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 / Tell My Story Of Fairness

“I don’t lie, I don’t cheat, I don’t steal. If there is anybody who needs help, I’ll help them, even if I have to give the last possession I have, I will, if it helps someone else in greater need than myself. That’s the way I am.” As I drove home from dropping my daughter…

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 / “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 / The Chance Of A More Perfect World

Hello, dear readers of Sidewalk Ghosts, random curiosity seekers, and people who stumbled onto this project while looking for the newest celebrity train wreck (nothing here about the Khardashians, sorry) You may notice a bit of a difference in this essay. There’s a reason for that; and the reason is simply this: I’m not Richard.  Instead,…

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 / 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 / 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 / “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 / “With a Gun and Not a Passport”

“everybody can run, only one can be first, but the last across the finish really is the one who wins the greatest prize,”   It was high school football night as I sat on the sidelines of a family friends game. Thought I’d try an experiment and just sit. Settled in to not wander. Figured…

Sidewalk Ghosts / The Ultimate Death of What’s for Dinner?

They say it takes twenty-one days for something to become a habit and, at day eighteen of my commitment to interview strangers every day for a year; the project was starting to grow ingrained in all that I did. People were starting to ask me why I was doing it. At the time I had…

Sidewalk Ghosts / The Gangsta?

“We Need To Help Our Kids”   Heading into the third week of interviewing strangers, and the impact the project was having on my family was becoming overwhelmingly apparent—taking the majority of my time during a time when our financial situation was less than solvent. A coin collecting time when recovering from a debilitating recession…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Fragile As Flowers & An Important Challenge

A CHALLENGE—In authoring today’s story, and in gratitude to Shabbir and his family, I invite you to take a short break from whatever you are doing. To reach out to someone important to you by simply letting them know you care about them and just how important they are to you.   It was Sunday…