Sidewalk Ghosts / One of My Dumber Moments

With fear in her eyes, she told me to “F*%! Off!”   It’s not that I am an Olympian, or anything close to it, but cyclist I am. A sport I found one Christmas when the gift of a mountain bike to my wife hooked us both into the pedaling maniacs we are. I’m even…

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 / “If it’s nude? I’ll be there!”

You know that game where you whisper in someone’s ear, they pass it on to another, and after it goes to more and more people, the original whisper has changed. Often morphed into a fabrication nowhere close to the beginning thought. I think they call it the Telephone game. Fun at parties, but how often…

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…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Is What We See At First Glance?

“not too tight or loose, gentle, like you care.”   It was my first attempt at going to a shopping center to meet a stranger. A destination filled with many guarded people. Made sense. After all, it is at the mall where endless unsolicited sales approaches happen; and as per what I was doing, how…

Sidewalk Ghosts / “No Shoes On The Mat!” 

It only took me seconds to realize the place was all about respect of other persons…   It was starting to look like a night that was going to leave me empty-handed and alone. I had lost count of how many people I approached, all of whom I found on the streets, most very friendly…

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 / Water Really Does Seek Its Own Level

I was growing to love my Sunday neighborhood strolls. I had lived in my house for 9 years, thought I knew the area, and after only two weeks of meeting strangers I was realizing I knew nothing about the people who live so near to me. They were, and are, amazing. A story within everyone;…

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 / “Be Good and Do Good”

“Be Good And Do Good” – Mark –   September 24, 2011: I was directing a casting session and in doing so had the opportunity to meet 200 people. Not exactly like approaching strangers on the street. But I figured they were still strangers—people I was meeting for the first time. So I thought, technically speaking,…

Sidewalk Ghosts / The 10:30pm Poet

They called themselves Weird Buddies, but there was nothing weird about these kids.   It was 10:30pm, the day not over, completing final pre-production for a project I was producing and directing. I’d been watching the clock all day, looking for a chance to break away for a 365 outing. It was only an hour-and-a-half away…

Sidewalk Ghosts / “The World Is The World”

I asked him what he meant? He responded in telling me that people are generally good and change is possible. It just takes time…   365 was growing to be a big part of my life as I transitioned into the second week of the project. Its impact taking root in all aspects of my…

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…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Less Violence, More Fixies

Vincent was planning on going to business school and dreamed of one day opening a bike shop just like Antonio’s. Antonio gave his blessing with one condition, “OK by me as long as it’s 30 miles from mine.” Vincent replied with the harassment one would expect from a best friend, “How about another state.”  …

Sidewalk Ghosts / The Betty Boop of Wilmington Ohio

She showed me photos of her eleven grandchildren and six great-grand children, and as we bridged past the pleasantries, we shifted to a darker history…   I was traveling from a location scout in San Diego, feeling rather tired from a long day of driving. En-route home from my dear old mum’s apartment, I dropped…

Sidewalk Ghosts / And The Oscar Goes To…

When you think of the West Coast photo scene, you may think of a who’s-who list of name photographers, but on September 16, 2011 I met true photographic royalty.   Say, “Hello,” to two incredibly hard-working people: Silvino and his sister Andrea. For years Silvino’s name has been synonymous with quality flash equipment repair. Never…

Sidewalk Ghosts / The Book Of James

The Book Of James.   It was day 6, almost one week into my one-year commitment to meet a stranger and post a story every day. I had 359 days to go, and the good thing was, to that point, my family was still on board. September 15, 2011: My daughter and I passed Taft…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Fish Out Of Water Saved By Francis The Key Guy

Take one middle-class Caucasian man dressed like a college golfer; put him in a public park; place a camera around his neck and paperwork in his hand. Then have him loiter around the teen center—at night, mind you. Sound suspicious? Perhaps.   I was not really thinking too soundly on this one. The saving grace…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Slava – “Songs About Friends”

“What is your name?” I asked. In deep dialect he responded, “Slava.” “Do you have a hobby, Slava?” I casually followed up. He paused, glanced at my reflection in the rear view mirror, eyes staring as if summing me up; and, after an uncomfortable delay–“Guitar.” “What kind of music?” I inquired further. He lightly laughed…