Prompt-ly on the corner

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Edge of the Frame.”

I took this photo a few weeks ago in downtown Bakersfield, Calif., a place I’m not sure I could ever learn to love. Except maybe for this photo*.

It was the first Friday in June and a close friend was having her iPhone photos featured in a local gallery. First Fridays in Bakersfield bring out the artsy and cultured in droves, wandering the streets of what could be a Midwestern town or maybe a small city in Texas. Oil and ag, these are primary industries fueling this place. So while there is call here for warm nights on porches playing the fiddle, it doesn’t happen like that so much anymore. Not when you could be inside playing Final Fantasy XIV Online.

I love this photo for so many reasons. I like to think this is a family. The boy and girl both wear red t-shirts, and though the two are different in height and build and gender, their postures are alike, and they look as if they’re focusing on the same spot on the ground. These are not wealthy kids. The father looks strict, if not in law enforcement, perhaps he’s a hard-ass P.E. teacher. No one is smiling. I don’t remember what they were playing, but I remember it being more lively than their expressions indicate. And I remember that it was proficient.

When I snapped this shot, I felt as if I had captured something rare, something I did not know how to categorize. I wanted to be charmed by these two children, by this family. But there’s something about Dad, watching them so stoically behind his dark glasses. There’s a silent understanding between them all, and that silence makes me pause. The trio played on into the evening.

After I’d viewed my friend’s gallery show, I went back to the violinists and their keeper and I put some bills into the hat at their feet. There was, after all, no confusion in the hat.

Edge of the FrameWe often capture strangers in photos we take in public. Open your photo library, and stop at the first picture that features a person you don’t know. Now tell the story of that person.

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One thought on “Prompt-ly on the corner

  1. Very interesting perspective about the picture. Yes it does not say joy or fun. What makes a performance enjoyable is being invited into the fun by the performers. Your prose captures the creepy in this photo.

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