John Gallagher (l) and Cedric Chambers at their “everything-must-go” yard sale in Machias, Maine, in 2007. (Photo by Jenny Calivas.)
Jen Nathan produced “A Square Meal, Regardless” in 2007 and she’s been reeling from the experience ever since. So much so that she didn’t want to be interviewed when I featured this story last year.
“A Square Meal, Regardless” follows the last days of John Gallagher with his caring friend Cedric Chambers. John is dying of cancer and Cedric radically changed his life to take care of him.
Throughout the weeks John and Cedric are together, Jen recorded interviews and documented their daily lives. She says being there — a stranger with a microphone — felt uncomfortable at minimum and morally wrong at worst. She thinks of it as trespassing on an incredibly private moment especially since John and Cedric were uneasy about her visits.
For years, she was haunted by documenting this story. Only recently has she come to terms with it. I’m very thankful she agreed to speak with me for HowSound.
Please have a listen to this remarkable story — one of my favorites from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Then tell us about times you felt uneasy about your work.