There is an ancient man who lives near me. Daily he sits outside on his little homemade push chair (it has rollers, a cushy seat, and various ornaments) and watches people go by. He talks to them sometimes, although he's kinda of hard of hearing and doesn't usually get all the responses. Also, he smokes. He smokes a whole lot. But you know what, I like when old (really old) people smoke. It kinda makes you think that, not only are they rebels -- thumbing their noses at health, science, God -- but they they're sorta winning too.
Here he is having a smoke.
He lives with his son who sculpts women. All sorts of women. And they're always naked.
Here's one of the women in the front yard.
Roughly a year after that thought, I was invited into the shed while the son was sculpting and noticed blushingly that the walls were covered with cheap porno mags.
This ain't about the naked ladies though.
So this festival lasted for two days. Basically, after several months of practice, everyone dressed up and paraded around the streets stopping occasionally to play flute and drums and to dance. It was much cooler than that, but I don't want to get off topic again.
One of the places they stopped was near the old fella's house. So he came out to watch.
I go to sit beside him in the shade when he leans over and says, What kinda camera you got there? I tell him. He reaches out his shakey hand. Mmm...okay. I hand it over. He examines it, closely, then far away-ly. Closely again. Which button you push to take pictures? That little one there.
Next thing I know, he grabs his cane and starts to get up. Only he can't. He has my camera in one hand and bless his heart he needs both hands to push himself up. Me and the elderly fellow beside him give him a little heave ho.
He starts walking off. My husband looks at me. We give each other a few looks. I tell him to film it (as he is in charge of video). He says, if he steals the camera what are you going to do? I said, Don't worry I'm faster than he is.
So this fella goes over right in front of the sitting audience, right in front of the drums and lays down! All the way down. He starts snapping pictures. Only I'm thinking to myself, gee, poor guy is probably just turning the camera off and on and off again. I mean that button is small.
He does that, starts rolling around, takes pictures of the audience, rolls back, clicks a few more of the show and then comes crawling back to me on all fours! I run over and help him up. He tells me he isn't sure if he took anything or not. But I say he had the best angle of everyone there. He laughs. I sit him down, go retrieve his cane that got lost along the way. Someone else brings his shoes, I didn't even realize he had taken them off.
Here is one of the pictures he took of the girls playing drums. You can tell he's really down there.
And here is the picture he took of my son and his friends watching the show.
Here he is after giving me my camera back, still no shoes. One of the best things about these festivals is all you got to do is show up and someone will come and ply you with alcohol. It is the coolest thing. So here is my little old friend getting a couple cup fulls of beer when he returned to his curb.
I saw him today when I walked the dog and he asked about the pictures. I'm gonna print off a sheet of the ones he took and give them to him. Not the leg shot, the good pics he took. And maybe the ones of him too. I'm also going to learn his name.
Right now he is my hero.