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I met Danny while shooting around town with some friends. He asked for some spare change, I said "I'm not going to give you money because I don't know what you'll spend it on, but I'll get you something to eat if you want." He accepted. To be completely candid here, I realized right then, that in my heart I was not happy to be going out of my way to do this. I simply did not want to be giving him money that might go towards drugs or booze. So off we went to a nearby McDonald's.
While he ate, we chatted about all sorts of things. Eventually it came up that in the past he was in the military, a marine, and that is how he ended up in Hawaii. He gave me some advice.
"If you ever join the Military, go into the Navy," he said. "Life at sea can be hell, but you'll see the world, and you won't see combat."
"Not the Marines? like you?" I said half jokingly.
"You ever seen the movie 'Full Metal Jacket'?" He asked.
"Sure. 'This is ma' rifle!'.." I recited in a stern tone.
"Hahaa, that's the one. Well, that is about as real as it gets."
"Yep. Navy boot camp is much easier. I remember we used to have guys sneak over to the Navy boot camp. Our Drill Sargent would say, "let 'em go be idiots!" They'd come back thinking they'd skipped the days work. Nope, that evening the Drill Sargent would make them do everything they'd missed!"
He told me a few other stories that, well, maybe I'll have to keep to myself. I'm glad I got to meet this man, it really made my day. It came very naturally to ask for his portrait before we parted ways. This was shot sitting next to the big glass window in the McDonald's. I took two exposures, guestimating the light, this is the second one shot at f/2 and 1/60th of a second. It was one of those times, that as I looked through the viewfinder and saw his expression change to this, I felt supremely confident, and the photo seemed to imprint in my mind at the same moment.
-Leica M3, 50mm Summicron DR
-Kodak Panatomic-X expired in 1980
-Developed in HC110 B for 4:45min
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