We lost a member of the RVA Magazine family over the weekend. Ian M. Graham, writer, photographer, editor, and general raconteur at large, passed away on Sunday at Duke University Hospital in Durham, NC.
We lost a member of the RVA Magazine family over the weekend. Ian M. Graham, writer, photographer, editor, and general raconteur at large, passed away on Sunday at Duke University Hospital in Durham, NC. He was 32–way too young for this world to lose such a great guy. Ian has been with the magazine since its inception in 2005, and kept an active role on staff despite having moved away from RVA back in 2011.
As a relative latecomer to the magazine (I joined the masthead in 2010), I didn’t know Ian as well as the founders and those who came before me, but I always enjoyed his company and it was a privilege to work with him on his contributions to the magazine. The details of Ian’s passing can be found here for those who have questions, but what we’d really like to do right now is celebrate Ian’s life and his contributions to this magazine. Here are a few of Ian M. Graham’s “greatest hits”:
“Photographer Ian M. Graham, embedding and partying with the natives”
“Peelander-Z, by their own admission, are from a different fucking world. Half the staff of RVAMAG was at this show, and were promptly taken on an intergalactic punk-rock journey across the stars.”
“Who knew RVA would throw down in such stellar fashion on a Tuesday?! The Hat Factory, The Party Liberation Front’s DJ Reinhold and DJ Doddie of Audio Ammo, that’s who, apparently. The venue and DJ crews came together last night and threw one of the biggest dance parties Richmond has seen in years, on a Tuesday.”
“IAN: What’s the biggest gun you’ve ever shot?
DB: I shot an AK. Nothing particularly obscene. Casey [Orr, “Beefcake the Mighty”] shot a fifty caliber one time. He wouldn’t stop pulling the trigger. He shot off a couple hundred rounds, apparently it was like six hundred bucks in ammo. The dude was yelling “Stop! Stop!” but once he started pulling that trigger, rockin’ that ma deuce, he couldn’t stop until the belt was empty.
IAN: Why haven’t you moved into local politics in Richmond?
Photo courtesy WTVR
“This wasn’t supposed to be about me, dammit. I was there to photograph the police dissemble the occupation, and therefore what many call the trampling of the first amendment. The people assembled in a (literal) public square, were paid lip service to by local authorities, and on the last morning of October, the local police were forced into thuggery by an order from on high. Again, I was not at Kanawa Plaza to make a political statement, I wanted to take some pictures… and instead, I got arrested for crossing the fucking street.”
“I had no time for contemplation. What I did do was walk around City Hall, twice, using two different decibel meters to measure sound, and to confirm what I already knew: that the sound ordinance’s bar for how loud is too loud is utterly and completely ridiculous.
Excessive sound is qualified here, in the ordinance, Section 1.b.vii:
“Excessive sound” means sound that exceeds 55 dBA during nighttime hours and sound that exceeds 65 dBA during daytime hours.
At no point during either of these walks did the decibel meters report anything below 70dB, and as such, these very streets are in violation of the new sound ordinance. As I was able to confirm, the ambient sound of downtown, Jackson Ward, and most of the mixed use areas in the city (Downtown, Shockoe Bottom, The Fan, anywhere that both businesses and dwellings exist in the same area), is above the sound level that the new sound ordinance claims is dangerous.”
“But the argument of history and tradition, despite being easily dismissed as worthless nostalgia at their best, pale in comparison to the one inarguable fact:
The only reason we’re having this conversation is because of one of the most thorough genocides in human history.
And this is why San Francisco couldn’t have a soccer team named the Yellowskins, or North Carolina couldn’t field the Blackskins. There are Asian Americans in San Francisco, there are African Americans in Cackalacky, but there are vanishing few Native Americans in the Washington, DC area. One can walk around Washington, DC and Virginia safe and secure in the knowledge that while they may encounter people who are semantically offended, the possibility of encountering a single person, let alone a group of people, who are anything more than a tiny fraction Native American is virtually nil.”
“RVA Magazine reporter Ian M. Graham reports from the field.
‘It is ridiculously goddamn motherf**king hot. I know we live in The South, but seriously? It’s June. We’re not supposed to get this kind of crap-ass weather until July at the earliest, and with the heat index, it’s been over a hundred goddamn degrees for, like, a week. I’m leaving a sweat trail like a over-hydrated slug in a pressure cooker.'”
We’ll miss you, Ian. This place won’t be the same without you. RIP.