A Note from Hank Gans

Dear Fellow Alumni,

I was surprised to discover that I wasn't on your roster of the Class of '67, especially since I was the class president in 1965-66 and the winner of the Cherry Lawner award that year. Perhaps it's understandable, though, if you're getting names and addresses via the yearbooks because I skipped my senior year, graduating on the first Cherry Lawn summer session in Great Britain - many fond memories of that experience - and Bazz had talked to me about putting another one together back in 1977.

Because I graduated in the summer of 1966 I was not included in the senior class photos of 1967, although you will find my name listed as photographer for the Cherry Lawn yearbook that year - I lived at Cherry Lawn in 1967-68, teaching the Biology Lab during that time while attending the University of Connecticut.

Bazz and I became neighbors in Maine in 1987, incidentally, and he attended my one man photo show at the Maine Photographic Workshop in 1988.

How time flies. I was *very* upset to hear he had died. I feel like a part of me has been taken away and I'm really feeling my mortality.

Here's what I've been up to:

After 16 years as a still photographer in Manhattan, winning many art director awards for my corporate photography, I left New York to do personal photography and live with the Hopi Indians in Northeastern Arizona for a year.

I stayed with the tribe for three years, however, doing my personal project on and around the reservation. I also taught photography at the reservation college during this time. I was the first "anglo" photographer to be permitted to live with the Hopi since they banned photography on the reservation in 1911. I was a member of the community and it was very hard to return to the outside world.

I moved to mid-coast Maine in 1987 where I did fine art photography. It was at this time that Bazz and I reestablished our old friendship.

I came west as the still photographer on a feature film. One night I solved a financial problem for a producer with my laptop computer and was hired as location accountant the next morning at a salary several times what I was getting paid as still photographer. I was promoted a short time later to production manager and, finally, associate producer and post-production supervisor. That film, Unconditional Love, went on to win three major film festivals: The Hamptons, Boston and Houston and is just now being released as a video after limited theatrical distribution.

I went on to do the stills for two Showtime feature films before being hired as Assistant Production Coordinator for the feature Grumpier Old Men. That was followed by the feature, Circles. I was Line Producer and Production Manager on that feature, not yet released, starring Antonio Sabato, Jr.

Right now I have a "desk job" at Warner Bros. but am chomping at the bit to get out and shoot once again. I will probably return to still photography in the very near future.

I was very happy to hear about the Cherry Lawner Web page and feel it will be very successful. Thanks very much!


Hank Gans

Submitted 23-December-1997