Sidewalk Ghosts / The Tinkerer

“Find something you love to do, and, if you can make a living at it, good for you!” Smart is an understatement for describing entrepreneur, Curt. A master mechanical engineer, with the credentials to prove it: Cisco Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems and a who’s who list of contracted clients he was a tireless tinkerer…

Sidewalk Ghosts / A Power Beyond Our Own

“Stay honest and don’t lie. It’s always easier to remember the truth.” The start-up of this story may seem a bit vane, but trust me; it weaves into an interesting encounter. Not sure if I have told you this: I was raised in Las Vegas. Best not to play cards with me, it’s a loosing proposition….

Sidewalk Ghosts / “I Want To Write My Own Words”

“Not many people are very rich by definition and that sometimes will bring more problems than it solves. Just doing well by your own standards is a worthy goal and is challenging enough. I would think of myself as the low-end of middle class and yet I’m relatively happy.” The place was buzzing, Flash equipment…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Keep Truckin!

“Too many people turn a blind eye to the negative. There is a lot of messed up stuff in the world. People can do more that just watch the news or be fans of organizations helping others. They can get up and do something about it. I’m not saying they have to give a ton…

Sidewalk Ghosts / A Stranger Walked Into My House, A Friend Departed

“Plans don’t always turn out the exact way you plan. You have to be open to change, and here is the best part. THINGS TURN OUT BETTER.” By the side of my good friend and photographer Elizabeth (not pictured) she was. Studio manager to Elizabeth, and in Los Angeles from New York, they had stopped…

Sidewalk Ghosts / You Give and God Gives Back”

“America is different from Peru. Everything is easier, and there is opportunity for those who work for it, and remember to vote!” I’ve held a little secret regarding the story of Monica and Matthew, that being as I met with them, we were not alone. As in all interviews, I’ve always waited to take photos…

Sidewalk Ghosts / “Really Listen”

“My kids like to talk to me, it’s an open-ended dialogue. I’ve learned to not dismiss their thoughts or try to redirect them into what I want to hear.” For fifty-five days I had openly written about my life, my journeys and the people I met. Months with much time away from my family, so…

Sidewalk Ghosts / The Snore Storm

“If I die tomorrow, my funeral will take three days, so that all of my friends can attend.” It was the day I traveled to the interview I mentioned in the previous story. Can’t say I was comfortably in route, rather I was sitting cramped at some thirty thousand feet. Trapped in a plane with…

Sidewalk Ghosts / What Would Jesus Do?

“have fun, but don’t live recklessly, for yourself or others. Focus on doing good, because what if it is your time and you’re not living up to your potential or doing bad things. You don’t want to go out that way. You want to be remembered for what good you did. Make your Mom, Dad…

Sidewalk Ghosts / “It’s Totally Rad”

…more than an emerging artisan; she was a community activist… It was a Saturday afternoon. Fifty-one days since my commitment to interview a stranger and publish a story for 365 consecutive days. Lucky that my family had been patient toward a project that was still in it’s infancy as they sacrificed their time with me….

Sidewalk Ghosts / “Are You Guys Communists?”

I’d asked for the forth time, “who is playing on the stereo?” He said, “if you ask me again, I’m going to punch you!” Sitting in the car engrossed in my entry, I had asked my friend Michaelbrent (he was driving) the same questing four times in ten minutes. Some people can be too touchy, can’t…

Sidewalk Ghosts / A Stranger In My Midst

“these kids inspire me, when the kids succeed, I succeed.” For years my daughter had, on and off, been participating in gymnastics, and with my wandering the streets looking to interview strangers, it had become the norm for my wife to stand in as her companion. But on one particular evening I tagged along, and…

Sidewalk Ghosts / He is Gone, But He Is Here

Even though it has been over seven years since I first met her, the positive outlook she glowed, to this day, stops me in my tracks. Yet, under the free spirit she so happily exuded, there was a person enduring the pain of a great loss. It was pumpkin hunting night. A Halloween tradition followed…

Sidewalk Ghosts / “I Hope You Don’t Go Through This”

The Great Recession in the United States was a severe financial crisis combined with a deep recession. While the recession officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009, it took several years for the economy to recover to pre-crisis levels of employment and output.   The Great Recession: Income poisoning years that put so many of us…

Sidewalk Ghosts / “you can only lose your dignity once”

“happiness is not about money or status, it’s about self-worth.” It was day thirty-eight into the project and all those who knew me were starting to see, even feel, the impact it was having on my families life. Literally, to the point, that as I first authored this story, I was looking across the table…

SideWalk Ghosts / A Pledge For Our At Home Heroes

As Anne and I began our interview, her phone rang, her husband with news regarding his recent deployment. In her eyes, I saw a dream on the horizon, a possible mission that would place him permanently in San Diego, giving them the chance to finally start a life under one roof. For those of you…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Unspoken Things

I arrived around 6pm, the warm light of setting sun glowing on the horizon. Pulling off the street as one of the many vehicles filing into what was clearly a car show, I careful scanned where to park. A tad insecure, and not wanting to bring attention to the faded paint of my Honda not…

Sidewalk Ghosts /LOL — Loud, Obnoxious, Loving

I asked; is this the way it always is here? With smile on their faces, and in perfect harmony, they all resoundingly agreed, “YES!!” It was hair and nail day for the Radstone women and a chance for me to take five from the office. For my haircut, well that’s nothing–my wife, electric shaver, trusty number…

Sidewalk Ghosts / All I can say is “Thanks”

“Daddy, I’m not feeling that we should shoot the soccer players, how about trying to meet the people in the office?” The evening was dedicated to spending time with my daughter, and seeing that our family life had become synonymous with interviewing a stranger each day, we both knew we would be extending ourselves that…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Introducing Dr. D

Hawaii flight on ground and legs back on Los Angeles soil, I took the Flyaway bus to Van Nuys. Then and now my usual airport strategy for getting home quickly, or so how it usually goes. A quick account of how it went (in bullet points): Slugged major amount of photo equipment and luggage through…

Sidewalk Ghosts / A Tribute to Laughter and Light

It’s hard for me to put in words the impact of this encounter, and even though our conversation was struggled, there was a bond. A theme was forming as more and more diverse people allowed me the privilege of interviewing them. An invisible statement that said, we are in this world together, no matter where…

Sidewalk Ghosts / “Pull Up A Chair!”

The wives looked at me, “Yes, they will be happy to be photographed.”   Just outside Pearl Harbor there was a funky little dinner joint, Schooners. It was not fancy, the food was OK, and sadly it ended up being bought out and reopened as “604.” I checked them out online and yes, the new…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Was It My Turn To Be Profiled?

For a moment I thought, seeing I was on the same beach as the day before that I was somehow being associated with the “naked analyst”.   It was my turn to be profiled, as sun dropping out of the sky like a rock falling, found me beach combing for an interview. A twinge of…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Feelings Of Past Return

As I sit here re-authoring the posts of 2011, I am feeling the magnitude of there impact. Not just in a past tense, but in a go forward perspective–wanting to be certain that I am providing you meaningful stories to read. Now, 20 days into these update, I am reliving feelings, and I hope not…