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129/100 Lionel and Kerry | by Studio d'Xavier
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129/100 Lionel and Kerry

Kerry Ryals was a New Orleans tour guide for several years, and then his voice began to give up on him. Today he remains a historian of the Big Easy and enjoys running the Lafayette Hotel. Lionel is his trusted mainenance man. "Spell it just like the toy train," Lionel instructed me.


Kerry related that the Lafayette is a historic hotel. It was once owned by the US Navy to house the Navy WAVES during World War II. Today, it has been restored to it's old world splendor with rich mahagony paneling, granite floors and a balcony that encircles the building on the second floor. Lionel keeps everything about the hotel ship shape.


Kerry and his wife collect antique dolls. His favorites are those in his Johnny West collection, many of which he received as a boy. Kerry showed me photographs of his collection, including an assortment he has turned into a Christmas tree this year. When I asked Kerry to become part of my 100 Strangers project, he agreed on one condition..... That I make his photos black and white. I hope you approve Kerry!


Lionel and Kerry are stranger encounter # 129 in my 100 Strangers project.. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the flickr group page.


The 100 Strangers website can be found at


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Taken on December 12, 2010