Thursday, July 30, 2020

Having Lunch with Nana and Papa

There’s a watermelon on the floor. I see it as I set down the bag of sandwiches. Nana rebuffs my offer to help set the table and gives directions on where everyone is supposed to sit. After I plead my case as to why the spot against the wall next to the floor fruit will be just fine—Nana goes over the side dishes. Silverware clanks against plates as she introduces tubs of macaroni salad, potato salad, coleslaw, and extra pickles. We sit in the corner of the kitchen, making small talk about the weather. The cuckoo clock ticks loudly across the room and the refrigerator is decorated with photographs of grandkids in various states of life from infancy to graduations to engagements to marriage and the birth of great-grandkids. I begin to explain why I’m here to interview them as our soda cans crack open. Before I can finish a sentence, though, I’m chastised for not using a straw—my grandmother not understanding how I can drink Diet Pepsi straight from the can. I start to explain again, noting that I’m recording our conversation.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

[Kings Waffle] Chapter 16

The pandemic continues and with it comes limited hours and extra safety precautions. I wondered, though, even in a world where the operating times weren’t just 6 A.M. to 2 P.M., would anyone be hanging out late into the night still? And let’s say that the risk of viral spread didn’t exist, would I even be one of those folks? Before the coronavirus came around, I wasn’t finding myself at Kings Waffle very often, at least not as frequently as I did back when this series began. When I started writing this particular chapter, I wasn’t sure how to approach it. I didn’t want to rehash old words, I’d already cycled through all of the portraits, I’d reconnected with old friends, and I’d waxed nostalgic on late nights of coffee, cigarettes, and low counter conversations. One of the recent times I stopped by here, a few other regulars serendipitously did as well. Tonight, I’m not as fortunate. It’s just me here, typing some words and wondering what to even photograph as the rain heads off towards the highway. I’ve done this already, right? This time, though, the lights came on—the restaurant has once again become a beacon against a slowly darkening, deep blue summer sky. 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

[Kings Waffle] Chapter 15: Kelli Week

The retail store I worked at closed at 9 PM. On an ideal shift, when no one was being difficult, I was out of there at 10. I could be at Kings Waffle with a fresh pack of Camels and warm coffee by 10:20. After the post-amusement park rush died down, I could then order some food and talk with Kelli. That is, only if it was "Kelli Week."

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The House I Grew Up In

There have been a lot of abandoned places over the years. For awhile, the subject of "urban exploration" was the main focus of my photographic and written work. Since I was 17, I’ve had the opportunity to document many captivating subjects in both the historic and visual sense. Sometimes I was with a guide or showing up with an invitation—other times it was more of an “adventure,” if you will. From “ghost ships” to subway tunnels to stadiums and amusement parks—the types of places have varied, but there are two distinct categories in which I’ve viewed these derelict locales: the ones I knew and the ones I didn’t. 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

[35mm Ohio] Roll No. 06-08-20-01

- 6/17/20

Note to self: see file "06-08-20-01" on Scrivener.