i apologize up front to anyone who has spent any quality time reading this blog. you know that i get excited about releasing photos and stories and will do it as soon as i come back from an installation, exhausted (like now). i'll do an initial release and this will think about what i wrote for the next two days and will go back and edit the original piece several times. i know. i should just wait until i get the final edit that i want and then release it. but i get excited.
like today, i went back to j r's house. (not the french dude who won this year's ted prize and whose installations continue to inspire me.) it's where i pasted step in december when it was starting to get bad at work. i really needed to release the energy of step's smile into the ether at that time. when i talked with j r about 8 to 10 months ago about pasting on his house, he reminded me that i used to take care of his dad many years ago and that i'd originally met him (j r), in about 1995 when i used to photograph guys practicing bull riding at the secody camp near white mesa arch. he was one of the bull riders. yeah, he was a badass with a really gentle spirit. so i went back through some of those negatives and found this photo of a bull rider typing his gloves while his friend watches. i don't know if one of these guys is j r.
towards the end of pasting them up i saw an older model bmw driving on the dirt road to the house. i assumed it was a white, street art appreciating tourist in route to monument valley or moab.
i started loading my ladder into my car (which i fell off again today)! an older navajo man approached me. he was a tall, slim, traditional looking man wearing a cowboy hat. he immediately walked over to the house to look at what i'd done without shaking hands first. i thought that was odd. he asked if those were paintings i put on the house. he said he'd been watching me through field glasses from his trailer about 1/2 mile away. he came over to check it out because someone had stolen j r's windows years ago and he wanted to make sure i wasn't harming the house.
i told him who i am and that i'd talked with j r. the older man said he liked the pictures and that they're so clear. i extended my hand. he said he's roy manygoats. he told me of how he'd been living in flagstaff for about 20 years but was ready to move back to the reservation to live simply out here.
i told him that i really like his older model bmw.
he said, "...you know. i got that free."
i said, "...what?!"
he said, "...yeah, one of my daughter's co-workers gave that to her. there was a problem with the alternator." he proceded to tell me how he did something or the other and then did this, this and a little of that before it started running again. (roy used all the technical terms to describe how he got the car running again. being totally car illiterate, it all sounded like mandarin to me.) he said he really likes the car to.
before parting, roy told me again how much he liked the pictures. i told him to tell j r hello for me.