A “long-time” friend of mine (I’ve been told I can no longer use the phrase “old friend” especially when it relates to a female friend) contacted me yesterday and asked if I would photograph a friend of hers. He needed pictures for his website. He is running for political office and needed them as soon as possible. And that was how I ended up on the state capitol grounds today. I had forgotten that the legislature was in town so parking was a bit of a challenge, but I found something eventually. And I was early anyway…this will come as a shock to no one.
I’m going to avoid identifying this politician. He is new to the political game, and I didn’t ask his permission to mention him here. But I had the great pleasure to meet a person that struck me as a genuinely nice, cerebral and gentle man. We were only together about half an hour (we had to shoot these photos during his lunch hour) and during that time I took nearly 70 photos. In spite of having my camera to my face nearly the entire time, I enjoyed the meeting. We talked and joked. It was fun. I hope he does well.
My first reaction on meeting him was, “he doesn’t seem like a politician.” I hope that comes through to the voters in a positive way. Politics today is way too full of people who are way too full of themselves. I will definitely keep an eye on him. I have no clue about his party affiliation or his stance on anything. He just seemed like a really good person. As I have grown more and more disappointed in the tenor of politics lately, both from the politicians themselves and the partisan sniping among the general population, it was nice to meet someone running for statewide office who didn’t seem to have any pretenses.
Afterward, I decided to stop for lunch. It was 65 and sunny today so there was no way I was going to eat inside. I got a seat on the deck at the Tricky Fish on the east end-just a few blocks from the capitol. This is one of Jon Steele’s three places. He advertises it as a “beach shack.” Just a moment later, a woman came in, sat down and asked me to tell her about “this place.” I assumed she meant the restaurant since it is somewhat unique. After a moment, I realized she actually meant Charleston. She was just passing through, heading down I-64 on her way to Louisville, Kentucky. We ended up talking through lunch as I told her about the town, things to see and places to go. It was fun for me. As I have written, I have just moved back here after being away since 1998. I hadn’t even thought about my hometown in that regard for a while. Fun to dredge up the tour guide memories.
As we talked, she told me that she that she liked to go places and experience them from the local perspective. She likes to travel and stay in hostels or in people’s homes. I told her that was the theme of my website and this blog…experiencing life and having a purpose. We agreed that life is much more fun that way.
I’ve had the tremendous good fortune to travel and experience a lot of really interesting parts of the world. But I like an adventure wherever I can find it. Sometimes you find it at the other end of a plane trip. Other times, you can find those new experiences and the energy that comes from them just down the street.
All in all, I’m gonna call that a good day.