"100 Strangers" (8/100)
I met Buck on the street near the oldest restaurant in my city. It's a wonderful place that attracts one of the most diverse set of people around, including some who are "on the road." Buck is one of those. He travels the country as the whim - or weather - takes him. In his guitar case he has pre-lettered signs for the places he wants to go - "But I keep I-95 North in there... so I can always get home." he told me. We sat around and he played his guitar, singing a few songs for me and the crowd gathered at the bar and steel-trimmed diner tables. One of his best stories involved a "cowboy" (his word for a county deputy sheriff) who interrupted his night in a vacant parking lot Buck favoured. Buck was safely tucked up for the night when the "cowboy" pulled up in his patrol car. "Buck, what are you doing here?" the deputy asked. "Sittin' here with my beer (two very large bottles from a nearby convenience store) and my guitar and gettin' ready to go to sleep." Soon four more patrol cars arrived. I was sure where this was going and sure it would end with a typical night-in-jail story. But I was wrong. Buck reared back, grinned his tooth-less grin and said, "They'd all come to hear me play mu guitar, and at the end of the evening they'd give me twenty dollars to help me on my way. How 'bout that?!" I asked Buck to come outside - he loved the idea of having his photo made - so I could use the natural light. He snatched the fedora off my head and put it on his own, sat down and started to play. This is one of the results. When I finally walked away - reluctantly - Buck was heading back inside roaring that he's sell anybody "this damn guitar" evn at twenty dollars down and monthly payments! How is that! (Buck had already confided to me that he could get back any one of three other guitars he had left at local pawn brokers for a twenty.) Good luck on the road, Buck. It was a pleasure and privilege to have met you.
This picture is # 8 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page