fussy.