It was well past dawn today that the Dawn Jogger watched the Most Rev. Dr. Desmond Tutu stride down the long center aisle of Grace Cathedral, a sight that she’d been looking forward to all week. During the 80s, the DJs lived in South Pasadena and attended All Saints Church Pasadena, which would be visited each year by the Archbishop, giving parishioners a personal face and witness to the horror of apartheid. In his sermons, there was never rancor or hatred towards the system that was oppressing him and other black South Africans, instead always forgiveness and reconciliation. It was a powerful message delivered by a man diminutive in size but large in heart. Son John remembers visits to his Sunday School class where the Archbishop would sit on the floor with the children, joking about his name, “You can call me Bishop Three Three.”
In a few months the Archbishop will retire from public life, so the female DJ knew this would be her last opportunity to hear him preach. Grace was filled; expectations were high. The morning did not disappoint. She was even lucky enough to get the photo of the day – at least in her mind. As the Archbishop was leaving the sanctuary, he paused to embrace his long time friend the Rev. Dr. George Regas, who was rector of all All Saints for 28 years, a span that included the 1980s visits by the Archbishop (who again preached there a couple of weeks ago on the current U.S. visit).
When the Archbishop opened his arms while preaching from the pulpit, the female DJ was instantly reminded of another open-armed shot that the male DJ had taken of Desmond giving a speech (she no longer can remember where – it’s in one of those garage boxes!) in Los Angeles, also during the 80s. She found a jpg of the photo on his computer and knew she must include it. The male DJ would have turned 60 this week…
Black and white photograph of Desmond Tutu (c) Estate of Christian Gulker. Reuse without permission is prohibited.