AP Photog Harry Cabluck Casualty of Latest Cuts

Longtime AP photographer Harry Cabluck on November 17, 2009.
Longtime AP photographer Harry Cabluck on November 17, 2009.

He just ordered new business cards. But by Tuesday afternoon, veteran photographer and Capitol treasure Harry Cabluck found out he wouldn't need them. Cabluck, 71, is one of two Texas-based Associated Press photographers to be laid off as part of the company-wide cuts.

His career has spanned more than fifty years — forty of which were spent at the AP. He was in the presidential motorcade on that balmy day in November 1963 when John F. Kennedy was shot, has photographed every president since then, and caught countless backroom moments of George W. Bush's run for the White House. He's covered more Superbowls, World Series and national championship games than he can remember. Cabluck's captured the images that make up our collective memories, and our history books.

At the Texas Capitol, Cabluck's presence has outlasted governors, lawmakers and hell, even most furniture under the pink dome. There are fixtures at the Capitol, and then there are institutions.

We're rounding up tributes to Harry in this space. Please send in yours to me and I'll add them as they come in.

Tributes to Harry, from his friends:

 

“Harry’s camera has captured some of the most memorable and stirring images in the history of the Lone Star State.  He has a remarkable gift for capturing a photograph that tells a story as much as it sets a scene, and I’ve always respected both his unwavering professionalism and unflappable personality.  Given his considerable talents, I hope and expect to see Harry around the halls of the Capitol again soon.”  –Governor Rick Perry

"Harry is one of Texas' most accomplished photographers and few, if any, have so poignantly captured in photographs the vibrancy and nuance of the Capitol, our elected officials and the drama of legislative sessions, plus, he is one heck of a nice guy." -Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst

"I can't imagine the Senate without Harry, who always was there to turn his camera on us when we rose to debate an important bill or huddled in negotiations with our colleagues. His camera wasn't always our friend, but Harry sure was! Thanks for the memories and best wishes, Harry." State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Grapevine

"Each day as I entered the floor of the Texas House I always received a kind greeting from veteran photographer, Harry Cabluck.  Harry is a capitol institution with a career that spanned more than fifty years, yet he always took the time to engage me on a variety of subjects. "What is the photo of the day?" I usually asked. Harry always had an eye for that one photograph that encapsulated the most complex of arguments. Harry is a professional's professional, who made the job look easy, yet communicated volumes with a simple click of a button. The State of Texas salutes you for your service.  A job well done, Harry!" -State Representative Aaron Pena 

"Harry Cabluck is as much a part of the Texas Capitol as the Davy Crockett’s big painting or the dome itself. Speaking of domes, seeing Harry’s polished pate at an event was always the first confirmation that news was being made. Ever cheerful and professional beyond reproach, Harry not only captured history, he invested in the next generation of photographers by willingly sharing advice on technique, etc. Here’s hoping some other visionary news organization (cough, cough, Texas Tribune, cough, cough) is smart enough to enlist Harry’s services and keep the tradition alive." -Andrew Barlow, Deputy Communications Director, Office of Governor Rick Perry

"A consummate professional through and through, Harry never let a teachable moment pass without seizing on it, and I suspect he never will.  We are lucky to have shared the same events with Harry, but it's crystal clear that few saw them with the depth of his experience.  Whether it was words, pictures or actions, Harry, thanks for always making everyone around you think about what it meant to capture the moment." -Jerry Strickland, Communications Director, Office of the Attorney General

"I have worked with many great journalists and photographers over the years. Neither they nor I have demonstrated the depth of enthusiasm and passion residing within Harry Cabluck. Long before I joined the AP, I found Harry to be an inspiring figure. He still is. His incredible body of work speaks for itself, and anybody who has ever been around him, even briefly, knows that  Harry's work ethic is unrivaled. He has been very kind and generous to me, and he makes a mean pot of coffee. I will miss working with him very much, but I know we haven't seen the last of Harry or his photography." -Jay Root, the Associated Press

"Harry is a consummate professional whose credibility allows him to walk into any room in the Capitol and start snapping away. I'd argue he is the most enthusiastic, earnest member of the Capitol press corps. But more than that, he is deeply respected and dearly loved by those who work around him and with him for his professionalism, his kindness and his one-of-a-kind charm." -Jason Embry, Austin American-Statesman

 

"Harry Cabluck has been earning a living in journalism longer than all but a scant few of us in the Austin press corps have been alive. That longevity is no doubt rooted in his professionalism, his perfectionism and his enthusiasm for taking pictures and publishing them to the wire. He’s as blunt as he is helpful, and as knowledgeable as he is energetic. Some time ago, Harry told me that he could never envision himself retired. “What would I do with myself but take pictures?” he said with a grin. “And what would I do with the pictures? Probably offer them up The AP. Hell, that’s what I’m doing now. What would be any different?” Journalism needs more people like Harry Cabluck." -John Moritz, The Quorum Report, formerly of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"Harry was at the AP when I arrived, left, moved to Texas, came back (sort of) to The AP, and finally (I think) retired.  He was always calm and utterly professional, smiled his competitors into submission, was unfailingly a gentleman and always a dear, respected, admired friend and colleague.  The AP will be less than it was with his absence." -Burl Osborne, former editor, AP and The Dallas Morning News

"In 1984, Associated Press Director of Photography William J. "Sandy" Colton retired. He had what many called one of the greatest retirement parties ever at his "cabin" in Bleecker, NY, nestled in the Adirondack mountains. Hundreds of his co-workers and friends flew in from all over the country. Harry Cabluck flew in from Texas and proceeded to roast an entire pig on a spit for the occasion...."Cabluck-style." All of us who knew and worked with Harry will always remember him as a kind southern soul. Sandy, my father, who passed away this past Christmas, was always very fond of Harry. I wish him all the best in the future." --Jim Colton, Photography Editor, Sports Illustrated

"I met Harry for the first time this spring, my first Lege session, and knew nothing about him. He took a picture at the Capitol in which I just happened to be in the background (along with Texas Tribune staffer-to-be Brandi Grissom). When I went Googling for the picture, I came across a legendary photo of Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception," possibly the most famous play in NFL history – a photo I've seen many times in my life. "Whoa," I thought – "HE took THAT photo?!?" That's when I knew I was working amongst some journalism big-leaguers." -Lee Nichols, the Austin Chronicle

"During the legislative sessions, before Harry went home each evening, he'd ask the reporters in the Capitol Press Corps room what we thought was the most important story of the day. He wanted to make sure he'd submitted pictures on the day's biggest news. He always had. And then before he'd walk out the door, he'd promise us that he'd try to do better the next day. I hope to always have that kind of work ethic." -Corrie MacLaggan, Austin American-Statesman

"Harry saved my life one year ago.  I had just left The Dallas Morning News as senior staff photographer for the past 20 years to freelance in Austin.  Hurricane Ike was my first assignment as a freelancer.  An ill-fated attempt to reach Galveston Island in my small boat from Texas City the day after Ike hit ended in a capsized boat and ALL my gear sloshing around the waves of Galveston Bay.  The Coast Guard took the USA Today reporter and I to the island command center, where we layed out all our saltwater-soaked equipment.  I sat there, almost crying, looking at my bleak future on the second day of my freelance career, which, for all practical purposes, looked like was over.  Out of the sky came a helicopter, Gov. Rick Perry, and my savior Harry Cabluck in tow.  He immediately offered me a spare camera and lens.  He was more concerned for me at that moment than the disaster that he had come to cover.  At first I denied the gesture, but thought twice and realized that I needed to get back to work.  Harry lent me the gear for two months until I was able to recover what I had lost.  I was basically another Ike victim, but that day, Harry was my angel from heaven.  I love you man!" -Erich Schlegel, Freelance Photographer

"Harry Cabluck is a pro a from Dover. He has been a good friend to my son, Sam, and me for the past decade, even taking the time to come to our home on weekends to teach both of us a thing or two about photography in the digital age. I trust that Harry will be around for a long time to come covering the news. I suppose, though, I will soon miss my calls to the AP’s capitol bureau being greeted with his voice of experience: “Associated Press, Harry Cabluck.” Now that is music to one’s ears in a time when old pros from Dover are becoming rare in this business that seems to value delivery platforms and gimmickry over honest follow-your-nose, shoe-leather journalism." -Michael Pearson, Asst. News Director, News 8 Austin

"I wish every young journalism student and journalist would read this list of thoughtful tributes to Harry and be reminded what a tremendous effect one kind, wise and hard-working man can have through his work. He not only made the three Texas newspapers that I’ve worked for better through his AP contributions, he’s touched more lives of journalists and our readers than we’ll ever know. Thanks, Harry! And thanks, Texas Tribune, for giving us this forum." -Terry Scott Bertling, AME, San Antonio Express-News

"Harry is not only a great photographer he is a great human being. When I began covering my first legislative session in 2001 Harry gave me pointers on where to be and when to be there for important news making moments. When my TV station closed its Austin bureau and eliminated my job Harry left a vase of flowers outside the office door and a sweet card I still have.  Harry not only captured Texas history, he is a part of it. Can’t wait to see where he’ll be making history next!" -Shelley Kofler, News Director, KERA Public Broadcasting

"My first session at the Capitol in 2005 I was scared and intimidated and, mostly, lost. But Harry was always there to help me find my way and to remind me that everyone started from the beginning. He gave me that little bit of encouragement every day that helped me survive, and he pushed me to be tough. He was my champion and a daily inspiration. And really I hope it's not long before I hear his cheerful voice say, "Hey, it's The AP babes," again as I walk up to Capitol." -Brandi Grissom, The Texas Tribune

"Early in my career as an AP staff photographer based in Jackson, Mississippi, I would call upon Harry for advice on those occasions (and there were many) when I was bitten by the uncertainty bug. On one of those first calls I made the mistake of stating the obvious. Harry's response to my time-wasting comment was "I know that.... tell me something I don't know." This was a lesson that I should have learned at an early age but some how either forgot or ignored.... think before you speak. Harry taught me to peek around corners, to look beyond the obvious, to look for the reasons why situations develop the way they do. Because of Harry I am a better journalist. To Harry and his lovely wife Ellen, I am proud to know you." -Tannen Maury, Midwest Manager/Staff Photographer, The European Pressphoto Agency

"Harry is a great talent and a generous colleague and friend. I know he will not miss a beat getting back into the action because so many people appreciate his work and,  as he says, 'Somebody's got to make the doughnuts.'" -Peggy Fikac, San Antonio Express-News

"Harry is one of my heroes in the business. We met some 30 years ago when I was still very young and unsure and he was well established and accomplished. He treated me like one of the brethren. Over those three decades we've shot next to each other and, literally, rubbed elbows at all kinds of news events from the most meaningless press conferences to the biggest stories of the day. Each and every time, without fail, Harry has taught me, helped me, shared an insight or a tip, given me something to laugh with him about, shown concern for me and re-infected me with his love of the craft and enthusiasm for our calling. "Thanks" is too weak, but It is very heartfelt."  -Rodger Mallison, senior photographer Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"Harry Cabluck was the most helpful and friendly guy at the Capitol. Last session, we found our tripod was just not sturdy enough for Capitol use. Harry could see it. So, what did he do? Gave our videographer Greg Beatty one of his - for free! We are still using it. That's Harry, always thinking of others. He is irreplaceable and I cannot believe AP would let him go." -Steve Taylor, Rio Grande Guardian

"I met Harry when I was a junior in college at Ohio State in 1979, and he was the AP photo editor in Columbus.  I shyly brought him a little box of mis-matched black and white prints, which he kindly went through... and he took me in.  I used to go to classes at school, and then would run downtown to the AP bureau to go to what I liked to call the “College of Harry Cabluck”.  It was like plugging into a force of nature. The single year that our paths collided in Columbus—before Harry transferred to Dallas—set me onto the road I have travelled ever since. As a photographer, as a colleague and teammate, as an AP staffer, and as a person,  Harry’s voice and lessons guide me to this day.  I lost my own father when I was just 7 years old. I have always sort of felt that my Dad sent me Harry to keep an eye on me. Thank you Dad, and thank you Harry." -Amy Sancetta, AP National Photographer

"Harry tried very hard to be an old curmudgeon, mostly without success. He scared hell out of me first time I ran into him at the Star-Telegram, then I realized there was a heart and soul underneath the gruff exterior, and it showed in his photographs. He may be out for the  moment, but he won't be down for long. Shoot, he may even try retirement - and he will be very busy, no doubt." -Lou Hudson, formely of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"I had the pleasure of working with Harry at AP for many splendid years and he once loaned me his beloved M5 to make sure I had the right exposure when Jimmy Carter came to town. Before I went dove hunting with Ann Richards, Harry gave me this advice: Make pictures of everybody in the party -- you never know how the day will end. I hope AP took good care of you, Harry. After all, cash is king." -Bob Wieland, former AP newsman

"Harry Cabluck is a great guy. I’ve always loved being around him. He freely offered constructive criticism in my earlier days at DPS, and I learned a lot from him—especially since he usually was right! I am a better PIO because of the (unsolicited) advice he’s offered over the years. In our office, we often say “If Harry ain’t happy, then no one’s going to be happy.” And then we try to get those photo ops that will make him happy." -Tela Mange, Chief of Media Relations, Texas Department of Public Safety

"Harry you will never know what it meant to me to see you walk into my hospital room after my bypass surgery this year. It was very cool to have someone there who knew exactly what I was going through and who would comment on my progress everytime I saw you. I was proud to be your test picture subject on many occasions and happy that I never broke any of your cameras. Good luck. I know you won't be gone for long unless you chose to be." -Robert Wood, Texas State Network

"The other tributes accurately sum up Harry Cabluck's professional life, although I might quibble with describing him as "calm." Legendary?  Harry invented the word when he was chief photographer for the AP in Ohio and I was fortunate enough to be assistant chief of bureau in Columbus, my desk a few feet from his darkroom. Companies do really stupid things from time to time when the bean counters gain control and AP has redefined stupid with the termination of Harry Cabluck.  I thought AP had gotten rid of idiots at the top.  Obviously there are a few still left." -Doug Caldwell, Editor, Central Valley Business Times

"Harry Cabluck is not just a great photographer and fellow journalist.  He has been a loyal friend to every photographer (including me) who has had the privilege of working next to him at a UT sporting event or Capitol press conference.  He was always generous with his wisdom on any subject and everyone who talked to Harry realized that he had plenty of wisdom to share on a vast array of subjects.  His sense of humor and gentle insights made even the most tense news situations tolerable.  And, it didn't take long to realize that Harry seemed to be acquainted with every person in Texas and remembered their names and other information about them.  And, it seems that all those Texans would go out of their way to greet Harry when they saw him waiting for a politician or walking down Congress Avenue.   It is the passing of an era and we'll all miss seeing Harry when we are on an assignment at the Capitol Building." -Larry Kolvoord, Staff Photographer Austin American-Statesman

"Harry is one of the greats and he will be missed by all. He was here in Eldorado for several days and it was my great pleasure to get to spend some time with him. He was and is a consummate professional." -Randy Mankin, Publisher, The Eldorado Success

"I had been warned by other shooters that I’d draw Harry’s ire if he saw me photographing in the Capital (or pretty much anywhere) without a color gel on my flash. I did one better — I wasn’t even using flash. Harry, to his credit, was all over me within minutes. [And Harry, good sir, I still hardly use my strobes to this day — sorry!] Always helpful and generous with his time and knowledge, Harry guided me with tips and tricks at many an assignment in those formative years. And since then, when gigs at other papers gave me the pleasure of a work trip to Austin, he was always as friendly and willing to assist as I’d remembered him being back in my college days. Best of luck to you, Harry. Thanks for everything you’ve done (and I’m sure will continue to do) for so many over your long, memorable career." - G.J. McCarthy, Photographer, The Dallas Morning News

"Harry and I first met chasing wrecks and similar stories back in the late 1950s. He was working for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, I was a cub at The Dallas Morning News.  There’s no way to replace a person like Harry. He exudes class." -S. Griffin Singer, Director, Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Center for Editing Excellence

"Just as many who came before me and many afterwards, Harry always had a spot for my college student self in his darkroom. He taught me about gels, color separations and formulas. He lent me his time life photography books. He took me in and fed me what he knew of photography as well as tomato soup. All of this is so remarkable, but even more so was that it happened time and time again with countless students who he influenced over the years.  I'll never forget you telling me "i've got dirt on my lenses older than you." --Ha Lam, National Projects Photographer, Whole Foods Market

"Harry Cabluck was a mentor/teacher as well as a colleague for almost every AP photographer in the 70s and 80s while working out of Pittsburgh and Dallas (was there a stop running the Ohio State operation from Columbus, too?) and covering every important story, from Super Bowls, Olympics and World Series to Presidential Inaugurations. There wasn't a lot of hair on his head then either—and oh, those special shoes!" -Ray Stubblebine, Photographer, Reuters News Services

"Harry was one of my mentors at AP's Diverse Visions/Diverse Voices workshop. There's one thing he said that week that has stuck in my mind ever since: "You don't have to sell your soul to the devil to make it in this business. You just have to give your heart to journalism." I think he lived by those words and I hope he knows how much they meant to me as I started out in my photojournalism career." -Michael P. King, Visual Journalist, Green Bay Press-Gazette

"As a fellow AP photographer, I had the opportunity to cover many events alongside Harry, known to his friends as the Dancing Bear. I have never known a photographer who would sweat the details like Harry. He was a pioneer in the use of extreme telephoto lenses--especially the Leitz 800 mm. Beyond his professional abilities, he is a man who has enriched the lives and careers of countless others. A star has been dimmed." -Bob Daugherty, retired AP Photographer/editor

"Ten years ago, I was a budding reporter in my 20s, hundreds of miles away from home for the first time when I began my career as a Capitol reporter for the Austin AP. On my first day, I brought in chocolate chip cookies as a welcome offering to my new colleagues. Harry Cabluck made a pot of his famously strong coffee to go along with them, offered me a hand, a smile and a seat at his and wife Ellen's Thanksgiving dinner table. He has been a friend and mentor ever since. Whether showing me the ropes around the Capitol and helping the AP succeed, or driving over to my house on a Sunday afternoon to help rescue my cat from the inside of an old La-Z-Boy, Harry was always there for me. No one loved the AP more, cared about news more, took care of people more, or worked harder than Harry. Harry was the AP. And it's heartbreaking that the AP is no longer with Harry. I know Harry will continue sharing his craft and his heart with all of us. He'll keep making great pictures. He'll never stop promising to do better tomorrow. He'll be there when you need him. That's what Harry does." -Connie Mabin, former AP reporter and correspondent

"I started with the AP in 1976, and as a young photo staffer, Harry mentored me in the art of color separations for print and color photography. His lessons and skill allowed me to dig deeper into the art of color theory and its relationship to photography. Lessons that continue with me today. I wish Harry the best." -Guy Palmiotto, AP photographer

"I sure hope I get more opportunities to chat with Harry about our respective tomato crops and organic gardening. In the meantime, I will envy Harry for getting more time to live in the garden. What a professional. More importantly, what a great guy!" -Gary Scharrer, San Antonio Express-News

"Harry Cabluck is one of the most professional hard working photographers I have ever worked with. Whether it be a slow news day or a crazy one,  a small story or  a front pager, Harry approaches his photography with the same level of intensity and he always displays his  incredible work ethic. When sending his photos to editors, he always would ask us to make sure his photos were the best they could be, though his files and captions rarely needed work because he is such a perfectionist.  He did all of this, while always being friendly and such  a pleasure to work with. Harry is a true Southern gentleman and an outstanding journalist.  They broke the mold after creating Harry Cabluck!" -Rob Paine, former AP Photo Editor

"I can't imagine the AP or the Austin press corps without Harry. When I was scrambling to get used to the Capitol, Harry was always quick to point me down the right hall, flag down legislators, and whisper in my ear the best way to get someone's attention. He had seen everything, knew everything and still fought the good fight. I even worked with a photographer in Green Bay, WI who was possibly Harry Cabluck's biggest fan - so from across the country, Harry inspired people. And of all the journalists I respect and whose experience I envy, Harry is one of my favorites." -Jackie Stone, Killeen Daily Herald and former AP intern

"I met Harry as a young photographer back in Dallas in the late 80's early 90's, while working in Dallas,Harry made a big impression on me and always gave good advise to me as a young photographer. It was nice to see him again in Austin when I started working in Austin at the Texas Department of Transportation when I had to cover Capital stuff for the Department.  Harrywas always glad to see me and always had photo tips in working around the capital. That is one thing I will miss when I have to go to the Capital." -Michael Amador, TxDOT / Texas Highways Staff Photographer

"Harry is a great guy.  I know he has helped many young photographers  along the way.  He -- Dancing Bear --  helped me when he was based in Columbus, Ohio.  He gave me an assignment when I was an Ohio University student to cover a cooling tower construction site disaster, in which I got a nice bloody nose covering a funeral (I still got a picture). Then,
when I got my first front page photo in the Akron Beacon Journal, from my first day of work, he sent me a note of congratulations -- which I still have in the archives  --  saying that I probably did not even have a home phone yet.  Hopefully one door closes and another one opens for you Harry." -Bill Wade, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette staff photographer

"Harry, I hope now you will hang up those damn cameras and enjoy some other stuff for awhile. About 15 years ago when I was working at the Herald Democrat in Sherman you sent me in the mail a copy of a photo I had made that moved on the AP wire. On it you wrote simply, "Great photo, Harry." That was about the best compliment I ever got in my almost 30 years as a shooter. Now you and I are both retired. Good luck in your retirement." -Joe Cole, retired news photographer

"When I first started with AP, Harry -- in a very direct manner -- taught me a valuable lesson -- when news breaks, the first thing you do is make sure photos knows. Thanks Harry and take care." -Scott Rothschild, former AP reporter

 "During the 1995 session my station (KVET) made a deal to offer my duties to WOAI Radio as a capitol correspondent. This was in addition to my morning anchor duties. I got up at 3:00 AM, and was often at the capitol into the evening hours. One day I was on the house floor, waiting for a bill to come up. I closed my eyes for a few minutes; long enough for Harry to lend his camera to a state representative. The photo was developed, and mailed to my boss with a note saying ‘This is how your reporter covers the legislature!” Many laughs were had by all, I’m sure. But I can’t be mad at Harry. Last time I saw him at Richard Jones Barbecue I asked him to take a picture of the family and I with a disposable camera. What a joy it was to see him arrange the shot and lighting. The picture is a keeper. So is Harry. What a pro." -Bob Crowley, KVET Radio

"Harry was the first "real" photojournalist I met during my first week shooting for The Daily Texan, the University of Texas' college newspaper. We were covering a press conference at the capitol and he showed me around and even better, showed me the ropes.  My career took me far away from Austin and sometimes years would pass before I would return to shoot an assignment there. But when I would arrive to the scene, there would be Harry, with open arms and a big hug, welcoming me home...  What a shame to see him go." - Judy Walgren DeHaas, staff photojournalist, The Denver Post

"When I first met Harry, I was a college student, lost and intimidated in the halls of the Capitol. Here was I, a nervous and confused Daily Texan reporter, and then, Harry: a veteran photojournalist with years of Capitol press corps experience. Still, he flashed smiles at me, pointed me in the right direction when I didn't know where I was going, answered my stupid questions, and helped me out when I was about to miss something Big. When I returned later as an intern in the Austin Bureau of the San Antonio Express-News, I counted on his smiling face and his charm and jokes to brighten my day. He was someone you could rely on and his pictures were always incredible and spot-on. In many ways, Harry, to me, embodies all the good things about old-fashioned journalism that we are in danger of losing as this industry changes so rapidly. I admire him as a journalist and as a person and in my mind he is integral to the Capitol. I just can't imagine it without him. Godspeed Harry. Your enthusiasm, passion, skill, warmth and kindness has touched us all." -Lomi Kriel, former reporter, San Antonio Express-News

"With Harry, it was never about politics or personality.  It was never about Right or Left.  It was never about who's right or who's wrong. It was always just about the picture.  Capturing a moment in time that could convey the joy or sadness, the humor or the seriousness was the only priority.  When Harry entered the room, it was always, as he so often said about "making the picture."  It takes quite an individual to keep their eye on the ball for 50 years. Thanks, Harry."  -Robert Black, former press secretary to Gov. Rick Perry

"Lady Liberty atop the Capitol should be taken down and replaced with a likeness of Harry Cabluck.  Not only would it improve the aesthetics of the place, but Harry has been a far more constant fixture than liberty in that building."-Kelly Fero, Democratic strategist

"What a guy! He remembers every face with the same attention to detail displayed in his photos. And not only is Harry a great photographer, he’s an outstanding mentor to all the young shooters he encounters. Always taking time to praise, encourage – and maybe gently critique their work." -Wanda Garner Cash, UT School of Journalism

"I just saw Harry Cabluck a few weeks ago in Eldorado. I hadn’t seen him in years. He was still the same Harry. Always ready with a big Texas-sized smile and a bear hug. Although many other photographers before him had tried, it was Harry who beat it into me to never run out the door on a story without first notifying photo. The industry lost a true professional this week. But I’m sure he’ll be back at the Capitol very soon." -Terri Langford, Houston Chronicle, former Dallas, Houston AP

"I had the privilege to work with Harry in fits and starts whenever I’d parachute into the AP’s Austin bureau. The man is an absolute pro and was a joy to work with – he even answered the phone with unwavering enthusiasm. With his sterling reputation and institutional knowledge, I know Harry will continue to be a presence around the Capitol if he chooses to be." -Mark Babineck, Houston Chronicle

"I got to know Harry when he was working in Columbus, Ohio.  Most Saturday's Harry sat in the end zone at Ohio Stadium, shooting the Buckeyes with the giant 800mm Leitz telephoto.  Rarely did his eye move from the viewfinder, as he mumbled, that's not sharp, or something to that effect.  He taught all of us “youngster’s” a lot about photography, journalism and life. He was a gentleman, a man whose word was as good as gold, and a fair and honest journalist.  Great ride Harry, and thanks for the memories." -Skip Peterson, retired Chief Photographer, Dayton Daily News

"Getting to work with Harry has always been a treat for me, simply because it is always guaranteed that I will learn something new. His character, personality, and skill are legendary. He has always been one of my greatest unwitting mentors. I first met Harry when I was a photojournalism student at San Antonio College in 1996. Myself and a couple classmates worked for the AP during the Alamo Bowl, twin-checking and running film in the Alamodome darkroom. That was the first time I got to watch Harry in action, and it was when I learned how to do things the "right way". It was an honor and a fantastic learning experience for me, as every encounter with Harry since then has been. The last time I saw Harry was at the Alamo Bowl, two years ago, when I was helping to shoot the game for the AP. As we were sitting in the media room before the game, Harry asked to see the Leica that I had hanging around my neck. I handed it to him, and before I knew it, he had inadvertently taught me a new way to zone-focus a rangefinder without having to check the viewfinder. One can't help but learn new things when Harry is around! My biggest hope is that that Harry continues to shoot, and above all, TEACH! Any photojournalism student – or professional photographer for that matter – would be lucky to learn from him." -Darren Abate, Press Photo International

"During Harry’s tenure in the Dallas AP office back in the early 80s, he took a no-nothin’ kid with a bag of cameras and a lot of spit, and taught him how to tell stories. Cabluck gave the kid every opportunity that came down the pike, throwing him further into the deep end of the pool and to see if he could swim. He pushed the kid’s pictures to magazines, and even to the White House – which got the kid a very nice personal thank-you letter that is still framed on the wall today. He taught the kid the magic of “the green dot,” and how to talk your way through security guards to get what you need. The kid is appreciative for the pro who took the time and patience to mentor a young-un – and I know I wasn’t the only one. Not a week goes by without me thinking of some Harry-ism of wisdom. Many thanks, Spike." -Wade Gates, formerly The Dallas Times Herald

"I'm inspired by Harry's never-ending desire to learn something new or to better hone his craft. Harry taught me that it's how you treat people that matters, and that you always, always, can find some way to do your job a little better tomorrow than the day before. I've got 30 years to aspire to become the type of journalist Harry is today. I hope I'm much closer than that to becoming the type of person he showed us all how to be. He always got the shot and never tired of helping others do the same. He'll be missed, but never forgotten." -Ted S. Warren, staff photographer, Seattle AP.

"The Associated Press is losing a giant but to me Harry Cabluck was a lifesaver.  Twenty years ago when I began freelancing in Dallas, Harry gave me plenty of assignments to shoot and a darkroom I could call home.  He and his staff welcomed me and treated me like one of their own. I will never forget his kindness and encouragement. During this time, Texas was going through a difficult recession but as a result of his generosity, my mortgage got paid on time and I learned to be self-sufficient. Eventually I landed at the Miami Herald where I worked for 15 years until I took a buyout last year to join my husband here in Austin. I will always be grateful to Harry for his help. However, what I marvel at most is how, after twenty long years, he manages to look exactly the same without adding a single wrinkle. Harry, I wish you well and want you to know that life beyond the lens is wonderful,too! I wish you the gift of time and happiness and many blessings!" -Nuri Vallbona, Former Miami Herald Photojournalist

"From the first 'fan letter' you sent me, to holding my breath as you stood on my precious Leica camera (to prove its strength,) to watching you step out into the middle of Capitol St. at just the right moment to capture "the" picture at George W's second inaugural parade, to watching you charm major league baseball players during the NLCS---you, Harry, are one-of-a-kind. Thank you for that and all you taught me over the years." -Pat Sullivan/AP Photographer

"I learned a lot on the sidelines during my first football season working on staff at UT, and one person I learned from was Harry Cabluck. Harry never hesitated to answer a question, whether intricate or remedial. And his comments were never limited to photography; I'll always remember his characteristic cadence as he leaned over to tell a quick story or joke during the studious minutes in the workroom following a UT basketball game. I hope I still get to see him around." -Steve Moakley, Austin freelancer and former UT staff photographer

"As a young photojournalist attending the AP Diverse Visions conference I was a little nervous at first to be paired with veteran shooter Harry Cabluck.  He was a little gruff.  But that all disappeared on the way to our very first assignment.  Even on that short car ride, he passed on invaluable lessons.  I learned more from Harry in those short few days about shooting, composition and most of all how to be a great journalist.  He is the most ethical and thoughtful shooter I’ve known.  I feel so lucky to have been his mentee and I still think about the lessons he taught me everyday." -Meg Loucks, Chief Videographer, Houston Chronicle

"When I started on the AP desk in New York in the mid 70’s, seeing hundreds of photos coming in from all over the world every day, I could spot the work of 3 staff photographers from across the room because they had such impact, clarity and composition, and Harry, of course, was one of them (Bob Daugherty, who also sends Harry wishes above, was another). As I became another of the few Leica guys on the street I got to share quality time with Harry, like staying up late at night on World Series trips, stripping down and fixing Leicaflex motor drives. I learned what a great photo looks like from Harry, and will never forget his classics like the “Smoking Glove”, Jimmy Carter on the river raft, or forget his voice on the National network, “subtly” suggesting the newbie monitor not delay an important photo. Harry always told me “If you expend more energy than the other guy, you will win more” and I have taken that to heart for my AP career and well beyond. Harry, you are indeed a giant, and my time working with you is still very precious to me." -David Tenenbaum, CEO MerlinOne Inc., formerly AP Chief Photographer, Boston Bureau

"I first met Harry during the 75th Legislative Session when I was a messenger for the House Sergeant-At-Arms office. He was taking a photograph from the House Gallery and I stupidly told him he could not shoot from the railing. I quickly learned no one tells Harry he can’t take a photograph. Since that day, no matter the event or the press conference, I've never told him no again. I have no doubt Harry will still be taking pictures despite the fact someone new has told him he can’t.” – Hector Nieto, Communications Director, Organizing For America-Texas

"Harry is the hardest working man in Austin.  I'm half his age, but I wish I had his energy level!  I worked at the Republican Party of Texas for 10 1/2 years and I'm pretty sure he was at every event we had during my time there.  In fact, I'm not sure there is an event in Austin, political or otherwise, where I didn't see him there clicking away.   Always friendly, always polite, and always fun to be around.  People outside our world may not recognize his name, but I guarantee you, they would recognize his work." -Derek Ryan, Ryan Data and Research

"Harry Cabluck has forgotten more about Texas politics and photojournalism than the corporate suits who laid him off will ever know. He also knows more about hard work and busting his tail for the story than those suits do. A rock-solid photojournalist, he doesn’t just want to get the shot – he wants to fully understand the situation, so he can make sure he gets the shot that best tells the story. Everybody I know, from all political persuasions, adores Harry and deeply respects his work. Harry – I beg you…do NOT go home and get comfy in your recliner in front of the TV. Keep shooting pictures, and keep sharing them with the world. If you don’t, I don’t know that it will be any great loss to you, but I do know it will be a terrible loss to us." -Democratic strategist Harold Cook

"As a former reporter who produces news releases from the other side of the street, I don’t know of a more personable or honorable journalist than Harry Cabluck. When you request news coverage at AP, Harry treats you like an honored guest. When he covers your event, you rarely know he is there while he is working and that ability to become part of the background shows in his photos. You never have to say anything to him twice: You can always count on Harry to make the most appropriate decision on where he needs to be and what he needs to do. Given the changing face of journalism, we can all give thanks that Harry has gotten to spend a long career in the “old-school” style that put his work on display every day. We at the state labor federation hope to see him often in his next career." -Ed Sills, Texas AFL-CIO Communications Director

"I last saw Harry on Friday night climbing up on the basketball goal at the UT women's basketball game to take down the camera he had mounted up there in order to get a shot he can't get from his seat on the court floor. That is typical Harry, always going the extra mile to get that different shot. Harry is an institution, and not just at the Capitol. There are many days I'd see him lugging his camera bag around the Capitol in the morning, and then run into him at a UT sporting event later that night. I don't know where he gets the energy! Many fine journalists locally have fallen victim to downsizing and budget cuts, but none finer, nicer or more of a gentleman than Harry. I hope some organization out there is smart enough to snap him up quickly!" -Kirsten Voinis, Kirsten Voinis Communications and former capitol reporter

"Harry never missed an opportunity to teach young press aides a lesson, and for that I'm forever grateful.  If you held a presser in the pink building and Harry showed up, you knew you had earned your keep for the week.  It's difficult to imagine that place without him.  Hopefully we won't have to." -Democratic strategist Mike Lavigne

"It’s the end of an era, and it is fair to say that the Capitol press corps simply won’t be the same without Harry Cabluck.  From my vantage point, working in, out and around state government and politics over the years, you always wanted Harry to cover your event. Harry would not hesitate to offer up his own two cents (worth much more than that, for certain) on your event, the visuals and what he needed.  I learned a great deal from him over the years, and I frankly can’t imagine the Capitol press corps or Texas journalism without him."  –Jennifer Harris, ROSS Communications

"I've been praying for this day would come, my brother, Spike, retired and we could, bum around at coin shops, smelling fresh brewed coffee, going to the junk shops.  Finding a Leica camera body or a lens.  Or going to lake Bastrop, fishing with topwater lures until you get tired of hauling them in.  Almost falling out of the boat dragging one in out of the moss.  But I remember seeing him in China, Olympics, Super Bowls, playoffs, World Series,  Or remember him when they moved to Pittsburgh and immediately thrown into story after story.  Strikes, trials, Basketball. Then to Ohio and all the stuff there. Then WOW back to Texas and we could spend some time together,,and we did.  Well I could go on and on...but Harry is and will always be Spike to me." -Jerry Cabluck, Harry's brother

"Harry took over for me in Pittsburgh in 1969--his first AP assignment.  We became friends thereon.He joined me on super bowl assignments and masters golf tournaments.  He was deadly with his 800mm lens and proved so when Jack Nicklaus won his 5th Masters by hanging back from the crown and across gthe green.  What a set of pictures." -Spencer Jones, retired AP photographer

"I met Harry on several occasions during my 25 years in newspapering and always found him a hoot and a joy to be around. He doesn't know it, but he's the source of my deep appreciation of the wide-angle lens. Anything else I could say already has been said. So: Harry, Texas photojournalism won't the same without you. But keep shooting!" -Bill Lamb, former managing editor, The Paris News

"As an inexperienced young AP reporter, I was thrilled to work with Harry under difficult conditions in West Virginia on the Buffalo Creek flood disaster, where he talked his way into a retired teacher's small house to set up a darkroom, and a regional governors' conference at The Greenbrier, where he turned a small space next to the posh resort's basement swimming pool into another AP darkroom. He was one of the most dedicated, no-nonsense and helpful people I worked with, and I wish I was half the photographer he is." -Roger Petterson, retired AP staffer
"Harry's enthusiasm for every assignment was something to behold. Working alongside him was an education, an inspiration and -- every now and then -- pretty entertaining." - Mike Holmes, former AP Austin bureau chief

"No matter how hectic things got during a breaking news crisis, Harry kept it together and delivered amazing photos for AP members. Not only was Harry a talented photographer and AP employee, but he was so great to work with. Getting a call from Harry always brightened my day. While getting photos out to Members was a priority, Harry always took the time to say hello and ask how you were doing. It was those little personal moments that kept morale high in the newsroom and the team working together so cohesively." -Trey Ditto, former AP staffer

 

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