My mother was born in the great Depression. Her father was a Norwegian immigrant and her mother was born in America to Norwegian parents and worked in servitude to another family as a young girl. Perhaps this start has tempered my mother’s approach to life and provided the best example for her children of how to live. Resilient, strong, selfless and hardworking my mother went to work as a single mother in the sixties with four young children.
In an age when many young women did not have the luxury of a college education, my mother started as a secretary and finished as the executive director of the Suffolk County Medical Society where she worked for 37 years, retiring at 71. My mother, like her father, could do anything with her hands. Had she been born in a later generation she might have been a surgeon though I have never heard her complain about her opportunities in life. Today with her husband of more than fifty years she continues to be a source of inspiration for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. -Michael Johnson
Based in New York, Michael Johnson specializes in portrait and documentary photography. He recently earned his master’s degree in digital photography from New York’s School of Visual Arts and has exhibited his work in galleries throughout the country. Johnson’s diverse background has ranged from magazine editing and creative writing to curriculum development and large-scale project management, experience that allows him to bring a unique skill set and sensibility to his work.