Friday, May 28, 2010

Mike Cassidy...

Today was the last day of work for my friend Mike Cassidy at Edwards Air Force Base. In June of 2005 he left the film industry in Hollywood to take a unique opportunity to work at Edwards and utilize his many years of television and movie camera experience for RSI under the graphics contract. During the nearly 5 years he spent at Edwards he has captured the progress of many flight test programs, Space Shuttle landings, air shows, change of commands, award ceremonies, two fatal aircraft crashes and the arrival of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The first time I met Mike was during one of the many 95th Communication Group Commander’s Calls he covered where he was capturing the award portion of the ceremony. I was immediately struck by his confidence, professionalism and positive attitude. Throughout the following couple of years we would generally connect at these events and I would always try to meet after to catch up and say hello.

About 6 months ago it became readily apparent that the longevity of his service under the base contract was no longer a steady option. At that time Mike and I solidified our friendship and began to spend more time talking about life, family, the future and different options for both of us. During all of this I was extremely impressed with his professionalism and positive attitude. I do not think I have ever met an individual with his ability to remain focused on the positive and to actively stay away from the negative.

So today, Friday the 28th of May 2010 marked the end of this phase of his journey. He finished his last test program yesterday, which included what was described as an amazing send-off. Today he inventoried all the gear he has utilized on nearly a daily basis and turned in his passes, badges and keys. Tomorrow starts the next phase of his journey where he steps back into the film industry with a newfound excitement. Mike is also pursing his life long dream of sharing his tremendous collection of fine art night photography with the world through his new website and soon to be featured in magazines and art galleries.

I can’t wait to see where you are going to go from here and I am honestly grateful that I can call you a true friend!


  1. Duane, I'm blown away by your kind words and gratitude. These last months have been awesome!Because of your fantastic website construction skills, you have crafted a stunning site for me from a blank screen! I literally gave you some low rez scans that you retouched without a peep! Amazing! Check it out folks! I have never had so many people showing so much interest in my photographic works than I have right now! Your tireless efforts and personal sacrifices that you have made for me have been truly amazing! My personal calendar continues to double book with job offers and other work related ventures because of this new window to the world that you continue to fine tune for me. Thank You! Your friendship has been a pillar of sanity for all of the daily quirks that life has in store for us. I'm fortunate to have shared the many laughs and photo safaris with someone that has such a vast knowledge of photography and keen eye for compositions, yet the sense of humor to laugh at the next 5 exposures. I will cherish those memories and continue to work toward more adventures. This isn't good bye, this is see you soon my friend! Cheers, Mike Cassidy