March 27, 2016

Surgical Strike

Bill Luster enjoying a visit from his sisters and David Stephenson and me on Saturday. Photo by Jonathan Palmer
On Saturday my friend David Stephenson and I went up to visit with Bill Luster -- a good friend and colleague who recently went through some tribulations after suffering a few strokes. Luster is on the mend now at a rehabilitation center and hopes to return home next week.
When we arrived, he was surrounded by his sisters and one of his nieces and was casually chatting, but when we got there we started revving him up.

Bill takes a call from another photographer checking in on him. Photos by David Stephenson
During the conversation we jumped from topic to topic ranging from The Walking Dead (which Luster doesn't watch) to of course horse racing. At one point it became comical when we were talking about the character in a past season of TWD who was called "The Governor" and how he had heads in jars he would admire. At one point Luster quizzically asked "Are you guys talking about Matt Bevin?" which garnered a guffaw from everyone.

Bill showing a photo of Derby hopeful Surgical Strike. Photo by David Stephenson
As most conversations with Luster, though, our visit hovered around telling stories about other photographers, politics and horses. This year one of the hopefuls for the 143rd Kentucky Derby is a horse named Surgical Strike. That name is particularly funny to Bill and I because when I would go spend the day with him when he was working for the Courier-Journal, we would sometimes go to an assignment and he would tell me, "Palmer this is going to be a surgical strike,"meaning he was going to go in, shoot a few photos, and get out of there. We probably had a lunch date to make, hence the hurried nature of the "strike".

Bill calls a photographer to shame him for not coming to visit, as a joke of course. Photo by Jonathan Palmer
It was nice visiting with Bill and meeting his family. We were sad Linda wasn't there but heard she was out shopping, a activity she definitely deserves with all they've been through.

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