Tell a Stranger They’re Beautiful Tuesday #5

I hope you’re enjoying these posts. I enjoy creating them, especially the discoveries that compel me to slow down and bear witness to life in the midst of my own joys and sorrows.

Meet Jim.

I met Jim outside a bail bonds shop next to the lovely little cafe I’d just exited, where I’d been enjoying a tall, cold soda after my long bike ride through an historical district. I’d seen him walk by as I sat in the cafe, and I felt prompted to approach him when I noticed him outside.

As can be seen in the photo, Jim is a snappy dresser. He was wearing all black and cowboy boots and had a glittery belt buckle with western bolo tie to match (what you can’t see is the silver, tex-mex-style band on his hat.

But what I liked most about Jim was his expressive, wrinkled face and deep ebony skin tone. I think people get so caught in up modern beauty myths revolving around youthfulness that the inherent beauty of aging faces gets overlooked. I was reminded of this recently when I saw this Annie Lebovitz portrait at an exhibit.

When I approached Jim, he was busy with a hammer and ladder outside the bail bonds shop.  I asked him what he was doing.

“Well, what does it look like I’m doing?” he replied. His voice startled me, as he sounded for all the world like John Wayne. I kid you not. It was so affecting that I wanted to keep him talking. We spoke for a few moments, during which he explained that he was repairing a sign for the shop, and he agreed to pose (somewhat dramatically) for a photo.

I’m meeting the most interesting people as I collect photos for this weekly post. I’d love to hear about your experiences and even see your photos.

Happy Tuesday!