Praise God….What a Life!

2 years ago 20
Posted in: Uncategorized


All three of our children, and most of their families will be with us this weekend.   I’ve been going throug thousands of images that record the history of our family, going all the way back to 1970 when I was blessed with the greatest earthly gift of my life, Sherelene!  We’ve reared three children welcomed three great new members to our family as each were married and are now blessed with 6 wonderful grandchildren!  I will put a music and image show together to share while we are all together.  I also saw a lot of images from my professonal life while searching for the family images.  The evidence of an incredible life is there in these images.  Let me be sure you understand, that I understand, (sounds like Dr. Phil),  That all of these incredible blessings are from God and any thing good that has happened to me, in my life, the credit, honor and glory all go to Him!!!!!


In going through the images I found several of my very favorite family images of all time, thought you might enjoy seeing them.


Early in the Great American Photography days my daughter Catherine ran the office and accompanied me on a number of workshops.  After one workshop a guest sent me this image he had shot of us, it is my favorite images of us!  What made it extra special was Catherine had it blown up and wrote an incredible thank you note to me, one of the most touching things I have ever recieved, it still hangs proudly on my wall and in my heart!


My son Wesley is an avid hiker an backpacker, an actitivty that I have seldom done with him, but Sherelene always wanted to hike to the top of Mount LaConte in the Great Smoky Mountains and Wes and she did it together, I have no idea who shot this image, but it is one of my favorites because of the sheer joy they are sharing in a beautiful place!  I love how deeply our family loves one another!  Sherelene has done LaConte three times, shame on me!!!!


My oldest son, Scott was busy getting and education and raising a family during the Great American Photography days and sadly we never got to travel around the country like I did with Catherine and Wes!  A few year’s ago I gave him an evelope for Christmas saying,” anywhere you want to go for a week, just the two of us.”  He chose the Golden Circe in Utah (Bryce, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands and the Page area), and we had an incredible father-son time, we are going to do it again soon!!!  Wherver he wants to go!


This is my favorite photograph of Sherelene and I together!  She more than makes up for what my looks are lacking!  A few Christmas seasons ago my sister-in-law, Terri Fortneym Homer’s wife, came down from Harlan and did portraits of all our family members.  Terri is an incredible portrait photographer, especially kids, which I qualify for, at least at heart!!!!


This is an oldy but definately a goody!!!  The late, great Don Nelson, years ago, ( look at my hair and beard ), invited me to be the master of cermonies for the Southern Short Course, the most prestigous of the early photojournalism conferences.  I did a stand up comedy routine and they invited me back for several more years, where I met and made friends with the giants of photojournalism.  Above top row left to right, Porter Binks of USA Today & Sports Illustrated, the pilgrim, the late Bernie Boston legendary pulitzer prize winning photographer, Dick Darcey, legendary sports shooyer for the Washington Post and  the government rep for Nikon, God forgive me and I can’t remember his name!! I am 72 after all!


This one goes back to the very early part of my career when I worked for two coal companies and I can tell you, every time I look at this image I thank God I work above ground now!  Photo Credit:  Danny Lawson.


Some of my favorite childhood images from each of my children, adults!!!!



Now, do you see why I know I’m blessed by God!





the pilgrim







20 Responses

  1. Jim in Bloomington says:

    Well done, faithful servant. They (and we) are so lucky to have you.

  2. Donald Boys says:

    Wonderful portrait of you and Sherelene!

  3. John Gompf says:

    Wonderful tribute to the people closest to you in your life.

  4. Scotty B says:

    I’ll add my compliments on this great post, that helps us take a moment to reflect on what a great life God has provided for your family…and our families as well.

    God is good, All the time!
    Thanks, Bill.

  5. David W. says:


  6. Richard Browne says:

    It pretty much all comes down to the family, doesn’t it? I’m so happy you’ve got a big and loving one – and not just your immediate blood kin, but the big extended family of all your friends.

  7. Bill Fortney says:

    I’ve been blessed beyond measure!!! And friends like you!

  8. Carl says:

    Wow, Bill! You are so fortunate to have such a family!! But to also have so many photos for remembrance sake. The bible says over 500 times to “remember” what God has done for you! You have done that here!!

    To punctuate your comments, I just talked to a lady last week who was in her early 70’s. She told me no one in her family ever owned a camera – she had no photos of her or her husband’s parents/siblings, or her own kids growing, nor the grandkids until the iPhone came along. She was so sad about all of it!

    You are one BLESSED man!!

  9. Rodney McKnight says:

    I can surely see the blessings!! You will be so blessed in heaven with all the loving relationships you will take with you….I surely look forward to being one of those relationships!

  10. admin says:

    You are my friend!

  11. What a legacy, Bill! To God be the glory!

  12. A Canadian restauranteur was being hounded by his accountant son for the haphazard state of his books, wondering whether dad could tell his actual profit. Dad proceeded to dress his son down.

    “When your mother and I came to this country all I had was a pair of pants and the shirt on my back. Now we have a nice home and our restaurant that put you kids through school. You are a chartered accountant (CPA), your sister is a doctor and your brother is a lawyer. We have three beautiful grandchildren and another on the way. When I take all of this and subtract the pants and shirt, THAT is my profit.”

    (P.S.: Love the “no gray hair” shots…LOL!)

  13. Joshua Boldt says:

    aw great photos. thanks for sharing.

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