Last August, I was on the hunt for other quarry in a kind of weekend-long photographic scavenger hunt with about twelve other people and led by Aline Smithson when I heard music. I did what any self-respecting Alice In Photographic Wonderland would do. I tapped my way down the hill (quasi-sensible rubber industrial high heels and all), through the pleasant evening humidity, and towards the local Ampitheatre.
No, I didn't run into any white rabbits. But I did almost instantly come across a semi-long-lost neighbor and we caught up and chatted about having dinner before, at my urging, she wandered on to find her family while I hovered above at the top of the grand stone staircase. Me and lots of other folks. Including a blond boy-child of maybe eight who was chinning himself all the way up the, oh, maybe fifteen foot central steel bannister while both his father and I looked on in amazed appreciation. We were fans.
"Doesn't he get tired?" I asked dad, who was standing more or less across the stairs to my left. "
'Never. He's a monkey. He needs something to tire himself out."
The great thing about this staircase crew was that no one could care less that I was standing smack in the middle of it (and them) in a big black dress and wild hair, frowning, and shooting methodically, while even more people climbed up the left and down on the right and still craned their necks from comfy camp chairs at each side. Meanwhile a maybe eight-year-old boy chinned himself up the bannister toward me with a shy yet determined smile.
They had the spunk and the panache of the chorus hanging off the bridges in Les Misérables, that bunch. In a laid-back Portland kind of way. Of course.
Nodding with appreciation at this and that, I handshot my way through one whole number by the Portland Taiko.
By about the time I, and the drummers, were done, the kid had snaked himself all the way up the steel where I stood.
"Good job," I said. At least somewhat unnecessarily. However, he had just jumped off the bannister right in front of me with an enormous, triumphant smile.
And then it was time to keep moving. This nine-up narrative image was the result.