Flea market – West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma

Just outside Siloam Springs on my way to Tulsa I happened upon a flea market and stopped to look for treasure. I dream of discovering a classic camera hidden among the junk.

This vendor was adjusting her CD player, treating the customers to Mexican ballads.

Used book fair / Feria de libros usados

Sunday morning on Cuesta Moyano, near Madrid’s Parque El Retiro, used book dealers display their treasures. Onlookers gather as the dealer opens boxes of books recently purchased from some estate, eager to find a rare edition or at least something that will sell.

Los domingos por la mañana en Cuesta Moyano, cerce del Parque El Retiro de Madrid, vendedores de libros usados abren sus tesoros, recien comprados de algúna herencia, ansiosos de encontrar una edición limitada excepcional o por lo menos algo que se puede vender.

Rodeo bums

Bull riding is a dangerous sport, and also the most exciting, so it always comes last in a rodeo. Boots, jeans and cowboy hats are almost required attire for everyone, not just those helping out. The rider has his helmet, protective vest and fringed chaps. A local cowboy walking down the street of my adopted city of Málaga would be as out of place as a Flamenco dancer at this Pottawotomie County Fair in Northwest Kansas.

Pepa – Seamstress / Málaga, Spain

My son needed a suit adjusted. (You’re wondering why a seventeen-year-old kid would wear a suit. It’s for a play.)  He’s fairly thin for his height so the jacket, trousers, vest and shirt all needed some tailoring. No problem for Pepa. A few pins here and there and she was done.

A week and a half and twenty euros laters he had a great fitting suit. And Pepa and Inés, the shop owner were quite willing to let me come back and take some photos.

I was surprised to learn that Pepa is my co-worker’s landlady. But then this part of Málaga is really a just a small town, with a small town feel.

Morning break / Junta de los Caminos, Málaga

Just outside Puerto de la Torre, where several roads come together, is a small group of houses and cafes. I parked my scooter, ordered a café con leche (un mitad doble in local speak) and sat down to enjoy the late morning air on the patio. These men didn’t arrive together, but seemed to be old friends, in no rush to get back to whatever was waiting for them. In Spain drinks are consumed slowly and sitting down, with plenty of conversation.

José Antonio – shoe repairman / Málaga

If he says they’ll be done by Thursday, they’ll be done. José Antonio runs a small shoe repair business in the Málaga suburb of Puerto de la Torre. I’ve often wondered how he can survive charging so little. He has a friendly smile and knows my name. That means a lot to me— that, and knowing my shoes will be ready when he promised.

Hand on the shoulder

Between the Zagreb bus station and the main square I came up behind this sweet couple. She’s looking ahead and he’s looking down. He depends on her.

I know they’ve seen lots of change and turmoil in their lives. Have they always turned to each other for strength? Have their struggles brought them closer together? Do they share their deepest thoughts? On the other hand they might have  a silent dependency, just trying to read each other’s minds.

I often wonder how the people in my photos live and act and think.

Friends on a bike

I used to drive across the Continental Avenue bridge quite often back when I was a courier in  Dallas. Now it is a unique park with fountains and benches and yoga classes and lots of room to ride. It’s called the Ronald Kirk Bridge now.

Friends for life

I hope that fifty years from now these girls will be just like the women they just passed. What a gift to have a lifelong friend.

I snapped this shot just outside of Atocha Station in Madrid, and didn’t notice the women in the background until later.

John, saddlemaker – Wamego, Kansas

The windows were grimy and the weathered boards hadn’t seen paint in decades.

I thought the place was deserted. The windows were grimy and the weathered boards hadn’t seen paint in decades. But the sign said it was open. Inside, saddles lined the wall and harnesses and bridles dangled from pegs. John was in the workshop in back. He was friendly enough, but I was from out of town. He had grown up in the trade, learning firsthand from his dad, and knew just about everyone in the area who had ever climbed up onto a saddle.

One of his ancestors had written about the local history in the mid 1800’s and John was hoping to get it in print. His roots ran long and deep in northeast Kansas. I was just passing through. I offered to send him a print, but he didn’t seem too interested.

Check out my gallery of interesting people here.