Jerry Courvoisier is a good guy. He’s also a terrific shooter, a great Photoshop/Lightroom guy, and a gifted teacher. I love to teach with him cause he’s down to earth and easygoing about everything. We get along, in short. We often teach the National Geographic Expeditions workshop courses offered via the Santa Fe Workshops, and it’s always fun, even when he gets the entire class to pick up buckeyes in the park and pitch them at me when I start a lecture. When we teach an NGS class in Santa Fe for instance, we often assign the class to go to the town square and be adventurous with their camera. We go to one of the benches in the square and sit there, ostensibly to be a resource to the class, but in truth we just talk and toot, doing our own version of Grumpy Old Men.
But boy, did he screw up. Last time I was in Santa Fe, he proposed a bet. We calculate our weight (vetted by our wives, who are scrupulous and honest about this stuff, something Jerry and I would never be) and whoever lost more weight by the time I got back to SF wins. Loser buys dinner at Geronimo, a really tony restaurant on Canyon Road, the heart of the gallery district, a street where a lot of rich folks go to buy really bad art.
I arrive in Santa Fe on Saturday, and man, is he in trouble.
Jerry sent me an email after we made the bet, noting his weight, again, with Julie’s stamp of approval. He evidently has got one of these fancy pants scales at home cause he sent his weight (won’t tell you exactly, but it was north of a deuce), his body mass indicator, his muscle to fat ratio, his shoe size, his favorite cologne, and whether he wears boxers or briefs. This machine calculates all that stuff in one shot. We ain’t got one of those, so Annie and I jumped in the car and headed out on Interstate 95, where Annie pulled off at an inspection station and threw my sorry ass on a truck scale, where I clocked out at an eye popping 211.
Jeez. Who knew. I fell off the gym wagon about 3 years ago, when work kinda sorta took over my life. I got real busy, and real lazy, at the same time. Another unfortunate trend intersected with this development. I tied on the feed bag, big time. There wasn’t a plate of pasta out there I didn’t like, from straight up spaghetti with meatballs to expense account truffle ravioli soaked in squid urine. Not good. I was like a hot air balloon, and 211 wasn’t even my low/high point. I remember after one really bad, excruciating job consoling myself with a beer and a Baby Watson cheesecake. I topped out at 215.
Leave it to Jerry to motivate me. (Geronimo is a really expensive restaurant, and their truffle ravioli in squid pee is excellent.) I’ve been working my ass off, kinda the way I used to. I figure this is a good time to attack, cause I know Jerry’s been working on this book he can’t talk about much, but it will be all about post production, workflow, digital asset management, you name it. Given the depth of his knowledge of these areas, it’s gonna be one of those go-to, gotta-have books that will stay by your computer for a long time. Pretty sure it’s out very soon, like this summer. Track it and sign up now, is my advice.
So I gotta figure Jerry’s been up at night, stressing about this book, writing actions and workflow plans and scarfing Freihoffer’s. Too bad for him, cause I’ve lost 25 pounds, and I’m around 190, cruising for 180. Annie’s been helping, cause she’s super healthy, and a great cook. She’s been preparing all this stuff that probably lives on the underside of mushrooms but tastes like a Delmonico steak the way she spices it. (How does a man get this lucky?) Jerry will get off easy at Geronimo’s though, cause I pretty much consume only rainwater, bark and sprouts now.
Poor Jer. i think he proposed the bet to get back at me cause when we teach together I demonstrate flash by using his head as a fill card. He never gets ruffled, though. That’s why it’s great teaching with him. I always say, he’s got good bedside manner. We’ll have a workshop participant positively melting down, I mean just spritzing about some thing or another, like I lost my files, or where did my pictures go, or I turned on my computer and it’s making a noise like a thirty horsepower milking machine, and I’m ready to go for the defibillator and shout CLEAR! when Jerry walks up and says okay, well, let’s take a look, maybe you have them behind that other file on your desktop, the one with the pictures of the family trip to Niagara Falls and those other almost certainly personal pictures, and, ahh, there they are, underneath everything, just around the corner and down the hallway inside this monster Dell that causes a brownout in most of Santa Fe every time you turn it on. There they are!
He’s calm, in word. Knowledgeable. Along with Reid Callanan and Renie Haiduk, he’s helped build Santa Fe into a powerhouse workshop center, especially in the realm of digital and workflow. It’ll be good to see him. All 200 plus pounds of him.