PULLING INTO the Hacienda Wednesday evening, I saw this sky over the sex motel next door, so I took a shot. I always tote the small Fujifilm camera in my man bag.
The bigger, better Canon is far heavier and usually stays at home.
And minutes before that shot, as I was rounding a corner on the neighborhood plaza, I stopped and photographed the distant mountains past the high railroad track.
A few days ago, I was on the big plaza downtown, sitting at the coffee shop. Just across from me was this girl. She’s one of a pretty trio that sometimes sits there blabbing and laughing for hours and drinking beer, but she was alone that day.
A few minutes after I photographed her, one of the others appeared, the one who looks like Salma Hayek, and joined her. The one in the photo pulled out a cigarette and stuck it into a holder, all Hollywood-like. They do that. Pretty girls but silly.
I’VE LABORED the last few days switching photos from one internet provider (SlickPic) to another (Flickr). There were over 500 shots, so it took quite a while, especially since I passed some of them through a service that gussied them up.
I reduced the 500+ to 425 but only 248 are visible to the public. You can see them here.
When my second wife kicked me to the curb in 1995, I left behind almost all photos taken during the 19 years I spent with her. And when I moved to Mexico in 2000, I culled even further. Most photos I have now were shot since I moved south.
But not all.
There are lots, and almost all are digital, i.e. online, nowhere else. One reason I moved to Flickr, which is far better than it used to be, is that it’s free (up to a point), and the photos will not vanish one year when I fail to pay. That could happen when I’m dead, and I want my child bride to have access to them.
During this process I came across some photos I’d not noticed in years, and I’m going to show a few to you. The first was taken in Mexico City in the 1970s. I was sitting with a French friend I’ve known since we met in the Air Force in 1963. He is a legal immigrant.
That’s me on the left, of course. I weighed about 225 pounds. Nowadays, I weigh about 165, making me rather skinny at 6′-3″ tall. I prefer the adjectives svelte, lean or trim. Skinny doesn’t sound good. I trimmed down around 1980 with a bit of effort.
And here I am beardless, a bit earlier than the above photo. I’m in the French Quarter of New Orleans, an extra in a movie titled Octoroon. The movie won no Oscars. Quite the contrary. It went straight to drive-ins. I was only in the first scene, walking down a sidewalk.
Oddly, I’ve always wanted to be an actor, and would have done theater work in New Orleans or Houston except for the fact that my newspaper career always had me working evenings, and that’s when theaters present plays. I never had a chance.
Thwarted by fate. I coulda been somebody!
And here is a photo of me and my mother that was taken during a visit to Georgia shortly after I relocated to Mexico. She died in 2009 at the age of 90.
Now let’s look way back to 1956. Here I am in, I think, the 7th Grade. I’m the kid in the middle. The boy on the right is Larry. A few years later, he lost a leg in a grisly highway accident during a nighttime hayride.
Are you old enough to remember hayrides?
Another boy, a friend of mine, was killed in that same accident. I had been invited to go, but I didn’t, and I don’t remember why. Luck, I guess.
IN THE TROTSKY Museum in Mexico City there’s a framed photo on the wall, a shot of the old commie Leon fishing from a skiff in our lake. Perhaps if he’d stayed here, he would have avoided that pick in his head, the one that killed him.
Yesterday was the 16th birthday of our nephew whom we once called the Little Vaquero, but he’s not so little anymore. A birthday shindig was thrown for him at a scenic lookout that’s called the Estribo. There are two Estribos in the area, the big one and the little one. This photo was shot from the big one, which is higher than the little one.
The view, as you can plainly see, is spectacular.
I took this shot about 6:30 p.m. There are islands in the lake that are reachable via motor launches from a dock that’s not far from downtown.