Like many modern friendships that are born in our era of social networking, I first "met" Ezra Caldwell online in 2006. I discovered his Flickr account through mutual contacts and was drawn to his extraordinary images of dancers, his beautiful wife Hillary and photogenic pooch Putney. We also happen share a deep devotion to bicycles and food, and he regularly chronicled his endeavors in frame building and cooking.
Ezra shared his thoughts with me about cooking via email: "I think it's important that people eat at home a certain amount of the time. For us it's pretty much every night. We eat out about once every three weeks. There's something about the time spent in the kitchen in the evening that is a real relaxer for me. A meditation. I often drag out food preparation just because I enjoy that time of day."
While I had lived in Ezra's hometown of New York City for 13 years, it wasn't until I moved all the way across the country to San Francisco that I finally met Ezra in real life. In the spring of 2007, he and another Flickr friend, Yohei Morita, embarked on a trip throughout the U.S. to share bicycle adventures and meet other Flickr comrades. They met me and a mutual Flickr friend, Judah, during their visit to the Bay Area.
And like many modern time-pressed friendships, we stayed in touch in the virtual realm. And so it was through Flickr that I learned in August of 2008, Ezra was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. In true Ezra fashion, who has never shied away from baring it all, he started a blog, "Teaching Cancer to Cry," as a "a way to keep people up-to-date as treatment progresses, and a way for me to look back when all this is over and reminisce."