Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I decided to spend the day doing what I like to do. I took my camera with me. It’s the Canon T3i. It was my first time using my new camera and the first time in months that I’ve taken any pictures. So I headed off to San Luis Obispo (SLO). It was a very hot day, but a beautiful day.
I wanted to go to SLO to check out a location for an upcoming photo shoot, and find out if the owner would let me take pictures there. It’s called Growing Grounds Downtown. Their motto “Hope through Horticulture: Nurturing Plants and People.” The woman that was there told me she would give a message to the owner, and have her call me back. I spotted some new succulents, or ones that I don’t have, and decided to pick them up on my way back to the car.
I saw a man in a suit sitting on a walker seat under the shade. I was wondering if he was okay when the people walking in front of me said “I wonder if he needs help”. I said I would go check and walked across the street. The first thing he said to me was, “your taking a risk crossing the street like that in SLO.” He was smiling and I held out my hand and introduced myself. This man had the softest hands I think I’ve ever felt in my life. Now my husband Tony, has really soft hands as well, but this man surpassed him in softness. He said his name was Zane, Zane Wing. I told him it sounded like a movie stars name, and he said he worked for over 30 years cutting hair. As he sat and I stood under the shade, I asked him if he was alright. He told me he was fine and just waiting for the bus.
Zane was one of nicest people I think I’ve ever met. I felt so relaxed while we talked for the next five minutes. He was probably in his mid to late 80′s, but had the heart of a younger aged man. How can I say this…his insides didn’t match the outside. Not that there was anything wrong with the outsides, but he was young at heart. Zane had on a black suit and red tie, a black hat and some black dress shoes that shined. His jacket was off lying over the arm of the walker, and underneath was a pressed white long sleeved shirt. This man had style, but I couldn’t believe he was wearing a black suit in the heat of the day. I would say it was in the high 80′s at least. I saw the bus coming, so I told him it was nice to meet him, and I wished him a wonderful day. We shook hands again and I said goodbye.
It was time to eat lunch at The Bliss Cafe. A completely vegan restaurant. I had a “reuben” with a small salad and a mint lemonade to drink. Of course the vegan version. As I sat there eating my food, a younger man with a baby walked pass me a few times. He was bouncing the baby in his arms. I asked him if I could take a picture of his baby and he told me it was okay. The little girl’s name was Priya, and what a cutie she was. We spoke for a few minutes about the importance of a father’s role in a daughter’s life. After I took the picture he walked pass me again bouncing Priya in his arms.
After I ate lunch I walked around the shops, and took some pictures of the stream that runs through SLO. I made my way through an archway filled with shops to the other side of the buildings where the street was. I began my journey up the street and saw a building I wanted to take a picture of. I made my way up to the crosswalk, but before I got to the crosswalk I saw a man sitting on one of the benches. Unfortunately I forgot his name but I introduced myself to him and we began to talk. He had a backpack sitting next to him, and a plastic cup with a few coins in it. I reached into my purse and gave him the change I had. I wanted to give him more, but I only had a 10 dollar bill that I needed for my parking fee. We talked for about 20 minutes. He had his hair inside a crocheted hat, a striped collared shirt, that was probably a size extra large that hung off of his shoulders. He didn’t smell very good, and looked like he hadn’t had a shower in a very long time. He had a black tattoo on his face, and we talked about that for awhile. He said he wish he didn’t have it because it was difficult to get a job. He had lived on the streets for his whole life he said, and had been all around the USA. He told me that he took the Greyhound bus and jumped freight trains. I asked him if had any food to eat so far today. It was about 2:00 pm, and he replied no. He didn’t look like he had much to eat everyday because he was very thin under the very large shirt. He was very interesting to talk with. He mostly talked about how fake a lot of people are especially in bigger cities. He said they wear their designer clothes, but at any time loose it completely. I let him talk because it was so obvious that he didn’t talk to many people, and needed to talk. I asked him if I could take him picture before I left him and he said yes.
After a few minutes I decided to head back to the car, because I was getting tired and it was hot. I stopped off at the Nursery again and bought a few succulents. I drove south on the 101 and stopped at the Windmill Farms in Arroyo Grande. I bought a few more plants and a couple of clay pots. It’s a wonderful store to go to, so if you haven’t been there before I would suggest you drop by.