Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Keeping Up With The Joneses

Amy and Brandon Jones, from Indiana, seen here in St Cloud, Florida on December 19, 2007.

As I was waiting at a red light, I spotted them walking down Hwy 192 (13th Street in St Cloud) in the opposite direction of where I was going. I caught up with them as they were crossing a parking lot, and asked them if I could take their picture. They were happy to allow me to get a couple of shots, and tell me their story.

They told me they were walking across America, all forty-eight contiguous states, in support of our troops overseas, living and dead. They said they have already walked over one million miles.

While Brandon wrote down their information for me, Amy showed me a picture of her ten year old son, who is being cared for by her father while the Joneses pursue this adventure/mission (my words, not theirs). She was proud of him, a good looking little boy, and told me she missed him desperately.

Of course, being the lousy photo-journalist that I am, I forgot to ask the significance of the leash and collar, and they failed to tell me. I have their email address, so if I hear back from them concerning that, I'll update this post.

I took these with my cell phone camera. [Click To Enlarge]

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Garbage Train

I didn't shoot this, my brother did - with his cell phone camera. He immediately sent it to me, then called me to explain the picture. He spotted this couple pushing this contraption down Hwy 19 on the west coast of Florida, so he pulled over and asked if he could take a picture, knowing I would want it. They were very gracious people and allowed him to take a couple of shots, but not of themselves. He talked to them for quite awhile, and told me they seemed like a really happy couple.

This is what they told him: They have been traveling the highways for about ten years, pushing the cart by hand and pitching a tent wherever anyone will allow them to. If they can't find a place to pitch a tent, they'll stay on the side of the road, until the cops come along and tell them to move on. Christians always give them money, so they never lack for food. They do go for long periods of time without showering. The man built the carts and connected them. He said the tires are designed in a way that the second tire will take over the burden of moving the cart along when the lead tire fails. He said the cart moves easier and smoother when it has a lot of weight, so that's why they pick up trash as they move down the highway. They'll pick up anything and everything, eventually discarding it in a dumpster, then starting over again. They were on their way to the Florida Keys. Everything they own is in the cart.

[Click To Enlarge]

New on VintagePhotoSite: New Hebrides

Friday, February 22, 2008

Gone Fishing

Fishing on Lake Toho, Kissimmee, Florida. [Click To Enlarge]

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I shot this on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 while doing about 70 mph on the Florida Turnpike in Port St Lucie (don't tell the cops). I was alone, and just pointed my not so sophisticated digital camera out the passenger side window, hence the quality. Those are mostly vultures, either black or turkey, flying over the dump. The smaller birds are seagulls. [Click To Enlarge]

Turkey Vultures feed on carrion found on highways, pastures, and at dumps. Occasionally, they will eat vinyl materials such as roofing covering, pipe insulation, and boat seat cushions, even though such materials contain no nutritional value. Apparently these materials emit an odor, which to the vultures, at least, is similar to that of rotting flesh.

The Black Vulture's diet consists chiefly of carrion found along roads, in open countryside, and at landfills. Occasionally, it will take live young mammals and birds and, more rarely, piglets or calves as they are being born.

You can see images of the birds and get more information on the Florida Fish and Wildlife website.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jesus Loves U

All doubt has been removed.

I spotted the letters floating by when I was out driving around today, so I pulled into a Home Depot parking lot and photographed the plane writing in the sky. By the time he was done with the "U", "Jesus" was indistinguishable; the letters had dissipated and looked like wispy clouds in the sky, so I couldn't get the entire phrase in one frame. The sky writer started out with a Happy Face, but that was pretty much indistinguishable when I first spotted it. [Click To Enlarge]

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bench People

**This is not a political post. I am not trying to sway anyone's point of view with regard to the present race for the nomination. This is just something that happened when I was out and about on Valentine's Day.**

I see these people on this bench quite often, and this is not the first time I've photographed them. Today it was kind of chilly here, and I noticed that the couple (man and woman) were covered up by this pretty big comforter - just the top of her head was showing. There's no place to park, so I pulled into the strip center on the opposite side of the street, parked, and walked up to the sidewalk so I could get a picture. I was standing at a bus stop, aiming my camera at the couple, when the woman started to stir and move the comforter. She looked straight at me while I took the picture.

In the meantime, there was an elderly lady waiting for the bus, and she started a conversation with me. This is pretty much how it went:

Are you taking the bus?

No, I'm taking a picture.

Continued below the photo ... [Click To Enlarge For A Better Look]

Of what?

Those people on the bench over there.

Oh, leave them alone. They're not bothering anyone. (She said this in a non-confrontational manner.)

I'm not going to bother them, I'm just taking their picture.


It's just something I do, sort like a hobby.

I feel sorry for them. They're always on that bench. They don't have any money.

I feel sorry for them too.

This is what Bush has done to this country.


He spends all our money. He gives it to other countries. Look at what he's done with the war. I hope that other one doesn't get in either.

Who, McCain?

No, that other guy, Obama.

Well, it looks like those are your two choices. McCain or Obama.

What about Clinton?

Yeah, I guess she could still get the nomination.

I hope so. She's the one I want in there. She knows what she's doing. When her husband was in we didn't have any war going on.

Well, Bosnia.

But he didn't send our boys over there to die. We have to stop this war, this killing of our boys.

The bus arrived, and I said goodbye to the lady. I wish I had taken a picture of her.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shoeshine Boy

Fashionable shine boy in Nogales, Mexico. Taken in January 1987. He was happy! [Click To Enlarge]

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Columbia Restaurant

Well, their sign at least, at the Celebration, Florida location. [Click To Enlarge]

I'll have to check with Piggy, who happens to be upside down and practically empty at the moment, to see when I can afford to return to this location at the appropriate hour and get a couple of pictures of the lighted sign and the interior of the restaurant. Until then ...

The Hernandez Gonzmart family has been making restaurant history since 1905 when they opened their landmark Columbia Restaurant in Tampa's Historic Ybor City, which today is Florida's Oldest and the World's Largest Spanish restaurant. Today, 4th & 5th generation family members work hard to preserve the family's legacy that their great-grandfather Casimiro Hernandez Sr. created over 100 years ago when he opened the Columbia as a corner café frequented by local cigar workers.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Boston Garden

I took a walk this morning in the town of Celebration, Florida, and spotted the Boston Garden. It's a nice little courtyard for dining at the Town Tavern. I believe the restaurant is owned by the same people that own Kelly's Landing in the Boston, Mass area.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fire Engine Red

I took this photo of the Loughman Fire Department's engine, a 1985 Sierra 3500, on Feb 7, 2008. I tried a few different effects on the photo, to see if anything jumped out at me creatively, and thought this "paint by numbers" effect was pretty nice. I don't have sophisticated software, like photo shop, just a bitmap manipulator, but it is kind of fun seeing the different effects you can get. Let me know what you think. [Click To Enlarge]

Friday, February 8, 2008

What Do You Collect?

Is your old plate on this wall? [Click To Enlarge]

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Accordion Player - Mexico

I took this picture in Nogales, Mexico in 1987. He could play any tune you asked for, as long as it was on that piece of paper he was holding. [Click To Enlarge]

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wine Cellar

We made wine in the cellar. I took this photo a long, long time ago! [Click To Enlarge] Speaking of long time ago, check out my new blog: Vintage Photo Site.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hot Air Balloons

Shot this photo on March 28, 2007. I see these Hot Air Balloons quite often, as they seem to be popular with the tourists. Disney World is just a few miles from where I shot this. [Click To Enlarge]

I noticed that gas was only 254.9 that day. Yesterday, at the same Gas Station, it was 289.9. Of course, gas prices have been fluctuating, and have gone over $3 a few times in the past year.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Color Coordinated

Girl on motorcycle, with Mohawk, Kissimmee, Florida.