Thursday, July 10, 2008

On her last leg

Brenda at SunsetToday I met Brenda, she said that her name is Brenda but that her friends call her Ilean… She really said that! I didn’t get the joke at first, it wasn’t until I introduced her to my wife that it sunk in. We were on the way home from a portrait session out at the Laguna Gloria Art Museum when on the corner of Parmer and I-35 in Austin Tx, we saw Brenda with her sign. My first comment to Debra was – OK, that gal has a great outlook and sense of humor – turning an unfortunate situation into something else. A way to make a living. When we chatted with Brenda she was full of smiles, with a great outlook on life – positive, friendly – very warm and welcoming. I told her that I had been taking photos for the past 35 years and had a special passion for street photos – mostly from my Navy days overseas, and still today love to indulge in them when Debbie and I go out photowalking – or on photo safari’s as Debra calls them. Brenda told us a little about her 19 year old son in Tyler and her daughter’s view on how she gets by. One of her main frustrations comes from the many “tickets” she and her friends get from the local police. She just can’t pay them, jaywalking, loitering, sleeping in public areas, or whatever else the police seem to come up with to keep her in check. Brenda also told us she had been photographed many times… Mostly from cars with “cell phone cameras” – once though, a photographer from the Austin American Statesman did a small story about her when she was working on Riverside. We chatted a bit more, told some “photography” jokes and exchanged contact info. Brenda didn’t have an address so she promised to call me so I could get her a copy of this photo. We may get together again for a “night time” photo session, putting car trails off into the dark of night… I hope she calls.

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