Today, I'm mourning the imminent loss of friendship gained at a Heidi's Deli where several of my photos have been on display since August.
A lot of changes have taken place at the deli, and not all of them happy ones. Marty, the store owner, is fighting cancer for the second time. Marty requested I hang landscape photos in the deli to get exposure for my business and add life to the shop. Oddly enough though, the only sales I made was of my top portrait seller, "Teri's Rose." If you remember, a Heidi's crew member bought a print as a present for her husband who couldn't stop drooling over it every time he came into shop. Then, the editor of the Denver Post surprised me when he purchased a framed print as well and hung it up in his office in the newsroom. When Marty became ill, I donated one of my framed images to a charitable event to help raise money for Marty and his family. Sadly, the Heidi's deli is being sold to new owners, and new managers will be taking over on Friday.
I can't thank Marty enough for his kindness and faith in my abilities. He took a big risk to display my work, even to the extent of possibly angering his higher ups. Over the months, I noticed that many other artists asked Marty to allow them to do the same (and I even tried to hang up several photos shot by friends and members of my Mile High DPS social group!) but Marty always shied away from those offers, saying that he was doing this for me and my business. The experience and confidence gained is immeasurable. Hearing customers comment about my photos, watching all of my business cards disappear, getting accolades from my colleagues at the Denver Post and just having my work out there for people to see and know about was fabulous! Many of the deli staff are going to be leaving on Friday, and I'm so sad to see them go. They've become like family too me, constantly offering support and encouragement.
I pray that Marty and his family are strengthened during this time of need and that the staff will find work and new direction. Thank you to all of you for what you've given to me!