When I first saw you in 2013, you were behind the glass. A dark shape, smaller than the others, but I liked that.

With the blink of your one eye, you could accurately capture the goings-on of any event or place. Your presence changed the way people reacted to me. You granted me a professional air wherever I went, and people often smiled when they saw you with me.

With your help I've gotten a small pile of awards, testament to our shared vision. and with your help I've described unique moments as they came and went. With your help I made more money and learned more about my trade. You help me see the world from new perspectives. Just last week someone complimented our work together.

We've attended concerts together, documented fires, seen dozens of spectacular fireworks shows, met politicians and celebrities alike, walked parades and witnessed local history. We've introduced teachers to their neighbors, businesses to their communities and shined light on decadent foods at local restaurants.

In our adventures we've taken hard falls on the ice together, been splattered with whipped cream, braved rough lakes and lightning at night and even fell out of a kayak and floated down the river before I fished you back out.

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You've been a constant, steadfast companion for several years and so it is with great misfortune that this particularly wet past week, you ceased to function.

Your lights no longer flicker, your shutter no longer clicks and I can spin your wheel all I like, but it won't do anything. When last we were out together, I had put you into a "raincoat" purposely designed for you. We were at the Lakes Bluegrass Festival where the weather was challenging all who were present.

There were no known leaks in the bag and no wet spots when your shutter ceased to click. Perhaps some vapors condensed inside your housing and spelled your end, but no matter - what's done is done, and that's a shame.

And for that, I say, farewell my treasured Canon SL1 digital camera. I have plenty of photos to remember you by and your lenses will live on with other camera housings.

Travis Grimler may be reached at 218-855-5853 or travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Travis.