This photo is of my wonderful husband, Fred, and his piece “Coupled” that is currently on exhibit at the Cheyenne Depot Museum. We were married at 22, just a few days following our college graduations (me from the University of Kansas, him from the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland). We’d known each other most of our lives since we grew up in the same small town, and we were friends for years before we ever started dating.

We’ve been with each other through major illnesses and challenges in life, and I’m so lucky and thankful to have Fred by my side. He’s a very smart, kind and compassionate man, with a generous spirit. Our strengths and weaknesses balance each other. We’ve found a good working formula for our relationship: sometimes it’s about him, sometimes it’s about me, but it’s always about us.

He tells me there’s been a creative urge lurking within him from an early age, and a few years ago he picked up photography. He likes playing with images on his laptop and mastering Lightroom. He’s read books and watched videos by David duChemin and other photography pros to improve his eye and technical skills. He’s my personal IT guy, as he enjoys the technological side of things much more than I do. Having never been to an art museum before we became a couple, he’s gone through many with me and our daughter (a PhD. student in art history), and when his work takes him to cities with art museums he visits them on his own. He questions, we discuss, and through it all he’s gained an understanding of art and developed a pretty good eye!

There’s something about mid-life that makes a person say “what the hell, I’ll give it a go” and we try things that we wouldn’t have in our younger years when we worried more about what people thought. When it comes to creating, Fred and I have said that and are attempting to throw creative caution to the wind. With his support I was able to head a new direction with my work and with my encouragement he’s been able let go of predictability with his photos.

It’s good to be coupled.