Lynn Cobb

- July 24, 2013

"Lynn was 71 and one good man. Rest in peace, Lynn."

In 2007, I was working on a feature-length documentary titled Women’s Wars: A Primer focusing on sexual assault and rape in the military. At that time few people understood the extent of the issue. What I did not know was whether or not people would care.

I made a short to use for fundraising. Many people offered financial support for the film, but the reaction at fundraisers was all too often that the women brought on the issue themselves by volunteering for the military or that the problem was too big to take on.

I was in that bloodied but unbowed frame of mind when I visited the Santa Fe Photo Cooperative on Cerrillos Road for the first time to make copies of my DVD for distribution to potential funders. I walked in the small space to see every inch filled with used still and movie cameras of every vintage and type, lenses, lighting equipment, binoculars, stuff and more stuff. Behind the counter was the tall, lanky owner Lynn Cobb. I told him what I needed and he asked about the documentary. We exchanged information and I was on my way.

A few days later I returned for my copies. As I was getting into my car, Lynn came out the front door saying in his gentle drawl, “Wait a minute. I need to tell you something.” Lynn said he was sorry, that he normally never did this, but that he and his wife had watched my short. Then he said this: “We knew nothing about this issue. We were blown away by your short and want to support your film. Here’s what I want you to know. My wife and I are dyed-in-the-wool Republicans. This is not a political issue. It is a human issue. Just try to keep politics out of this and you will make a difference.” Then he gave me a hug and said thank you.

Since that time, I have seen Lynn a few times year. I shelved the movie in the fall of 2008 when the recession presented what I considered an insurmountable obstacle to completing the full length doc. Every time I saw him he would say, “Now, don’t you think it’s time to try again?”

I went to the shop this morning. Another man was behind the counter. I said, “Hi, where’s Lynn today?” The man’s face fell as he said, “Oh God, you didn’t hear? Lynn died last October in a terrible car crash in Santa Fe.”

He went on to give me the details for several minutes, few of which I remember because all I could hear was that kind man saying with a smile, “Now, don’t you think it’s time to try again?”

Lynn was 71 and one good man. Rest in peace, Lynn.