Beginning at the End:
Portraits of Dementia by Joe Wallace

© 2019 Joe Wallace

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George Blackwell

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This is George Blackwell. Born in 1925, he married at 18 and joined the Army Air Corps. George served during WWII as a B-24 tail gunner in the Pacific. When he returned from the war, he went to photography school and opened a studio with his wife Dorothy in Quincy, MA. George now has dementia and is confined to a wheelchair. Like many with Alzheimers or dementia, you can’t begin to properly tell the story without understanding his relationship with his caregiver - in this case, his wife and best friend.

 As Dorothy says "We were married at 18 and I've been holding his hand ever since - 73 years!" After the war, they used the money George earned with the GI Bill to purchase a home in Quincy were they raised two children and spent many happy years. When George retired, they lived on a sailboat traveling between Florida and the Caribbean.

After a few years, they switched from sea to land and traveled North America by motorhome, finally settling in Florida. As George's dementia progressed, it became apparent he needed full time care in a nursing home. Dorothy agreed she and George move to the home, but only if she was given special permission to share a room with him so they could stay together. An inspiration to many, Bud and Dot have had an incredible 73 years of adventure together and are continuing the way they can even now.