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Bud in January | by Paul Zollo
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Bud in January

Here's my latest variation

on a portrait of Bud, who has

been featured many times in

this photo stream. He sits almost

every day outside of the

McDonalds next to the

Trader Joe's store in Studio City,

California on Ventura Boulevard,

drinking coffee, reading

the L.A.Times. For months

I assumed he was homeless

as his clothes and hands are

always dirty and he is

snaggle-toothed. But he's not.

He inherited a home from his

parents "about a mile" away,

he told me. Said he comes here

each day "for coffee and pie."

I was at McDonalds on this

day not for me, as I don't

eat their food, but as a treat for

my beamish boy, who has been

home all week with a fever.

I told Bud about that, and Bud

said that one should never take

aspirin for a fever, as the fever

is the body's natural mechanism

for burning out the illness,

and the aspirin will prolong

the process.

He allowed me, as always,

to take his photo, and commented

on how many I was taking.

I explained it was digital,

and therefore there is no film

to waste, and showed him

one of the photos in the

camera.

"Who is that old goat?" he asked

with a sly smile.

Just how old are you?

"21," he said.

Younger than me.

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Taken on January 15, 2008