50 Strangers #5

 With the posting of the 5th portrait it has only now occurred to me the enormity of this project . At this pace it will end sometime in early September . I am so excited because of the challenge , now that DeeDee and I have broken the shyness barrier , the task that now lies ahead is to continue to present quality portraiture in fresh and creative ways , we embark on an artistic adventure . 

     We stand and watch the flow of people descending the steep stairs down to river street , and I can assure you that steep is not an exaggeration . After that there is the sloping street that runs to the river . Most call them cobble stones but in truth they were ballast stones removed from ships entering the historic port . Even the young with the best of shoes have a difficult time navigating the odd shapes . Fashionistas border on comical as they try in their high heels , it would be out right hilarious  if it didn't appear that we were just waiting for the next sprained ankle or fall . 

      It was coming down these stairs that I first spotted this young man , accompanied by family I instantly knew that he would be an interesting portrait . Built like a bull , forearms defined with muscle , wide in the shoulders he walked with a presence . I told my wife I want HIM !! She wobbled across the awkward street and approached the family . We have faced some skepticism when we approach people out of the blue . This time his mother instantly asked "why my son , what do you want to photograph him for" she was being a mama bear even if he was a full grown grizzly . As I waited by the equipment I saw hand waving in animated conversation then they turned and stated my way . We got him I thought . I extended my hand to welcome him " Hi I'm Bob Gala" his reply "They call me MAZE" what a great guy "O.K what do you want me to do" was his question , so relaxed and if I could be a bit cliched comfortable in his own skin . From just the short time I didn't learn a lot about him , but I can say this, Maze is a guy I'd pick for my team any day . Hello Maze Melendez , I'm Bob Gala photographer and it's been my pleasure to meet you .

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