David Philip Solari Threlfall
October 3, 1948 - March 6, 2007
*photo was taken by Kathleen, somewhere in Sequoia National Park
Sometimes there are people that flow through our lives that make a really big impression. An avid hiker, mountain climber, photographer, husband, father, baseball fanatic, geologist and all around interesting person, David Threlfall was and continues to be one of those people for me.
The first time my sister Jenny and I met Kathleen and David was at my Dad's wedding to my step mom, Susan, many years ago. Other than Susan, we'd never met people from California before. They were so cool and casual, so laid back and friendly.
Over the years, as my step mother's family became more a part of my life, I had a chance to get to know Kathleen and David. I was always excited to take trips out to their house at Azevedo ranch. David always had his cameras out as well as prints, slides, his new scanner or a new book, and talked enthusiastically about what he was working on or an interesting photographer he'd come across. As a young adult, it was his passion for photography and the outdoors that made a powerful impact on me as I was forming my own artistic pursuits. The idea of combining a love for hiking and the natural world with a love for photography made sense to me as a young painter hoping to someday be able to do the same as a landscape painter. David represented to me the idea of pursuing your interests for no other reason than just because you love it and it makes you feel alive, which is far more courageous than I'd realized.
Now at 38, I have come to understand that there is no place for guilt in wanting to pursue your interests. What are we if, at the end of our lives, we have lived nothing but 'responsibly' and have failed to listen to our hearts? As I look at the walls of Kathleen and David's ranch house, I see the beautiful prints he made of his work, as well as the ones he acquired, all of it a record of his existence, of what he saw and thought worthy to photograph, and of what he saw in other's work that made him need to own a print, and am left thinking, this is a man who really lived...
How fortunate I have been to have known David Threlfall.
My thoughts and love are with Kathleen, Rosie and Willie.
"And yet, there is only
One great thing,
The only thing:
To live to see in huts and on journeys
The great day that dawns
And the light that fills the world."
-song from the Kitlinguiharmiut, Copper Eskimo