The Ballad of Brad

Monday, November 9th, 2009 @ %I:%M %p | Photography

soduspoint.jpgFor a few days I was thinking that I hadn’t fed the beast that is Flickr but what to take pictures of?

Yesterday it was beautiful warm autumn weather – perfect for cycling but I wasn’t in the mood. Instead I decided to drive to Sodus Point and see if inspiration would strike. I arrived there mid-afternoon, parked the car in the village ready to wander around. A group of motorbikers had just gotten here as well breaking for lunch it seemed. All of middle age or a little more they did their best to look fierce and severe. Seeing a female rider in a pink Harley Davidson leather jacket, I suspected that in reality they’re very likely just cuddly teddybears. Nice bikes though especially the one in bright green, a color that worked really well in the low stroking sunlight.

I walked to the end of the village where the road loops back surprised to see that there’s a free lot there. Great view over Sodus Bay towards Charles Point. Amazing that nobody built here yet – the rest of the shoreline is filled up.

From here I strolled on to the beach park and to the lighthouse at the end of the pier. There were a few fishermen and women giving it a try but both the fish and the anglers appeared just content with a lazy autumn afternoon. Back along the pier to the beach there was a group of young people sitting and chatting in the sand.

One of them called out to me: “Did you take a picture of that dead bird?”
I shook my head: “No.”
“That would be really cool though?”
I smiled back and wandered on.

A hundred yards further up I turned around strolling back. The group were now tossing a football around. The guy who called out earlier was picking up a bottle from their circle of bags and towels, looked up and I asked what I was taking photos of. I had just taken a picture of a footprint in the sand:
“Look down,” I pointed, “see how the light strokes over it. That’s beautiful.”
“Can I see?”
“Sure.” I showed him the photo on the camera’s display.
“I didn’t mean to intrude. My name is Brad. I am just curious.”
“No problem. My name is Onno. Nice to meet you.”
“You do this often?” Brad asked gesturing with his hand holding that bottle.
“Yeah, it’s fun to do.”
“I wish I had a good camera. My dad has one. My brother paints. Do you paint?”
“No, I have no skills in that department.”
I ask if he lives here. He does. “Must get busy here in summer?” I asked.
“Yeah, it does, but then at night when it is all quiet and you can walk out on the beach and see all the stars then it is pretty good.”
“Want a sip?” Brad offered, holding out the Captain Morgan rum bottle. He had worked his way through a quarter of it.
“No, thanks, that’s a little too strong for me,” I smiled, “I hope you’re not finishing that bottle all by yourself. Share some with your friends.”
“Yeah, I will. If they deserve it,” Brad grinned.
“Do you smoke? We have some weed?” was his next proposal.
“No, don’t smoke either.”
“So, you don’t drink and smoke, just wander around taking pictures?”
“Yep, that’s it.”
“Well, that’s cool. I like that!”

We shook hands and I walked on. A few seconds later Brad called me back, running over with his cell phone in hand:
“Wait, I have to show you this picture I took during a storm!”
He fiddled with the phone bringing up the image on the display. It was actually a very nice photo, certainly considering it’s taken with a cell phone, showing the dark clouds, waves crushing against the pier, the lighthouse in the distance with its beam on. And I told him so. We said our goodbyes once again.

I walked back to the boulevard to get back to the village. The sun was just hovering over the village turning all yellow and red. At the side of the parking lot there was a small sheriff’s office. The sheriff in bulletproof vest and gun on hip came out of the office just as I walked by, holding a camera like me, stepping onto the rocks at the shore of the bay like me, taking sunset photos just like me. If the strong arm of the law has the time and motivation to notice beautiful sunsets and take pictures of it then not all is bad in the world.

Getting back to the car I exchanged the camera bag for my Kindle. It’s time for some serious food. When I walked through the village earlier I noticed a bar/restaurant called Captain Jack. It seemed deserving of further inspection. I sat myself down at the bar, bartender Patrick poring me a cold one and handed me the menu which features a broad selection of burgers and the likes. Being surrounded by all this water I felt fish was more in order. I was hoping to find items on the menu that would resemble the crab shack scene from “A Few Good Men” – the interior was close enough – but had to settle for Fish Fry instead. An elderly couple arrived at the bar to my left. There was only one stool there but another empty one to my right so I offered to scoot over. The gentleman declined, said he preferred to stand. After my dinner arrived I looked around the bar noticing that there were a few couples with the woman sitting in the bar stool and the man standing (hovering?) diagonally behind her. Perhaps that’s the proper custom here?

The couple to my right left and just as I was finishing my fish Brad sat down next to me. We shook hands once more. He was in the company of a woman in her forties whom he introduced to me and Patrick the Bartender as his mom. Brad ordered beer and shots, toasting each other these went down. Brad appeared impressively sober after working on that rum bottle earlier. They started chatting, his mom gently chiding him for letting opportunities slip away.

I called for the check, gathered up Kindle and coat and departed to drive back to Rochester pleased with the harvest to feed Flickr with.

The pictures are in the gallery.



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