Sunday, March 11, 2012

"What Did I Do To You", he demanded after I had choosen my macaroni and cheese side dish

The rooster gang was out in front of Sandy's Cuban coffee, Cuban sandwiches and laudramat. Criss crossing the street, they acted like they owned it. I did what I had to do in Key West and never got to swim in the water. Did spend time in Hemingway's house. I had been to Kew West several times before. Once with Javier. At one point I needed a puff on my cigar outside the rented car and pulled over and found water's edge. The shore dipped quickly into darkness and I wished I'd see a mermaid aka a manattee. Suddenly, up from the depths one appeared. Javier feed him a prinkel









(its a vegetable right?). Then another appeared alongside and then still another. Three years later I realize they were teenagers away from their parents. Two or more days ago I saw from an above walk way, huge manattee in a lagoon feed from heated water from a factory.
When I was leaving Key West I stopped for fried chicken and mac and asked the grizzled man making the fried food if I could take his photo. He got upset and demanded "What did I do to you". Best explanation as to why not to take someone's portrait since Susan Sontag. I drove north sleeping next to the water for a few hours and cut north at Homeland on Chrome Avenue. (I shot the Cubans Castro sent over to the US (Mariel Boatlift 1980 held in barracks on Chrome Ave for Der Spiegel mag). I arrived at the Tamiami Trail at about 7 am.
I spotted at a general store on the Miccosukee reservation and on the door was a handwritten sign selling cypress firewood. i asked the woman at the counter about the firewood and she pointed to three guys drinking coffee. The guy was polite and said "I'm Indian. Indians cook with a stove not firewood."
I went next door to the gas station and asked there. The fellow








said the guy selling the wood was his uncle and I could use his phone to call him. I went inside and on the wall were vintage pin-up signs and a small statue of Betty Page. Like I wrote earlier...I bring things on my journey for no particular reason but invariably I bring something I need. I asked him if he'd like to see the Betty Page photos I had in my truck. He would. He looked at what  I had and called his wife. With my white stereo typical attitude towards the American Indian I immediately cut my price in half. He called his wife and he choose 4 and handed me 4 one hundred dollar bills he had gotten from his wife. How did she know how much to bring? On the phone he spoke a click language to her. Rather unexpected to sell Betty Page in a village of 50 people!
On his garage wall were pin-up shots of seventies looking women (1970's) and he told me they were taken by a local photographer, Lucky Cole.





On his garage wall were pin-up shots of seventies looking women (1970's) and he told me the guy, Lucky Cole, lived nearby.



 He gave me directions and I got lost which led me to breakfast at Pat & Ted's with buzzards down the way and good food inside.








I had no luck finding Lucky but continued on the 42 mile loop road (94)




 back to Highway 41 at Monroe Station where Sandy and Brad got married. They used to have their wedding shot on the wall but the place to shuddered. Immediately I found gators. 


When Brad (thin faced..expensive longish dirty blonde hair that needs a rinse) used to take me fishing in the remote areas in Sarasota county he being the Fauknerian character that he is...he'd fish with his bow and arrow from  his tiny boat. Sometimes there would be gators across the water and old black men with long poles...fishing. He'd pole us through the water standing with a proper hat shielding out the sun. He has done fine portraits of everyday important people of the county in large format.

queens and jacks ovr 40 yrs





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