A Life Lesson From Steve Drogin: Take More Snapshots

Maureen and I flew to La Jolla yesterday to attend a memorial service for Steve Drogin.  We first met “Uncle Stevie” as the Dad of our good friend Laura, but over the years we were drawn to his charisma, his  swim trunks and t-shirt zest for the life aquatic and his palpable and endless fascination with people from all over the world and every walk of life.  Obituaries characterize him as everything from a ‘philanthropist’ to an ‘underwater photographer’ and my favorite: “ocean adventurer.”  I doubt even GI Joe ever came in an “ocean adventurer” model…

Steve Drogin: Ocean Adventurer, Inspiration, Friend.  1979-2009
Steve Drogin and his wife Hiro: Ocean Adventurer, Inspiration, Friend. 1939-2009

We gathered in a clifftop hall of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography as the sun dipped into the crashing Pacific and watched slide after slide of this wonderful man so full of life and appreciative of every moment. And whether he was hugging his children and grandchildren, scuba diving off Thailand, or reveling in the company of his wife Hiro in yet another far flung land, he perpetually flashed the same smile, that of a man who truly believes himself blessed.  And as the photos filled the big screen, I swear I heard Steve speak to me, clear as day, across the veil that separates the living and the dead.  WIth a laugh and a chuck on the arm, he urged me to take more snapshots.  To capture every day.

I will Steve.  I promise, I will…

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

Leave a Reply