I am utterly ashamed to admit that I have become the paparazzi. But don’t tell me that you wouldn’t have done the same.
Today I went on another Photo Walk in Gettysburg with a couple of people. There I was, minding my own business, not intending to turn to the dark side, when this very tall, skinny man sort of shuffled past while I’m trying to take a picture of a cannon. He walked right into my light and was messing up the shot. I looked up, ready to tell him off, “Hey, buddy, can you get out of my light?” when I see that it’s Abraham Lincoln!
The Abraham Lincoln!
He looked a little careworn and sad, and here’s the part where I’m ashamed, because I simply could not leave the man alone. I mean what was I supposed to do? Alex was in my hand, already focused and metered and exposed, so I said, real loud, “Hey, Abe!” and he looked right at me! Right at me! And I snapped the picture.
So, that’s the picture for today.
Yesterday a lot happened and I didn’t get to write it all out, so I might be talking about it throughout this coming week. I took tons of pictures and I’d like to show some of them to you.
But today I want to talk about one one event that stands out.
In the early evening, we arrived at TJ’s graduation party, Alex by my side. After I checked out the Traci Cakes, because TJ is Traci’s son, Alex and I started taking pictures. Which made one guest uncomfortable. Uncomfortable Guest said to me, in a move of such brilliance that chess masters would have wept if they had been witness to it, “Have you met Jim? He’s a photographer.” Alex and I immediately stopped taking pictures of Uncomfortable Guest and said, “No! We’d love to meet him!” Uncomfortable Guest led us to Jim and said, “Here’s Jackie. She likes photography, too,” and slipped away.
Alex and I sat down next to Jim and started chatting. It was delightful. Jim’s been taking pictures since 1960. That’s 52 years! 52 years of pictures. Can you even imagine being a grandkid in his house and having him pull out his vast collection of family photo albums. “Oh no, grandpa! Not all those photo albums again!”
“But Junior, we only made it to ’65 last time. I’m hoping we get to the end of ’66 by the time this weekend’s over…”
Jim, Alex and I were having our chat, when the door slowly opened, revealing a long rectangle of light. Soft, low music began to play. A whiff of delicate feminine perfume wafted through the air, enveloping us.
And there she was, silhouetted in the doorway, in a long black gown: Veronique.
Her head was slightly bowed and she was looking down, but then she slowly lifted her eyelids and made steamy eye contact with Alex and gave him a little smile. I felt Alex tremble in my hands and his lens cap popped off.
She was a beauty. I tried to talk to Jim, but was continually distracted by Alex tugging on the strap around my neck. I had to excuse us so we could have a little talk. I explained to Alex that Veronique was waaaay out of his league and he would never be able to keep her in the manner to which she is accustomed, and it would be better not to get too involved. “You’re heading for a heartbreak,” I warned him.
But Alex didn’t listen. And don’t think Veronique didn’t know the affect she was having on Alex. But Alex insisted, so I let the two of them talk for a while, Veronique flirting shamelessly, while poor Alex couldn’t think of a thing to say and just sort of nodded and grinned a goofy grin at everything she said. Finally, with a flourish of light from her flash, she offered for Alex to come up and see her sometime, but I had to put a stop to all that and told her that, no, Alex wouldn’t be seeing anyone.
Song stuck in my head: Don’t Turn Around by Ace of Base. Where did that song come from? From Alex. He’s been humming it all day long ever since we left Veronique at the party. He’s still mad at me about Veronique. Seriously, though, a woman like that isn’t going to go for a guy who lives in a lunch bag. I mean, really.
I tried playing the song on Youtube so I could sing along and get it unstuck. There I was, belting out every single word (how do I know all the words? When did that happen?) and Darling Husband came up behind me at the computer.
He said, “No way. You really do know all the words. I thought you were watching a video with lyrics on the screen.” Oh, no, monsieur. It was not a video with lyrics. The lyrics are all in my head. Right here, people, in my steel trap mind. All the words. Ace of Base. Lucky, lucky me.