I couldn’t find the metaphysical thread to grab this weekend. I followed the signs and they all said, “Yard Sale“. I guess ’tis the season for gift giving which is the zen of gift making or buying which means the season when everyone sells all their stuff. Department stores open day and night and when you drive around on a weekend every corner has a sign that says “Yard Sale”.

Such a dilemma. I want to see what I need to see. I want the world to perform for me and deliver what I want when I want it and at my taste level. I don’t want to dig through other people’s buried crap to find what I need. Then I remember to let go and be apart of it all and appreciate what gets delivered. Sometimes being at one place with seemingly no significance to ourselves, puts us on a larger path of greater necessary significance to someone else, not immediately obvious to us.

Every store had a sale and every corner had a sign on it that pulled cars in from every direction for miles around. Sometimes it’s hard to make sense or see purpose in endless wandering that drags us around each day to places we think we shouldn’t be at; but maybe we’re all going somewhere important after all.


Maybe folks gather their wares to sell, to desperately raise funds to buy gifts for loved ones or maybe there is no hidden significance and some people just love to rummage through other people’s junk for buried treasure. I’m no different I suppose. Swimming through throngs of people everywhere and anywhere in search of an image taken for granted that will be my magic capture.


While some look in obvious directions, I hunt for picture and story gold where most others do not see. Sure, I admit I have a bit of an ankle fetish and love the way a woman’s calf tapers into a thin sculpted ankle. Sure, I’m often caught staring at stranger’s ankles. And sometimes I get surprised by what I see.


My eyes were open now and I could feel the surge of something magical happening, just didn’t know what. Wandering through a flea market, I came across a very nice woman who had her head crushed and her brain-damaged in a horrible accident. Despite the disfigurement to her face, skin and forehead, she still remained attractive.

Her accident did leave her with a strange obsession for Muscadine Grapes. Apparently, were it not for the healing properties of these grapes, her accident would have left her in a horrible state. She went on and on about how these grapes cure all types of cancer, which reminded me of a conversation I had with someone else about the healing properties of baking soda; apparently this too may cure cancer.

I like wandering around and listening to what people believe in. I thought that if grapes and baking soda could cure cancer, certainly another fruit or baking ingredient must be able to cure swollen ankles.


The next day I found myself on the beach. One boring picture after another of people from all walks of life.


Always the same, the affluent with their beautiful well-earned homes on the shore along the less fortunate sharing a meal with like-wise starving birds.


I watched as the bright sun removed the faces and bodies of the sunbathers leaving only dark shadows bending in worship to the tide.


Discouraged by my perverse beach grabs of squinting half-naked strangers on blankets, towels and in folding chairs… I proceeded to leave the dull dunes.

At that particular moment in time and in that odd place where I had parked my car, a new bather entered the beach. Hard to see in the distance and the bright sun, she looked like a strange blonde in a black dress, wearing a big sun hat while carrying the requisite beach bags. Like a desert mirage, I couldn’t see what was coming for sure, so I just raised my camera and started shooting her as she got closer.




She came right up to me as I shot and I immediately saw that she was not a she at all, but a fully blown, heavily adorned, real live pirate! His name was Scott and apparently he drove to this obscure north Clearwater Beach all the way from Orlando. He was praying the whole drive over, that there would be a photographer on the beach that could take head shots of him. Apparently he was auditioning for the lead pirate role in the next big Disney movie and he needed some great photos to bring in with him to his audition.

Astounded by the discovery of my purpose at this moment, I snapped a few of the swashbuckler. In my mind I smiled and thought of the Dreaded Pirate Roberts and all my favorite scenes in the move The Princess Bride. As I shot him, I asked if he had a sword and he told me of his mighty blade left at home, that came all the way from somewhere in the South Pacific.

He thanked me, thanked the Lord of course and I gave him my business card and we both went our separate ways.



After I left the beach, I made one more stop at an Art and Craft Sale that I found at a waterfront town on the way home. I grabbed this one shot of the strange Chinese Crested… not noticing at first that someone had painted its toe nails red.


This last shot… also at the Art and Craft Show, I remember catching the woman mid-yawn as I took it. I had to shoot it quickly because just watching her yawn made me yawn. As a matter of fact, I can’t even look at this picture now without yawning. Can you?



  1. I really like the combination of photographs and story that you put together through this post. They combine to create a story of what could be just a normal day, but somehow allows the reader to see it in a new light–to see things we might otherwise pass by.

G'head. Say it.

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