December 7, 2007

A giant silk softening the light

Reading everyone's memories is bittersweet. Makes me wish I had known Debra better, yet so many of the truths about her personality were obvious in the fraction of time I interacted with her. I was fortunate enough to be a victim of Debra's curiosity and apparent tendency to talk it up with strangers. I met her working at a boutique in Pacific Heights when I was 19 and very new to the city. A lot of the people who came in were not-so-friendly but she was chatty and excited about buying the crazy-stylish, of the moment, a Frankie B jean jumpsuit. I don't remember what the situation was exactly but I had to call her later about something else coming in and I think she said she wouldn't be coming back for it because she was pregnant! But when she was in the store, we talked about her work and I was really excited because I had always loved photography but had stopped playing around with it and it was SO cool to be meeting this gorgeous, funny, nice woman photographer. I made some comment about how it was always foggy, and she said that's what she loved about SF, that there was always this giant natural silk softening the light on everything. How I remember all these details only speaks to how infectious and amazing a person she was, it was the only day I ever saw her – but it wound up being the first connection I had to the little bay area photo-world that has since become a main facet in my life. A couple months later in an equally unexpected situation, I met Ms. Kate Powers, and striking up a similar conversation – came to find out they were great friends. From there on out I worked for Kate off an on and Debra was this delightful but distant figure who was very close to one of my best friends, whom I had left messages for, had seen emails from and whose work I couldn't have admired more-but who in the six years since then I haven't seen. I just got the one day, the one half hour or so–and for that I am glad.

Anna Elledge

Debra and Kate at the Bellagio

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