SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 16: Tony Montana is a Romantic

“We Need to Help Our Kids”

Nelson: Father, Businessman, Next Silver Screen Gangsta

Tonight my wife and I go out for a date night, thanks to the neighbors dinner invite of our daughter. It’s been a month since we’ve had some “us time,” and we decide to hit one of our favorite haunts, King’s Fish House.

Arriving with an hour and a half to spare, the timing is perfect, right before the dinner rush. Without a line, we easily slip in and are seated in a cool little two top, perfect for the three of us.

Three? “You said you and your wife?” How do you get three? My wife, myself and my camera bag. Terri sits across from me and I put my arm around lady camera. I’m lucky I don’t have a jealous wife.

16 days in, the camera bag is becoming a regular family member. Plus, it’s a great workout. I’m getting upper bodied buff from carrying the crazy 30 pound thing.

As we dine, I notice a different rapport emerging between us. We’re becoming world scanners, doing funny things like glancing over each other’s shoulders in quest for our next 365 acquaintance, or my latest favorite, the mid sentence head whip.

Our life habits are also changing. Little adjustments: Walking with chins up, looking into the faces of the people and paying more attention listening to the happenings around us. Living is slowly becoming a very fun experiment in voyeurism.

It’s a very subtle thing, no strange peaking eyes or uncomfortable stares. Just a simple acknowledgement of our fellow man’s existence. Could be a subtle nod, a relaxed hello, or a right to the point invitation to 365. Whatever the case, this street meeting of strangers is quite the journey.

We leave King’s, and outside the restaurant we come across a little cellular accessory kiosk. Operating it is our newest acquaintance to be: The passionate Peruvian businessman and father, Nelson.

Not only does Nelson have Hollywood leading man looks, he is much the gentleman. We chat of family, business and heritage.

I ask for him to explain his culture. “in Peru,” he tells me, “we are passionate, we love to love, eat, dance and enjoy life.” Qualities you can feel radiating from him. He talks of his father’s example as a businessman and how it has influenced his decisions. Nelson is a smart guy. He has several kiosks and a jewelry store (smartly placed adjacent to Victoria’s Secret). They say, “location is everything.”

Our time is rushed, having to pick our daughter up from her evening outing. We quickly discuss a few more questions and towards the end of our conversation, we stumble upon a dream of Nelson’s.

He wants to have a part in a gangsta movie. Not a street gang character, but one like Tony Montana from Scarface. We roll play for a moment. He has a look. After hearing this, I could not resist shooting an edgy photo for him. Introducing the Nelson alter ego.

One parting note about Nelson. As we get to know each other, we connect in talking about our daughters. We proudly share photos of them and spend a moment talking about the importance of children being protected, educated and raised in a safe environment. He makes suggestions as to the importance of community support for less privileged children. You’ve got to respect this man. Happy, passionate, and focused on family. It’s always encouraging to meet men like him.

Nelson, see you on the big screen!