A Belated Goodbye To An Old Friend - Chandler KeelerWednesday, November 23, 2011
|Chandler Keeler in France|
“Hello Alex, Chandler sends his regards from France.”
I answered, “I can place your face but I may have taken too many drugs in my past and I am an old man, too as I cannot remember your name. How is Chandler?”
“Chandler is dead.”
“How can it be that he sent his regards, then?”
“He sent them to you in my dreams.”
And without any further explanation, the mysterious man disappeared.
It was only until this morning (Thursday) that I called fellow photographer Hans Sipma who told me that indeed, Chandler Keeler had died in France of cancer on March 4 of this year. We agreed that the gap-toothed man had worked with Chandler in Chandler’s excellent E-6 processing lab. Neither of us could remember his name.
E-6 processing was the Kodak method and chemicals that converted our Ektachromes’s latent images into images. Chandler's Quad was the best lab in Vancouver and all professional magazine and advertising photographers dropped off their film there. We knew our film was in safe hands. The entrance to Quad was via a back alley. We didn’t mind. It was a small, no nonsense but very tight operation. I remember that Chandler refused to process 220 film (twice as long as 120) as he said he could not gurantee even processing where the film had to be looped to fit in the processing tanks.
When digital made film processing an endangered business, Chandler managed to sell and settle in a small town in southern France where he could indulge in his favourite pursuits of culture, food and drink.
We saw Chandler a few years ago when he came to town to deal with his will and other business related to his dying. He knew he was going to die but somehow didn’t show anything but a happy face to all of us.
For reasons that escape me I did not find out about Chandler’s passing away until last night. This is my belated obituary for a man all of us loved and respected. In all the openings I had in local photo galleries they were never and absolute success until Chandler showed up and gave his opinion over a fine glass of wine. I toast to him to wherever he may be.
Addendum: Photographer colleague and Chandler friend Colin Goldie has informed me that the mysterious man with glasses at the theatre is Graham Walmsley. Goldie wrote: He worked for us and was a friend from the mid or late 70's. Came to us through Mike Abbot former owner of Abbot & Tincombe and the creator of Buy & Sell
Chandler Keeler video in France
|Chandler Keeler, left|
From: chandler keeler
Subject: May 8th
Date: 8 May, 2009 9:31:31 AM PDT
In France May 8th is Liberation Day, a national holiday. This is the fourth year in a row that I have been invited to take part in the ceremonies. There are only four other permanent residents of the village that represent the allied forces, as Scot, a Brit, a Norwegian and me, the lone Canadian. The assembly meets in the town square and following the local band we all parade down to the cemetery followed by the towns' folk where speeches are given, names of the fallen read and we take turns lowering our flags over the grave of the fallen French soldiers. Then it's a march back to the town square for another few words, yet another playing of The Marseillaise and then to the hall next the Marie for drinks.
As usual there were several hundred people from the village in attendance. They are honoured that we are there representing and carrying the flags of our various countries. We are honoured that we are invited and for what our fathers' contributed to the liberation of France.
a bientot a tous,
Vancouver Sun Obituary
KEELER, Chandler Melvin 1950 - 2011 On March 4th, 2011 Chandler quietly slipped away to savour once more his beloved french cuisine, rosewine and pastis. Born on March 14th, 1950 in Drumheller, Alberta, Chandler was an artist who had a knack for doing his 'own thing' and dreaming about living in France. Having moved to Cazouls-les-Beziers in the South of France in 2005, Chandler, an avid photographer, loved the surrounding countryside of his new home, sharing dinner with friends and strolling his village, stopping often for an espresso in the square. Chandler is predeceased by his mother Kathy Boehlke, and survived by his father Melvin, brother Chris, and sister Melisa. A bientot et beaucoup d'amour Chandler, we will miss you..