Jerry taught me everything I know about taking a photo. He encouraged me about a year ago to plunk down a large chunk of change on a Nikon D5100. “Just go out and shoot,” he’d always tell me. And I did. The more I used that camera, the more I realized I had a new passion. I doubt I would have ever had the courage to try photography if it hadn’t been for Jerry’s encouragement. I know I’ll never be as skilled in the photo business as Jerry was, but every time I hit that shutter button, I think of one of the best photographers I’ve ever known.
As many of you know, Jerry died in December. I still have a hard time not picking up the phone and calling him about something I’ve heard on the police scanner. Although, usually it was Jerry who communicated first when it came to police business. What I wouldn’t do to receive one more text from Jerry Laizure going to the scene. I still haven’t been able to remove his phone number out of my speed dial list.
On Thursday, Jerry was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. A long overdue induction, if you ask me. I know if Jerry were here, he would have accepted that honor wearing a Hawaiian shirt, his signature piece. I wish he was here so I could shake his hand and thank him in person for what he’s not only done for me, but for so many photographers that he took under his wing.