Tony and His Buddies on His Birthday

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    I was shooting Polaroids along the Embarcadero. I had just shot one of the Hi Dive, a venerable watering hole in the shadow of the Bay Bridge, when a patron came out of the bar for a cigarette break.

    He saw the big, bellowed camera hanging around my neck and started asking questions, ending with this one: "If I went in and got my buddies out here, would you take a photo of us?"

    Inward wince. I had one shot left in my film pack, and it was scheduled it for another subject.

    "Well, I only have one shot left..."

    "If I showed you something, would it make a difference?" He took out his wallet and pointed to his driver's license. It was his birthday.

    That's all it took.

    Tony, second from right, retrieved his buddies from inside the bar, and the deed was done.

    Because it was Tony's birthday, I let him peel the backing off the Polaroid. Rejoicing ensued, handshakes were exchanged, and then Tony and his buddies repaired to the Hi Dive for another round as Sophie and I headed to our next stop.


    For Day 4 of Polaroid Week 2008.

    This week at a glance.
    Last time: my Spring Polaroid Week photoset.

    * cate *, jinxmcc, and dreamscapesxx added this photo to their favorites.

    1. jimheid 95 months ago | reply

      A present with a peel: Tony opens his birthday Polaroid.

      There's a Story Behind Every Photo

    2. --erica 95 months ago | reply

      this is the best!
      polaroid is just magic..and makes people happy.

    3. amysgster 95 months ago | reply

      what a lovely story :D i love the peel shot too!

      (roid week)

    4. buster/ken 95 months ago | reply

      cool. must be close to red's java hut.

    5. Layla 'n Pip 95 months ago | reply

      You're a good man, Jim! Wonderful story ...

    6. * cate * 95 months ago | reply

      i've been waiting for this.

    7. *cindimh* 95 months ago | reply

      o what a nice thing to do. i wonder if tony knows how special polaroid is... and that the days are numbered...
      btw - is he a barber, too? ;-)

    8. lawatt 95 months ago | reply

      so so so awesome

    9. Four Doxn 95 months ago | reply

      LOL @ cindi!

    10. joyzipper 95 months ago | reply

      Aw, that is such a great story, generous gesture, and fun picture. :)

    11. jinxmcc 95 months ago | reply

      All good. Great shot. I got the sound track, "The Jets are in gear, our cylinders are clickin'...."

    12. Erin Eli 95 months ago | reply

      How funny! It's really fun to show people what great shots can come out of a "weird" camera, isn't it?

    13. laughtonb 95 months ago | reply

      I just mentally dedicated your photo to the late Studs Terkel ... it seemed to fit.

    14. amyblog 95 months ago | reply

      You played the perfect Polaroid birthday angel to the tee -- and the shot came out great!

      Although as I was reading, I thought he was either going to "show you" a $100 bill, a pistol, or another kind of pistol... but the birth date was unexpected and made the story!


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