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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2005-09-06

A Letter To Jimi
By Rod Mar, The Seattle Times

Photo by

Jimi Lott
(Editors Note: Jimi Lott, a photojournalist who worked for the Seattle Times from 1984-2004, died on July 5, 2005, taking his own life. Lott also worked at the Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), the Herald-Republic (Yakima, WA), and the Skagit Valley-Herald (Mt. Vernon, WA). Rod Mar, who worked with Lott for over a decade, remembers him.)

Jimi --

Hey man, I won't ask "why". People who didn't know you might ask that. But I know better.

I know how much you achieved in your life despite bitter odds. How your vision propelled you out of a difficult upbringing to the top of your profession. How even though you made those captivating images, won those awards, smiled, laughed and sang your way through life, the demons still lurked.

And how after a string of recent setbacks, you couldn't outrun them anymore.

Everyone will rightly remember your extraordinary vision -- I still look at that photo of the Space Needle, shot through the raindrops on your windshield to create all those upside-down little Space Needles.

Everyone will remember your great sense of humor -- and more importantly, your ability to put the humor into your photos. At your memorial, people had a nice laugh at the picture of the grandma on the back of the Harley-Davidson, the burly guy driving the motorcycle cropped perfectly, so as to focus on the woman's excitement.

Everyone will rightly remember your compassion for the less fortunate. The way you "disappeared" for a couple of days while shooting a project on the homeless, completely immersed in your subjects. And the surprise you felt when told people were worried and looking for you.

But that's not how I'm going to remember you. No way. Know what I remember?

Photo by Jimi Lott / The Seattle Times

Photo by Jimi Lott / The Seattle Times

This photo shows the Space Needle, shot through the raindrops on Lott's windshield.
-- NO ONE could sing The Delfonics in the darkroom like you.
-- NO ONE could pound out a drum cadence on the old print dryer like you.
-- and NO ONE but you could walk into a Senior Editor's meeting at the Times, scamper on top of the table, and perform a rap as the intro to a presentation.

Friend, you will be missed. And each time I'm out in the rain, looking for a weather feature, I'll look at the damned Space Needle, think of your creativity, and try to open my eyes as wide as you did yours when you captured our world in your lens.

Peace, Rod

* * *

The Jimi Lott Scholarship has been created to aid individuals pursuing a photography career in newspaper journalism.

It's open to those enrolled in a recognized four-year college or university with a major in Journalism or Communications and an emphasis on photography.

The scholarship is managed by the National Press Photographers Foundation, a non-profit foundation with 501 (c ) (3) tax exemption under the IRS Code. (Donations qualify for corporate-matching.)

Please address checks to: "NPPF Jimi Lott Scholarship", care of NPPF Treasurer Frank Folwell.

Frank Folwell
1175 Huntover Ct
McLean, VA 22102

A PayPal option is also available.

You can read more about the NPPF at: www.nppa.org/professional_development/students/scholarships

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