I passed by Michael one day while walking in Eden Park about 4 years ago. He was in a lawn chair next to his truck carving walking sticks. I had my camera with me so I asked to take his picture. The picture sat on my hard drive forever as I got sidetracked with work. One day I was cleaning out folders and found it. I ordered a print in hopes that one day I would be able to give it to him. Last year, out of the blue I thought about Michael and his picture. I was on my way to a shoot so I cruised by Michael's "spot" in the park and sure enough, he was there. I stopped nervously to give him the photo. I handed it to him, let him know when I took it and was on my way. As I drove away I realized I hadn't even told him my name. I felt so rude, so I drove back by to properly introduce myself. When I walked up to his truck, which he was now sitting in, my heart melted. On his lap he had the picture I had taken and another from over 30 years ago. He was looking at both with a huge smile on his face. He told me how much he loved his picture and that his children would love it too. We talked for awhile and he showed me some of his sticks and how how makes them. They are beautiful pieces of art. I am so happy I went back and got to see his excitement and learn more about him, of course I bought one of his sticks. Since I had my camera with me, I asked to take another picture. Hopefully now that the weather is nice I can catch him again to give him a new print.
This was the one I took 4 years ago.
Here is Michael last year.I think Michael takes baths in the fountain of youth. These are the two he was looking at when I pulled up. Michael making his sticks.