An exploration of some of the most interesting people in the city I call home.
He called them his "grandkitties". He had about 7 or 8 of them in the kennel, all well groomed and completely comfortable in his hands. He told me the city keeps trying to take them from him because he won't vaccinate them. They eventually succeeded and, at the moment of writing, he's panhandling for the money to get their shots so that he can have them back.
This man lost his leg trying to jump a freight train.
For the last few years I'd see this woman walking her blind companion all over town with this same smile; always on the side closet to the street, her arm tightly wound with the other woman's. I made this picture on my way to work and posted it on social media, and someone messaged me saying that the blind woman was the other lady's daughter. This made the picture even more special to me. What a wonderful, self sacrificing love.
The cars closing in behind them with the guide on the side closed to that danger, the recognition of the seeing woman and the lack of expression from the blind lady make this image one of my favorites. At the time of writing, I'm trying to get in touch with them to hear more of their story.
I sat down to listen to this guy's music. The lyrics were heart-wrenching and beautiful. He told me he'd written it when he was 14, after witnessing his dad abuse his mom for the first time. "This thing right here is my baby" he said slapping his guitar, "it's a part of me, because it got me through all of that." He's got skin cancer on the back of his knee, and due to lack of available medical care it has spread to his bone. At the time of writing, he's waiting on his medicaid to go through.
Walking to my car one evening, these guys asked me if I'd like a piece of pizza. I was quite taken back, but couldn't pass up the opportunity to sit with such interesting people. I took a slice and sat down as they played. One by one, members of the homeless community began to gather. As they sang, danced, smoked, and passed around a gatorade bottle filled with an unknown liquid, I couldn't help but feel their care-free joy suck me in. I felt more at ease for a moment than I sometimes do at get togethers with my own friends.
I'd bumped into this man a couple of dives. He told me he was a dive instructor, but had broken his back in an accident that bound him to a wheelchair. When I took this picture, he told me he was having surgery in a week that may allow him to walk again. "If you ever see me again" he said, "I may not be in this chair." when I asked him what he was looking forward to the most about walking, he said "I haven't taken my dog for a walk in years."