You'll have to forgive my subdued presence on the blog this week; I'm neck-deep in editing a film for Real Change. It's a celebration of their Vendors of the Year (that's Willy Jones above, whom you know from Third & Columbia; alongside is the incomparable Tricia Sullivan).
But I wanted to take a moment to share with you a new set of Photographs, as well as this brief anecdote:
I'm driving the 4 through the Central District, buried somewhere out there in the Judkins neighborhood. Narrow, tree-lined streets, barely squeeze a bus through here, with old homes and yards on both sides; some have barred windows, and some don't. It's a neighborhood in the traditional, communal sense; people know each other. They sit on their porches. Kids leave their toys on the lawn.
I've formed a habit of waving at people. It seems silly, after all, to drive past every day and not make any sort of contact with these familiar faces. I've spoken before of the Grandmother at 24th & Dearborn; we had a routine going whereupon, if she was at her window, we'd wave at each other with great excitement. She got to know the times I'd drive past, and though we never once spoke, we waved and smiled together about every day for a couple of years.
Today she's not there, but further down is the house with all the pink tricycles and barbies scattered about. The two preschool-age African-American girls there have gotten used to my utterly random waves at them. At first they simply stared; then they stared in a friendly way; soon after they began smiling, and subsequently waving in return. Today, they're hidden behind a tree, until I drive past- and here they are, waiting for me, standing in exaggerated matching poses, blowing kisses! I see their Mother behind them on the porch, laughing. We all join in.