I’ve been sitting here seriously considering the 100 Strangers project.* Just now a man, probably my parents’ age, finished up visiting with a young acquaintance (I’d guess early twenties). As the younger guy stood up to leave, the man commented on his Bible (ESV in the box, a gift from his parents according to his girlfriend). The man held up his Blackberry and said, “Here’s my Bible. Just hit ‘Jesus.’ Get all the answers you want.” I so wish I had my camera with me—I would have asked him to be my first stranger portrait. Darn.
*I’ve heard about this kind of project for a while. It intrigues and scares me. Once in a while I read about someone who is doing it *because* it scares them, which I just don’t understand. I think I might like it if I would just take my time and not get stressed out about getting it done.
Me: Hey, what’s your name, Bud?
Simon: Iss Simon [kinda sounds like “Tye-bon”].
Me: Okay, what’s your brother’s name?
Simon: Baby Een.
Me: What’s Daddy’s brother’s name?
Simon: Hans Baby. [We worked on the concept that Hans is Jason’s brother like Ian is Simon’s brother.]
Me: What’s Mommy’s sister’s name?
Simon: Da [Rhonda].
Me: Okay, here’s a harder one: what is Mommy’s daddy’s name? [I was going for “Papa.”]
Simon: [Long pause] . . . Mama’s dada!
Shelli is my oldest friend (in the sense that we’ve been friends the longest, not that she’s aged). We’ve been friends for twenty-five years, and she’s got at least five years on anyone else (well, except Neil; we all grew up together). Often when we get together I just get overwhelmed—in the best way possible—that yesterday we were twelve years old, thinking it was cool to call into Sweet 98, somewhat seriously wanting the Altar Boys to play at our weddings, and making up pretend conversations that our future husbands would have, and that today here we are holding each other’s kids.
These two were often at odds—it’s pretty hard to share when you’re two. But when they played together, oh my. The cuteness paralyzed me. Ezra absolutely melts my heart with his sweetness. And his affirmative grunts—well, you probably just have to hear it, but he’s hilarious.
Simon’s near-constant companion for the week was this little red guitar. He has recently taken up air guitar as well.
Asher is a delightfully energetic kid. I adore his funny, random ways. And he can run like a cheetah; it’s really something to see.
One of the things I did on our vacation was read my camera’s manual. I like how this picture turned out—and especially because I made the silhouettes on purpose.
It’s hard to describe why Neil is so cool and funny. He just is.
Because are you kidding me? Look at this guy!
My name is Renae, and The Grand is where I keep thoughts, observations, and photos from my life.