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…

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 / Lab “Otto” Style

She stood puzzled, “Lab, Otto Style?”   My eyes were watering and the room was a blur. It was 6pm and deep in pre-production for an upcoming project, I’d barely eaten on a day that was wonderfully insane. I’m a little crazy in the fact that I love days like that; they keep my mind…

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…