Storytelling / by Bill Frakes

A Life magazine writer, Richard Woodley, called me today to ask some questions, and we talked and talked. His books and movies are part of our national collective conscience.

But what fascinated me was listening to him talk about the magazine he wrote for during the decade of the 1960s. It was a different time in print journalism. Globe trotting photographers and writers brought us stories with panache, adventure, and style. Fueled by seemingly endless budgets, a loving and devoted readership and an enthusiasm for getting it perfect, every time. If it needed to be covered, they were there in force.

For those of you too young to remember, Life magazine was once the gold standard among journalistic publications.

I really should have gotten moving and cut the call short, what with needing to pack for a five day road trip to do five portrait shoots -- including one for a magazine cover and two unrelated new video projects. A trip that would require twelve cases of gear to get through the different setups.

We spoke for an hour and it was delightful.

He called to ask about an old friend of ours, the great Bill Epperidge who passed last week.

But we talked about all kinds of things, as one story about Bill spun off into another.

I learned a lot, shared some, and did I mention, just had a great time.

Storytelling, done just right, is a huge treat.