I'd like to introduce you to James Pringle and if there was ever a big man with a gentle spirit this was him . I first spotted James from across the square , I must have been at least 50 yards away . There he sat alone arms spread , it seemed as if they covered the bench from one end to the other . The late day sun shined through his ceiling of live oaks , their curtains of spanish moss hanging as it has forever . Walking in his direction I first heard this booming baritone voice " Lord Lord soon it will be fathers day " " The fathers day is coming " . I am certain that I've never heard a voice so big , so bold , deep and rich yet clear and on key . Then he repeated his chorus for the day "Lord Lord soon it will be fathers day" . Being it was the day before the American holiday that pays tribute to dad's it seemed appropriate , But as I later learned it was something of a much higher calling .
I introduced myself and told him of my 50 Strangers project and asked if he would mind if while we chatted I could photograph him " No No , not at all people always taking pictures here " . Around his neck hung an identification badge , James Pringle crafter , to his side a bunch of sweetgrass that he made into roses , hearts and other simple shapes that would appeal to the tourists now starting to emerge with the passing of the midday heat . With hands so big that their sheer size made one wonder of their power , it's with these that he wove the most intricate little trinkets , then out of nowhere "Lord Lord soon it will be Father's day "
We talked more, I asked "Do you know Walter or Ezekiel" ? "Well that Walter still around plays the blues ya know" his voice still leaving me amazed with it's deep tonality "Ezekiel , well that a sad story , they got him in one of those nursing homes , Last I heard he was trying to get back to playing that saxaphone" Then with hardly a breath in between he broke out that baritone voice and started another negro spiritual almost as if it were a tribute to his missing friend . I sat a bit surprised wondering a bit just how to act as he sang . It reminded me of a tune from "Showboat" , how I could remember something that was before I was born I don't know , but I did . Here is a taste of what was in my mind http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSzYRo9j7YM . Well so James Pringle , I'm Bob Gala photographer and it's been my pleasure to meet you