I told you that story so I could tell you this one

I have spent many, many nights in train stations up and down the east coast, and on this particular night I was at Penn Station in Baltimore.  It was as cold, but I was bored, so I did what I usually do in that situation and started taking pictures of everything around me to distract myself for a bit.  As I did, the only other person around  (a chauffeur who had been sitting in his car until a moment ago) asked what ISO I was shooting at.  After my reply, he gave me some suggestions of angles on the “Male/Female” statue in front of the station that I had been shooting, and a couple tips on shooting in low light.

As it turns out, he’s actually a professional photographer, and just moonlighting as a driver.  We talked for a bit, and he mentioned that no matter how many weddings he shot, they would never top the one photo he had taken that had made him the most.

HIS story, as told by my memory: When he was a kid growing up in DC, Kennedy was being driven in his Lincoln convertible down Pennsylvania for a parade one day, with Haile Selassie beside him.  For those of you who don’t know, that would be Jesus Incarnate according to most Rastafarians.  As any good photographer would, he made his way to the front of the crowd as the limo approached.  Just before it passed, he jumped through the police line and snapped a shot of the car from the front before the MPD or Secret Service grabbed him and put him back with the rest of the rabble.  This being the distant past, he didn’t know the gem he had until later.  First of all, he shot it in color, and was lucky enough to get the shot level, and completely in focus.  Second, Kennedy and Selassie are both facing him.  Finally, the front license plate is clearly visible, and is the same plate (and I’d imagine, car) as Kennedy was shot in, less than two months later.

I didn’t have any money on me to buy a print from him, which he had in a portfolio on the seat of the car he was driving, but took his card so I could contact him later.  I put the card in my pocket, and never saw it, or him, again.

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~ by horizonmanifest on November 2010.

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