13.8.13

"Scot Sothern is the real thing. This is damn good writing." 
- Dan Fante 
... a masterful memoir, full of truth-telling, ugliness, beauty, tragedy, and humor. Curb Service is brave, funny, and heartwarming in ways you can't see coming.” 
—Bill Fitzhugh, author of Pest Control

25.5.13


When I was a little kid I used to like playing around with my pop’s photography equipment.  The coolest thing was the flashbulbs.  They were the same size as a regular light bulb and filled with spidery filaments. They screwed into a circular reflector and they made a pop when they fired.  My grandmother, Mamaw, lived upstairs.  She was perpetually nervous and it was great fun to sneak up behind her and scream LOOK OUT.  One time I changed all her light bulbs with flash bulbs.  She yelped each time she flipped a switch and I couldn’t stop giggling.  I was kind of an asshole but she seemed to love me anyway.

21.5.13

When I made this exposure nearly thirty years ago full-body tattoos were unusual.  Looking at it now the impact has softened with time.  I remember riding up an elevator with the tattooed woman in the hotel where we were in San Diego.  There was an all-american family stuck with us for the ride, mom and dad and two bland children.  I don't remember what my tattooed model was talking about but she kept saying motherfucker, loudly, until the little family unit scrunched away from us into a corner.  In the room, with just the two of us, she didn't say it anymore.  I hope she has kept her edge over the years but I also hope she has lost some of her anger toward dorks.
*********

11.5.13


My Pop - 1972
 In the sixties, when I was an adolescent, my father had a photography studio in the Missouri Ozarks.   He shot a lot of weddings and paid me fifteen bucks to go along and hold an extra strobe light with a car-battery-sized battery on a strap.  The flash had a doohickey that tripped my light from the strobe on the camera, so I walked around hitting people with flattering highlights.  The weddings were mostly done in dumbass churches so while my dad was time-exposing the ceremonies I would take one of the twin-lens Rolleiflex’s out to the car and photograph a dime store picture we had of Jesus, a very nice looking guy by the way; leading-man material. My pop had spray-painted a portion of the picture black and matched it up  with a homemade vignette on the camera lens then double-exposed, the bride and groom in a soft candlelight pose with Jesus, that handsome devil, looking down on their nuptials from heaven above.  My pop sold a lot of those shots.  He had a whole arsenal of goofy gimmicks that kept Sothern’s Studio flush and our lifestyle cushy.  I could have stayed there and inherited the studio, lived a comfortable life.  At my age you sometimes look back at the missed opportunities and regrets, but in this instance it’s nice to know I made the right decision.
*********

Guy With Budweiser - 1975
I don't remember making the exposure above but I'm glad I did.
1978.  Stalled in traffic.  This girl knows I’m watching.  She’s around sixteen years old and wants to give me a hard-on.  She turns her head away to show me she doesn’t care even though I think she cares very much.  I’m twenty-nine years old and trying to decide whether to take out my dick or pick up my camera.  I wonder about the guy up front, driving.  Her father?  Has he ever looked at her the way I’m looking at her? Is he the why of her promiscuity?  Would he come out of the car swinging a tire-iron if he knew what she is doing to me and what I’m doing to her?  I’m in no hurry for traffic to start up again.
*********

   Blane tells everyone he knocked out his father's teeth with a baseball bat.  No one really believes him though everyone figures he's capable of considerable violence. 
   Blane is quick to explain how he's only known J-Boy for a couple of days yet he's gonna fuck up anyone messes with J-Boy or his dog, whose name is Judo. 
   J-Boy hopes to avoid violence though he likes to imagine Judo grows to the size of a wolf and then fucks people up at his command.
*********
Sisters I met late one night while wandering around a motel filled with working girls.
  *********