Sidewalk Ghosts / In The End–It’s All Good!

“Everything is so fast paced now, you must have patience with yourself and those around you.” Picture yourself in the passenger seat with me as we cruised through suburbia and into a corner shopping center. Radio tuned in as we chilled to our favorite tunes. Yet somehow, the music was silent. How could that be,…

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 / Go, Go… Go Johnny, Go, Go, Go…

“I’m in for anything that brings people together.” Driving home after a dinner with friends and family. I came across a group of bikers. Picture a casual outdoor gathering, killer motorcycles parked along the road, and a bunch of leather jacketed bikers sharing stories over after ride coffee. At the time it seemed to mein…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Would You Cool It With The Cigarette Butts

“Everybody feels the way you do; what you do with it is up to you. You can either handle it, or you can be a victim.” “It’s impossible to go through life without problems.” A quote that revealed the character of a remarkable young man, Aaron, who at only twenty had experienced enough life to…

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…

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 / By the Light of Chevy

It had been an incredibly long day. Rose early, directed ad campaign, wrapped the day and returned the last of unused supplies (I’m a roll up my sleeves guys, so I threw in to drop off rented props) Helping me out was my friend and crewmember, Danny. Who without his help, I would have ultimately…

Sidewalk Ghosts / Kind of deep, isn’t it?

“Every person is a reflection of who you are. We are all mirrors, and those you see are reflections of yourself.” They say it take twenty-one days for something to become a habit. I propose it takes thirty-two days for something to become a magnet. It was the day before a big commercial shoot I…

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 / She Saved Me

My feet were barking! My discouragement growing as, late in the evening, foot traffic thinning, I wondered, “is this the night that I fail in my mission to meet a new friend?”   After the experiences of the week, and post how it played out in meeting Nathan, it would have been wise to had…

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 / 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 / “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 / “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…