Last night was a magical evening and I discovered later that perhaps there was a special reason for it. When I returned home after these storms died out…I discovered that a kind lady named Mary Kathleen Johnson had quietly passed away around 5pm that same day . This photo was taken two hours later. She was a lover of weather, of storms and of living beneath the gorgeous views of the Catalina Mountains. She was a huge fan of storm chasers and would watch myself and countless others as we live-streamed our chases. She was such a blessing to everyone. She would even help us when we weren’t sure of the road network near her house.
But mainly she had sent me countless messages of support, not about only my work, but about me personally as a father and my family. Here’s one of her final messages to me, just a month ago:
“Hey Mike, Just wanted to say, 1st video that I had seen that you posted over on Vimeo back in 2011 or 12, took me by surprise & took my breath away. Had to watch it a couple of times,saved it then sent it off to Jeff Beamish.
My best captures could never compare to (if you ever made one) to your worst.
Can’t express enough to you the appreciation, not just me, but so many others of the stunning gifts you provide re nature via your captures.
Respect yourself, Jina and what you have been gifted with.
Thanks again kid, you’ve got it stay on course, pleased as heck for you.”
I can’t believe she’s gone just like that. I’d like to think that as she left this place, her gift to me at least was a beautiful storm and this lightning strike.
And so I dedicate this image to you Mary…may you rest in peace…with the occasional thunderstorm.