the LIST

Do I know you? One man's attempt at a lifelong head count. 

NOTE: If you think I might have a photo of you—most likely at least one great photo of you—don't be afraid to ask me to post it ( along with a brief entry about how I know you. And if I've met or known you but don't have any photo evidence, feel free to send along YOUR favorite photo of you. (I'm fascinated by what that slideshow might look like.)


14. tracy makela

Lake Okoboji, Iowa. 1995?

Lake Okoboji, Iowa. 1995?

Missing Sister Tracy more these days than ever. She would have been 47 today. Among the many things to feel sad about, how about the fact that she won't be able to be at my wedding in October? Here is a photo album I created today with a few of the old pics I've scanned. She would've loved the digital age. Happy birthday, Traky!  

(Posted on 5.27.14.)


It was exactly 14 days ago—on 3.14.14—that we marked the 13-year anniversary of Tracy's suicide. Her story is a complex one, filled with much joy and immense sadness. Surely, there was suffering on a scale few of us will ever know. But her life was also filled with more blissful, insanely funny moments than most will experience in a lifetime. Her last 3 years as a heartbroken fighter in a wheelchair shouldn't be the tragedy that overwhelms the rich, colorful life she had during her first 30 years on the planet. This photo is, in my mind, the essence of the sister that I knew. Laughter and light in her eyes. A girl of the suburbs of SoCal. Cornfed from Covina, but she would've fit right in among the cornfields of Iowa. She's probably jumping out of those cornfields and scarring somebody. There are scores of you out there—hundreds? thousands?—who must've shared a laugh with her? One of the many tragedies of her life is the fact that she wasn't around long enough to watch the arrival of camera phones and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. She was all those things before the Internet. No one in my life sent more letters, turned down fewer happy hours, took more pictures and made more phone calls to stay connected with the people she loved. Count yourself lucky if you were one of them.

(Posted on 3.28.14.)