Thursday, October 23, 2008
ANDY HANSON: 1932-2008
A really good friend has passed away. A friend of hundreds here in Dallas, but I always had the feeling we shared some private joke together. I'm sure he gave others that impression, too. Andy was a regular in my toy store Right Brain/Left Brain from the 1980s to 1990s, and we always had a shared humor about odd Japanese toys I'd bring in. He was an inveterate and eccentric collector--just my type--and we shared a same kind of outsider view of living in Dallas. I've read other blogs about Andy that said he never spoke unkindly of the thousands of people he covered in his years as a photographer at the Dallas Times Herald forward. Maybe not "unkindly", but not uncritically. He had a sharp sense of himself and the often unreal social situations he found himself in. But, there was not a kinder, sharper more beautifully eccentric man in Dallas, and seeing Andy always gave me some hope that Dallas wasn't beyond salvation from superficiality.
The most prolific photographer I've ever met, Andy took photos of the Beatles 1964 visit to Dallas, Walt Disney and Ray Nasher looking over plans to build NorthPark and too many more to enumerate. I'm including a photo he took of Mance Lipscomb that I bought from him in the 1980s, along with some other photos including one of Lightnin Hopkins. I remember being impressed that he even knew who Mance Lipscomb was.
A friend of mine called the police when Andy didn't show up at the State Fair on the last day. Ironically, I had decided to go by myself and make one last trip to the Fair on that last day, to have that one last corny dog and root beer. It was a lovely day, Big Tex standing against the big blue field of sky. Wish I could have toasted Andy that day.
Andy, I enjoyed every conversation we had--from toys to rubber stamps, odd facts and stories that always seemed to come up. I'll miss your face out and about, reminding me that every Dallas social gathering had some salt of the earth with your presence.