Friday night at #possumtrot in #Seale #Alabama

I got a story for you.

Sharon: You a cop?

Me: No, are you?

Sharon: No… Can you give me a ride to the store?

Me: Sure, Hop in.

Sharon: So, what you lookin for baby.

Me: I’m a photographer and I take pictures of people I meet and tell their stories.

Sharon: Really? I got a story for you. Where you gonna put it?

Me: On my website and I’m working on a book.

Sharon: OK…
My dad raped me from the time I was 9 til I was 13, almost every day. 

Me: I’m sorry.

Sharon: I never had a first boyfriend or a first kiss or anything like that. It was always dad. Everything I learned about sex, I learned from him. But I never sucked him. Only sex… I never told anybody that…

Me: Do you think you’ll ever forgive him?

Sharon: Hell no, he did it to my sisters too. One of my sisters has a baby by him. I mean, I’ll forgive him the way Jesus does. He’s sicker than me but I’ll never forgive him for what he did. Made me have mental problems too.

Me: Schizophrenia? 

Sharon: Yeah, how you know that?

Me: I’ve known people with similar stories. Do you ever talk to a shrink?

Sharon: I’ve talked to plenty. They all the same. Same questions, same answers. I feel like, look mother fucker, read my chart, it’s all right there. You’re a lot easier to talk to than them and you’re cute too *smiles and giggles.

Me: Ha. I’m glad you can talk to me. You know somewhere that’s a little shady that we can take a few pictures?

Sharon: Shady? Like… shady?

Me: *smile not shady like that. The sun is harsh right now. I need shade to get a good picture of you.

Sharon: Oh yeah, I got a spot. Turn left.

I’ve seen Carl for years but didn’t meet him until I took these pictures last Friday. He spends his days under the bridge on Metropolitan Parkway. His hair has never been cut  and comes down to his feet. He sleeps under an overhang at an abandoned strip club.

Like many homeless people that I’ve met, he had a general distrust of other humans. I tried to talk to him about his life but didn’t learn much. Maybe next time.

"I won the the veteran of the year award twice now, so I’m scratching my name off the list this year."

Stewart Ave was the street to hit if you needed to satisfy any number of vices, back in the 80s and 90s. Street pharmacists were plentiful and the motels were inhabited, almost exclusively, by hookers, hanging out the doors, hoping to entice anyone with a few bucks to spend. 

In 1997 Stewart Avenue was renamed to Metropolitan Pkwy, in a half-hearted attempt to re-brand the street with one of the worst reps in the Southeast. The Atlanta City Council cited that it would give the street, known for prostitutes, strip clubs and drug dealers a clean slate.

That plan clearly didn’t work out. The only difference, 17 years later, is that the red lights don’t shine quite so bright but working girls and dope slingers still rule the night. 

I’ll be spending some more time down here in the next few months, working on collecting some stories from this colorful street. 

"Jesus don’t want you to hate nobody but that son of a bitch down at code enforcement caused me to have a five bypass surgery."

Flea Market Dolls

This book, No Cameras, about the Clermont Lounge, came unexpectedly in the mail yesterday. Thanks, cool partner of mine.

Thomas AKA Jasmine Rice

Thomas AKA Jasmine Rice