Dozens of friends and colleagues attended a “Celebration of Harry” party Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009, in honor of legendary photojournalist Harry Cabluck who was recently laid off by the Associated Press after 40 years of service. The event was held in the stately Lt. Governor’s Reception Room at the Texas State Capitol.

“Thanks for coming,” Harry said as he greeted me. “This is better than my funeral.” Indeed, it probably felt to Harry a bit like attending his own funeral, getting to hear all of the nice things people had to say about him.

A good time was had by all including an upbeat Harry himself who made it clear he was not retiring. “I’m going to keep taking pictures,” he said.

Harry’s got some friends in high places. Near the end of the party Texas Gov. Rick Perry and First Lady Anita Perry made a surprise visit.

“Anita and I love you Harry,” Perry said. “And I love Anita,” replied Harry to a round of laughter.

With so many photojournalists in the room, flashes were popping all around as the Governor made his remarks. Then Perry used his cell phone to snap a photo of Harry. “You’ve just been tweeted to 20,000 people,” Perry said.

—by Jay Janner. Janner is a staff photographer at the Austin American Statesman

See a slideshow of the Texas State Capitol gathering.

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