There are times when cab rides are necessary but I’m not sure it’s often that we expect it to end with you asking if you can take your drivers picture. Back in May as I lugged my bags down the stairs from the FIND DC house with a heart that felt heavier than the bags I was carrying, I was met by an older gentleman ready to help me with those bags. I had just spent the past week with the most amazing group of people living all under one roof living, loving and learning, soaking up everything there was to learn about film from the master Jon Canlas. And now it was time to jet back to Boston and back to reality. My heart was heavy because we had all bonded in a way that doesn’t happen every day.
The driver took my bags and closed the trunk as I sank down in the seat of the cab, sighed deeply and prayed for coffee. Then the cab driver struck up a conversation with the usual of “Where are you headed?” I will be honest, I didn’t plan to talk on the way to airport…I was tired mentally and physically. But then he asked me where I was going and what had brought me to DC. I told him I’d been there for a photography workshop but for FILM. I told him we were doing it old school. What he said next took the conversation even further. He told me he used to do photography in the army back in his service days. Talked about the kind of camera he used to use and how much he loved taking pictures but that his camera has been lost some years back and he hadn’t taken pictures since.
We talked about him growing up in New England, that he had planned to retire some day to the area until he met a girl. She lives in South Carolina and he visits her every chance he gets and that some day he’ll retire there. He’d marry her if he could but she has cancer and she doesn’t want to burden him with that. He’s holding out on retirement because DC cabs are going to a medallion system much like NYC and once he get his medallion that will be worth money, he can sell it and retire. How he grew up in DC and moved away during his childhood and while he was in the service.
I learned more about him than I ever imagined and then before I knew it, we were at the airport and it was time for me to depart. For once, I wished the drive to the airport could have been longer because I wanted to learn more. But alas, I had to pay my fare and catch a plane. I asked him if he’d humor me by letting me take his picture. He said he couldn’t imagine why I’d want it and that he didn’t photograph well but that I was welcome to take his picture. I knew I had a few frames left on a roll of 35mm B&W and was happy that was my option because it fit the mood.
I know it seems strange to care so much about a stranger but I can’t help but hope that he finds happiness in his future with his love and life. He was a real salt of the earth person and we don’t meet those kind of people every day. It helped my heart not feel so heavy after seeing such an amazing week and experience come to an end. Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with me sir…we need more people in the world like you.
Canon 1V – Tri-X 400 – Processed & Scanned by The FIND Lab