Photographer relied on camera to see before glasses

Story and photo by Lee Arten
Eric Munch’s parents brought him to the Upper Peninsula as soon as they possibly could. On his first trip, his father put him on U.P. ground not far from the Straits of Mackinac. He was about a year old.
“The first thing I touched was a pine cone,” Munch said.
His parents saved the cone; he still has it.
Eric’s father, Herb, was from Calumet, and his mom, Nancy, came from Lake Linden. They had moved to Ann Arbor for work but brought Eric and his sister north for Christmas and summer vacations.
“I always knew I wanted to be here,” Munch said.
He moved to the Calumet area in 1980 at age 23, after his sister came north first. And after his mother and father divorced, his father went back and forth between Calumet and Ann Arbor for a while before settling in Calumet with his son and daughter.

Photographer Eric Munch

Before moving to the U.P., Munch received an associate’s degree in photography at Washtenaw Junior College. A job at a Veteran’s Administration warehouse in Toledo allowed him to save enough money to live three years in Calumet. When his funds started getting short, he found a half-day job as a janitor at a local church. He cleaned the church in the morning and did photography in the afternoon…

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