Curving, Shiny Metal

Funny things happened at Cruise Night at Tuxie’s on Friday night. Well, maybe not funny, but certainly unusual. The first incident was a bit odd, but didn’t really set the direction of the way it was going to go.

Arriving at the large parking lot behind the well-known Drive In restaurant about twenty minutes after the 5:00 pm start time, I found a place to park the motorcycle at the edge of the lot. As I lifted the Yashica twin lens reflex camera out of the saddlebag, a young girl was walking by with her mother. The girl pointed toward my motorcycle and said, “Oh! That’s the one I like.” She apparently thought the bike was part of the show. The bike’s styling is classic v-twin, but it is a 1999 model, so it isn’t that old. Maybe it was the paint job, reminiscent of some of the two-tone Indians. But how would the girl know that? 

I walked toward the middle of the lot and began framing a photo with the waist level viewfinder. A couple in their mid-twenties walked by and the man, carrying a small digital point-and-shoot, said “Now that’s the right way to do it.”, he said. “Very appropriate…”. 

As I continued to wander around the event, dozens of people avoided stepping into my shots by stopping and waiting for me to finish or suddenly changing their directions to walk around behind me. It was uncanny.

As I finished making a couple frames of the mini shown below, a man from my generation walked up to me. “Who are you shooting for?”, he asked.

I shook my head. “Just for myself.”

He then spent two minutes telling me about his vintage pickup truck (lorry), which was parked on the other side of the lot. When he finished his description, he backtracked, saying that I probably wouldn’t want to shoot it yet, since the final coats of paint had not yet been applied. It was now “just the primer coats”.

Also unusual was the weather. I was getting increasingly uncomfortable due to air’s humidity. It had rained the day before, odd in itself, but the watery air was still present though the main body of the storm had moved on toward the east. It reminded me of summer days in New York State. Or dry summer days in Florida. A pressure cooker. I had to repeatedly wipe my forehead so the sweat wouldn’t splash down onto the viewfinder.

Setting up for the photos of the white Jaguar roadster, a beautiful teenage girl saw my camera, stopped walking to avoid stepping into the shot, and smiled at me. That’s something that rarely happens to me. Desiccated old men are generally invisible to almost-women of that age. I kind of liked it. I pressed the shutter, then began setting up for another frame of the Jaguar. She then played as if she was going to step into the second frame  and flashed a grin at me. I smiled back, then took the shot, and she walked on. The smiling was so unexpected that I didn’t have the wherewithal to tell her to step into the frame. Gorgeous as the Jaguar was, the addition of the young woman would have vastly improved the photograph.

I haven’t had reactions like that while out shooting in a crowd, so people were certainly not reacting to me. I now have yet another thing to learn: the Twin Lens Reflex camera effect…

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