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May 14th, 2000

Like A Charm
I found the Buggy Bank. I passed by it two or three times before I recognized it on a road I've traveled many times on my way to Berkeley from the old house. Strange how little you notice in familiar surroundings. Not good for someone who plays at being a photographer. The Buggy Bank is a commercial lot where people selling their cars can display them for a percentage of the sale. All kinds of cars, maybe forty, from SUVs to a Corvette. Toyotas and Hondas, Fords and Saturns, one lone Mercedes Benz. None of them spoke my name. None of them even mumbled.

I had the enthusiasm of one who is doing his duty, checking other options before buying a dinged up Toyota with a chancy transmission being recommended to me by my Toyota repair shop. I have become enamored of the price of this Toyota with a chancy transmission and what I can do with the money I will have left over. Paste it on my bedroom walls, for example, and dance the fandango under the gaze of presidents and founding fathers.

It is now early in the afternoon on Sunday and it has been raining sporadically for the last Oakland City Center three hours. I have been out stalking photographs at the Oakland - Lake Merritt gathering of the Million Mom March and I am tired, really tired, and I am sitting here drinking a Coca Cola with Teen Wolf playing in the background on the TV set across the room. Teen Wolf. Through the magic of the on/off switch Teen Wolf is now history. I am tired, but it was a good morning. I walked down the hill and arrived two hours early while they were just beginning to set up the bandstand area beside the lake and I had the freedom to walk pretty much anywhere shooting pictures. People's faces. Lots and lots of people's faces. Lots of television crews, all of the local radio and TV stations were interviewing, but no still photographers. Where were the still photographers? Perhaps they showed up later.

I used a plastic bag from the supermarket to keep the camera dry, the opening taped around the lens hood and the Nikon safe inside, a hole cut out for the viewfinder, positioning it with duct tape borrowed from a sound crew. High tech. Worked like a charm.

The young woman was photographed at the Oakland City Center.