· Scouting

Photo:   Judge Stewart (left) and Benjamin Pomerance hold the 11-year-old photo taken by the judge during the 2005 National Boy Scout Jamboree.


Eleven-year-old photo unites photographer with subject

SHREVEPORT, La.––The chief judge of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals met a New York State Veteran’s Affairs executive on May 27, 2016.

This was the first time the Honorable Carl E. Stewart had met Benjamin Pomerance, deputy director for program development of the New York State Division of Veteran’s Affairs, in Albany, N.Y.

Eleven years earlier, Stewart, chair of the UM Scouting Ministry Committee, was attending the 2005 Boy Scout National Jamboree in Virginia, He was some 30-yards away from the stage at the traditional Jamboree Area show at Fort A.P. Hill where President George W. Bush spoke to several hundred scouts and then congratulated a group of Eagle Scouts and put his arms around a 16-year-old Eagle Scout.

This was the first time Stewart (now a member of Boy Scouts of America Southern Region Board) had attended a national jamboree, so he was taking lots of photos using a telephoto lens on a Canon camera.

“Benjamin’s parents approached me at the end of the show,” said Stewart. “Their small single-lens camera had failed them, and they asked if I had taken a photo of their son on stage with the President.”

“I told them that I was not sure if I had taken good clear photos because of the bright sunshine, sweltering heat, and long distance from the stage. They gave me their address in Plattsburgh, New York, and I promised to send them any good photos that I had taken.”

Stewart found he had several good photos and he mailed a package to the parents.

“Suffice it to say, they were very grateful for these keepsake photos of Benjamin with President Bush and the other Eagle Scouts,” said Stewart. “Annually, since 2005, they have written me lengthy letters with clippings and photographs keeping in touch and informing me about their family adventures and of Benjamin's graduation from high school, as a summa cum laude college graduate, and finally from law school.”

Eleven years after the Jamboree photo, Benjamin was scheduled to moderate a panel discussion about veterans’ issues at a June 3 convention in New Orleans.

The Pomerance family asked if they could drop by Shreveport on the way to New Orleans so Judge Stewart could meet the subject of his 2005 photo.

“We enjoyed several hours of each other's company in Shreveport before they motored back to New Orleans, said Judge Stewart. “I cannot overstate the joy that I have felt knowing that one photo, taken eleven years ago, has resulted in so much goodwill between me and the Pomerance family.”


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