Stories we cover with a longtime impact on us are few and far between, especially when it's the usual over-the-phone conversation about places to get pizza or how much a hat costs.
But over the weekend, I received some news that reminded me of half a year ago when Salt Lake magazine gave me the chance to dive in two peoples' lives, Helenka and Phillip Bimstein, mother and son, painter and musician.
The news: Red Rock Rondo (Phillip's band) was recognized with two Rocky Mountain Emmy awards on Saturday night in Phoenix for a documentary on the band, produced by the Western Folklife Center in partnership with KUED-TV.
The documentary won Best Arts Entertainment Program and Best Musical Composition and was nominated for Best photography.
I gazed on Helenka's beautiful artwork at her spring gallery at the JCC and watched Red Rock Rondo in concert at an IAMA event for my research. I also had hours of interview time with both of them. We discussed their relationship, both as artists and family. I learned about Helenka's inspiring trip to a museum in Toledo, Ohio, where she became fascinated by Egyptian artifacts, which later translated to her art. Phillip told me about how he got into music and his MTV-era band Phil 'n' the Blanks.
Several months later, Helenka invited me to a pot luck veranda party...My sweet acorn squash was a hit. This gave me the chance to "really" meet the other band members: Internationally-recognized performer Kate MacLeod, Cowboy Poetry Gathering founder Hal Cannon, and extremely talented Salt Lake Symphony/Blue Haiku members Harold Carr, Flavia Cerviño-Wood and Charlotte Bell.
Less than a month ago, Phillip sent an e-mail that his 96-year-old mom passed away. She's remembered for her outgoing nature, cultural involvement and, of course, her artwork. Each painting tells a story, most of them more than one.
As tribute to Helenka and in honor of Red Rock Rondo's Emmy awards, I attached the story I wrote on the two, one of the best I've ever written. Click here to read.
And to Red Rock Rondo, God bless and congratulations.