Where: Long Beach, CA
Between Meeting: Working on a Sunday
On a Sunday a few years ago I was in the office preparing for a Monday morning meeting. It was about this time of year and the day was suddenly shorter due to the end of Daylight Saving Time. I was feeling a bit down due to losing an hour of light, and decided to medicate my out-of-synch circadian rhythm with some type of coffee/chocolate thing.
I was about to make a right for the local Starbucks, but suddenly saw a flash of bright primary colors to my left. So I went left instead and found a barber shop decorated in brilliant red, white and blue. Not only was the window filled with color, but the sidewalk in front of the building had a fresh coat of red and blue paint. I started shooting and a man in his late 60’s, dressed like a Hollywood leading man from the 40’s, popped out from the shop and barked, “Hey if you’re with the City I have a permit to paint that sidewalk”. The man, Gerry, thought I was documenting his paint job for a complaint. When I told him I loved the colors, he sat down on his freshly painted red, white and blue bench and with great delight, watched me shoot all the amazing color.
The best shot (above) is when I asked Gerry to cross his legs which put each shoe in a separate color and I worked the center line for the best symmetry. The end of day light, brought out all the texture in the sidewalk. It’s a straight forward picture and be sure to click on it for full screen to see the subtle details.
With the sun setting Gerry muttered how much he hated going to Standard Time. Not only did I agree with him, but was thrilled to see a large sign above the barber shop door, “Headquarters for the Proposition to Keep Daylight Savings Time All Year Long”.
Then Gerry invited me in for a beer. As soon as I went inside it was transported into a museum of Hollywood memorabilia from the early 20th century mixed with decor from a 19th century bordello. I learned Gerry was a great collector of “Stuff” including rare pre-World War II cartoon films.
If I had made that right turn I would have been sitting in a rental car feeling sorry for myself sipping a Mocha Frappuccino in pursuit of a sugar rush. But by going left, I was sitting in a barber chair, having a brew with my new best friend Gerry and watching cartoons. And what made it all so much sweeter, is this bald guy had not been in a barber’s chair for over 15 years!
On a recent trip I noticed that Gerry’s shop was gone. It looked like a chain fitness center took over the building.
While Gerry was forced out, his dream about Daylight Saving Time still lives. So readers of this blog who are US Citizens, please email your representatives in Congress and let them know all the benefits of Daylight Saving Time being year round. Do it for Gerry!