Okay, that’s probably not a politically-correct term because I’ve heard that some chickens will attack would-be photographers/writers.
When I started “Foothills Faces,” part of the experience was to take me out of my comfort zone and let me spend some of my “retirement” time interviewing folks I didn’t know. And actually, the original intent was to have a Carolina foothills version of the wildly popular series – “Humans of New York.” That guy, Brandon Stanton, started out walking around New York City and snapping photos of total strangers and then had the nerve to go up and ask them to share some of their pithiest thoughts on their life. He’s good at it and now travels the world.
So I was thinking I could do the same thing here in Polk, Rutherford, Cleveland, Spartanburg Counties and snap a few candid photos of some interesting-looking characters and then walk up to them and get their life story in four sentences.
I had my chance this past week and blew it! I did see this interesting-looking character sitting outside at a table at my local Ingle’s (Landrum) drinking a cup of coffee, smoking a cigarette, and working the crossword puzzle. I see him there on a regular basis and it was pretty cold on this day and he was still out there. So, I got up my nerve to ask him. I figured I would break the ice by saying, “You working on the puzzle?” He replied, “Trying to,” and I knew I had my opportunity. So I asked would he mind posing for a photo for my blog? He looked at me and said, “Better not.” I pushed my luck knowing I could probably outrun him…though not by much. So I pushed a little harder…”Are you sure?” He peered back over his newspaper and gave me the look…the one that meant…time to go! I went.
But I wasn’t done. There just 50 feet away was sitting a guy in his pick-up truck. The back was filled and overflowing with bags of stuff. I haven’t a clue what. The cab was packed with more stuff leaving only barely enough room for the driver to sit. He definitely looked like an interesting character. I thought, “Wow, this guy is living out of this truck. Surely, he has a story to tell.”
However, I didn’t even have the nerve to ask him. And so I ended my potential goldmine of stories empty handed. There’s always another day!
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...retired in 2017 from a life of work, mostly in education. I decided it was time to stop commuting and stay at home a while. Foothills Faces is meant to bring you short snippets of life through photography, videography, and audio recordings of some of the wonderful people and places of the Carolina Foothills..