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 met…

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 / It’s More Than News Coverage

I asked, “Where are you from?”  He said, “Wherever I’m passing by.”   I had the opportunity to photograph the news anchors of Univision 34, Los Angeles—a great group of people to work with and a ton of fun to photograph. The photo shoot started very early in the morning and finished in the evening….

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 / Alishia’s Insights

There I was, walking my neighborhood saying hi to all my neighbors. Felt strangely like Ozzie on an outing to borrow a cup of sugar for Harriet. No not Ozzy Osborn, but Ozzie Nelson.   Ozzie Nelson? If you don’t know the vintage sitcom, Ozzie and Harriet were the ideal TV family and ran on ABC from October…

Sidewalk Ghosts / A Quick Entry – Travel Log Style

11:30am: Early lunch with family, I sat in uncomfortable chair at breakfast joint. Almost decided to photograph and interview Chef Abraham. Discouraged by the lunch rush, I passed on the prospect. 1:00pm: Fry’s Electronics. Bought blue-tooth keypad for iPad and spent enjoyable 30 minutes in demo massage chair. Healed from the terrible ergonomics of entry one. Still…

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…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Levi– “What If We Pay More Attention?”

From the very beginning of my stranger meeting journey I promised to describe my feelings in one way or the other; so in continuing to honor the integrity of the commitment, I’ll stand by that pledge in this installment of Sidewalk Ghosts. June 27, 2012, stuck on traffic jammed highway 101, I was exasperated. Stressed,…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Jalon– The Barber of Men

“Try to find some kind of a spiritual crutch, so when people are not around you can rely on, you have somewhere to turn.”   March 10, 2012 – It was 7:00pm on a Friday night, the streets full of people enjoying the evening as the aroma of limitless dining choices wafted in the air—a…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Serendipity, Karma, Fate, Accident, Coincidence?

“Always look for that good in somebody, no matter what walk of life, or whatever that person is, there is always something. Any human on Earth has that something good inside of them. You may have to search deeper, but we need to try to find that goodness in all people” Serendipity, Karma, Fate, Accident,…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Maribel— “Just Give Without Expecting”

“I hope that in the future we come back, or at least turn around. There is no human contact anymore. There are emails. There are voice mails. There is text messaging. But, there is no human interaction” “Success is the best revenge.” Said nurse Maribel, whom I met one evening at a local blood drive….

Sidewalk Ghosts / “Ik Onkar (Gurmukhi)”

On the Western front of the Famous Route 66 lies the California coastline. Route 66. 2448 miles of ever-changing pavement. Asphalt, concrete and dirt that, since 1926, has reigned strong as a most prolific icon. A starting / stopping point (all depends on the direction of your travel) for a journey of grand proportion. At…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Richard — Agent Of Change

“I became some sort of pot hero, like Cheech and Chong, Willy Nelson, Snoop Dog.” We are all in the thing together. A statement that is cornerstone to Operation-365s mission: The grounding principle that asks each of us to look at one another in a basic acceptance of of one overwhelming fact. Every single one…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Taylor and Ben— Young Survivors

“When I was five I was shot because I am Jewish. I got hit by two bullets, one in the leg and the other in the abdomen. I lost fifty percent of my blood and almost died. “The next generation of guys need to treat their women better.“   Picture me as a 365 billboard,…

Sidewalk Ghosts / The Walter / Bing Debates

“When the war ended I transported surviving prisoners from the death march. “I was a pilot in world war two, I flew transport.” Retired engineer Walter reminisced as he described one of his war memories. “When the war ended I transported surviving prisoners from the death march. When they were released they were very undernourished…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Susan – “Do What We Preach”

“If everyone had more of an understanding of other people; and not just trying to thrash them on their beliefs, but just understanding that we are different; and if they accepted those differences, we would all get along so much better.” We have spoken to thousands of unique individuals since the inception of Operation-365, and…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Brownyn — “I’m Tired Of The Little Gestures”

“If we are going to change, we have to do more, get involved, and educate ourselves. It is amazing how little knowledge our current people know about the environmental impact of industry and population.” I was out on a Saturday road trip with my daughter, our destination, Santa Barbara, land of healthy living and volleyball….

Sidewalk Ghosts / The Student of Paz (Peace)

“Modern man thinks he is wide-awake, with his third eye open and wise. But the wiser he thinks he is, the more insane he looks in the mirror of reason.” “’You can interview me but I want to remain anonymous, just call me ‘The Student of Paz (peace),’” and in respect to my new found…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Michelle — “Live Life With An Active Awareness”

“Live life intelligently, and acknowledge that mistakes are bound to happen. Take them as lessons and learn from them. Don’t beat yourself up in accepting that nothing and no one is perfect, even yourself” I spent a bunch of time trying to be witty, insightful and entertaining in my writing today. Draft after draft I’ve…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Doug — “No Big Deal. 40s Era Stuff”

Dark clouds were hovering outside and the sound of rain was chanting against the roof of my house, and sitting there,  my mind was numb from Nyquil and Aleve in relieving the cold I was fighting. Slightly and legally buzzed, it was impossible for me to not become a touch more self-reflective than my normal…