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Monday, October 12, 2015

"My Mentor, My Last Hurrah..." 'James "Kimo" Rosen' (Kimo's world #92)

James "Kimo" Rosen is a retired professional photographer
currenting residing on the Garden island of Kaua'i

with his best friend, Obama Da Dog...  ;-)
Photo above; Melinda Kontos, John "Ulysses" Kontos
and James "Kimo" Rosen
Photo courtesy of Jason Gross

Kimo's world #92

My Mentor, My Last Hurrah

I recently returned home from a long overdue visit to my birth home of  Buffalo N.Y. I called this sojourn  'my last hurrah." I had not seen many family or friends in over 40 years.  Many were no longer with us, for those I visited cemeteries with my sister three different times.

During my visit  I wrote an opinion column that appeared in the Buffalo news about life coming full circle.  A few days after the letter appeared in the Buffalo news a voice from the past searched me out on Facebook.

My life has shown me  a career as a professional photographer in Alaska. I graduated  one of the best photography schools in the country, 'Brooks Institute in California.' I published a magazine in Alaska for many years, all this in big part  to the person who was searching for me.

This person recognized me from my opinion piece in the Buffalo news, even though it was signed with my newly acquired Hawaiian name, 'James "Kimo" Rosen.
Jim Rosen's High school
graduation photo.
Rosen looked
much different
back in 1974...

However, Mr. Kontos
somehow looks the same!

You see back in the day everyone called me Jim or J.R. I am the one who should had been searching for this person to minimally say thanks for shaping my life, thanks for helping  me to a career that I loved. Thanks for believing in me when most others had written me off. Thanks for being there at the right time and place.

 I had a hard time in High school and  hung out with the wrong crowd. This  was the one person that gave me hope and confidence. He took an interest in my dreams and helped me find my way in this nebulous world. This person was my mentor and photography teacher at Kenmore East Senior High school in Kenmore N.Y. This person was and  is Mr. John Ulysses Kontos.
My mentor, John Ulysses Kontos
and myself...

After receiving the friend request I responded with a Big "WOW!" I actually had tears in my eyes. We started corresponding. I found that Mr.Konto's lovely wife Mel was actually the one I was responding with--since Mr. Kontos never took well to the digital world. He's still an old film, pen and paper guy. Thank God his lovely wife Melinda manages his Facebook page for him.

Many Facebook personal messages later they invited me over to their home. My nephew Jason acted as my chauffeur as Siri directed us to the Konto's residence from my new iphone.

We visited for well over two hours trying to make up for 41 years. They invited us to stay for pizza and salad, we had to decline since it was the start of the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashanah and my sister would had killed us if we didn't have an appetite for her world renowned brisket.

Melinda and John Kontos

I Have never had tears in my eyes from a Facebook friend request before.This was truly a chicken skin experience as we say in Hawaii, most call them call goosebumps.
I finally got to the shake hands and hug my mentor after 41 years, my looks have change drastically since 1974, however Mr. Kontos somehow still looks the same.

I ended the day taking many photos of this glorious reunion on my newly acquired phone, after showing the photos to Mr. Kontos, he responded "A+."

My photography teacher and mentor
John Kontos and  myself
in a selfie taken with an iphone camera.
It's amazing how far photography has come.
Who ever thought you would be able to
take photos with your telephone and transmit
them worldwide with a swipe of the finger.
Photos from my recent sojourn, 
This week will  center on The New England Patriots ~ Buffalo Bills on September 20,2015 from Ralph Wilson stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. I got to see future hall of famer Tom Brady perform.
My team lost , final score 40-32, Pats.

Buffalo Bill's quarterback
Tyrod Taylor (#5)getting ready  to
make a big play! 
Future hall of fame quarterback Tom Brady (#12) had
another outstanding game. It was an honor
to see him play, even though I wanted the Bills
to win....

Bills fans are da best!

The camera man takes my photo as
 I take his photo, look below, I made
it on national T.V. What are the odds?

A Big Mahalo Nui Loa
(Thank you) to my old friend
Richard Fudeman for inviting me
to the Patriots `Bills game on
September 20,2015.
My Dear friend's Debra and Rick Comstock
were watching the game in Hawaii
and guess who they saw on national T.V?
That's me with leaning over with
the reddish-orange shirt and
white head band.
The Bills Loss 40~32

Check out y first Youtube selfie video with my iphone of my dog 'Obama' trying to say I love you! 


Rick Comstock said...

Jimbo... Keep up the great work. I'm happy your trip was a rebirth for your spirits. Now on to your next blog with your daily thoughts and wordsmithery (If this is not a word it should be) Rick

Mel, John and Max Kontos said...

Thanks for this! We both had tears in our eyes. It truly was a beautiful post after our beautiful reunion. Thank you for this. ..come back soon! John & Mel... and Max!

Linda Meyers said...

That is lovely!

KimoRosen said...

Thanks McGregor, all of what I "WE" had in Alaska was due in most part to Mr. kontos!

UlyssesMelinda Kontos heart emoticon said...


KimoRosen said...


KimoRosen said...

Another rickism "wordsmithery," If it's not a word, I will submit to the urban dictionary for considerations! ;-) Wait!!! I just Googled"wordsmithery," It is a word!!!! http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/wordsmithery

Mel, John and Max Kontos said...


Facebook Likes so far said...

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Chester "Unc" Lau said...

Good one to keep for posterity ,this is what unc said long time ago with old time Kodak Photography of the HYPO era "You can teach any monkey to operate a camera , but it is the Brain & Eyes behind the camera that makes the difference "...even with modern technology of iPhonr etc,we still meed the Brains & eyes to tell the story :-D
-------------------- :-D

KimoRosen said...

They say, "it's not the tool, it's the carpenter!"

Mel, John and Max Kontos said...

A great blog!!

Lois Shriver said...

How WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kit Ellison said...

How often I have wished to be able to contact my old teachers to tell them how their wisdom molded my life. My old English teacher, my history teacher, my typing teacher, and many others. Each had important information to impart to each of us and in such a way it sunk in making us better informed, more enlightened, and leaving us to want to know more and how to find the information on our own. How I wish I could have told them how rich they made my life.


Anonymous said...

Best teacher ever! Mahalo Nui Loa, Thank you very much!

Mel, John and Max Kontos said...

Replying to Kit's comment;
How wonderful and gratifying. Thank you!