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A Photographer Seizes the Time to Capture Grandson’s Experience

In the Moment: Westchester-based Artist-Photographer Barry L. Mason took this I-phone photograph of his grandson on May 1, 2022, during a visit to the Jane Voorhees Zimmeli Art Museum at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. Upon entering the room, the toddler was drawn immediately to the “Angela Davis -- Seize the Time” display (on view: September 8, 2021, through June 15, 2022). For Mason, it was a “nick-of-time” moment, although he reveals, “whenever he is with me, my camera is on him at all times!”

Bernice Elizabeth Green

This writer’s association with Barry L. Mason of Mt. Vernon, NY, started at CBS in the late 1980s when he was the single father of one, Da’ Nelle (“Day”). Now, with his financial expert wife, Jacqueline Mason, he is the father of three, Day, Nefertari, and Amanye, and grandparent of two, including the toddler above. The Masons’ interest in organic involvement in raising their grandchildren is beyond trends or the familiar conception of gift-giving as a legacy-related continuum. Theirs is more pragmatic as well as heartfelt. “If ever asked in the future by the young people around me now, ‘What did you do in your time to help me with mine?’, I can honestly reply, ‘We shared as much time with you as we could.

“Opportunities to involve young people in positive, safe learning experiences may not be everywhere all the time, but they can be found,” Mason said yesterday. He also shares mentoring time with other OTP family members, among them apprentice writer/artist Chelsea J. Williams, 16, whose review of an exhibition of Kwame Brathwaite’s “Black is Beautiful” exhibit appears on this page, and established Bronx-based artist Michael SaintClaire Bush, 27, covered in OTP (October 29-Nov. 4, 2020, Vol. 24, No. 44).