'Susie' (#538) 03-08-14

I consider ‘Susie’ one of my best efforts. She was a very reluctant subject.

While walking on a sidewalk three blocks from my home, the path was extremely crowded. A restaurant had outdoor seating, undercover. I saw ‘Susie’ eating with a friend and her hat really caught my eye. The area was too crowded, and I am very reluctant to approach someone at a restaurant, lest the owner feel that I am harassing customers. So I continued on.

Several minutes later, the two of them were walking my way, almost upon me. They were so close that I hurried ahead and reversed course, so that I could approach them head on. Always when I give up on a person, but later have a second chance, I feel obliged to ask for a portrait. Call it fate, Karma, or whatever, I have become rather metaphysical about this. Someday I’ll get ambitious and start a discussion string about this.

Anyway, when I explained 100 Strangers and asked to meet her, she crinkled her face and asked, “What???”. She looked like I was some kind of a deviant. Worse, she had walked half a step past me and looked back over her shoulder. I have found this body language to be the kiss of death. But I repeated the request. She looked at her friend, shrugged, and said “I guess so.” As a clicked, she said with a horrified look, “Are you going to give my name?” I said. “I don’t even know your name. You could lie to me.” Still she looked uncomfortable. I said, “I know, you’re name is Susie. Hello Susie!” This finally broke the ice and I got the shot. Susie’s friend seemed amused by the entire episode.


Her clothing was bright yellow, and it had been the yellow hat that caught my eye. My plan was to leave the image in color. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get a good background, and the colors on the right side of the frame were awful.

They are from Massachusetts, and were there during December and January. It was the coldest that they ever remembered, and I think that they had been around a while. :-)

Amazingly, we parted friends – sort of. I still don’t know her real name.