straight faced kindness

January 27, 2015 - single portrait

when i stepped into “fat freddy’s” bar and diner in jackson, california, by noon it was dark inside. only a few figures at the bar were drinking beer. nobody seemed to notice me. but as soon as i seated myself and studied the menue the barman slowly went to the end of the counter, grabbed a large and heavy folder and came over to my table. he placed the folder in front of me without any word or telling facial expression. he slowly went back behind the bar near the window and started observing the street again. i opened the folder which was old and dirty. it was filled with postcards from customers all over the world. i found a couple from germany, england, france, nearly every state of the u.s., a bunch from all around asia, even one from singapore. i looked through the whole folder, read what people had written on them. they sent greetings from their homes, told about their travels and good memories of fat freddy’s and the tasty chilli dog or sausages they had. i ordered fries and diet coke from an elder woman named debbie. after i had finished my lunch and debbie poured me another coke, carlos slowly came over again, took the folder and asked me where i was from and what i am doing in the u.s. he wanted me to send a postcard from my home and i agreed. when i asked him if debbie was his wife he made a phew-sound: “god thanks, no. never been married, too much trouble.” i took my chance and asked him for a picture. after his face was all straight so far he started to smile and placed himself behind the bar, the place he probably spends most of his remaining lifetime i assume.

› tags: 100strangers / california / canon 5d / digital / jackson / portrait / usa /


  1. Love the story Trill. He looks like one not much interesting to pose for a portrait or to say more about him. Different ppl different expreddions.

  2. Dawn Copley says:

    hey Trillian ! This is a great story too! Whenever I get the chance , I try to read a couple of pictures of strangers and stories from your site with Ijon. It is a great site ! I love reading of your travels ! Maybe one day you can come and visit some crazy strangers in Mississippi , USA!!! I promise the people here would not disappoint you !!

    • thank you, dawn. hope you can find the time to read all our stories and view the portraits. i am sure i would find interesting strangers in mississippi as well, because i thing each person is unique and interesting. there are no uninteresting people in this world 🙂

  3. Dawn Copley says:

    Hey Trill – yes , I too agree with you ! There are not any uninteresting people !!! I dream of being to travel just half as much as you , but I try my best to meet and talk with as many lovely people as I can. The camera , I am finding sometimes makes things easier. I can’t wait until my pictures are to my liking. I may add a Stranger to you and Ijon’s site too! I do also hope we meet face to face one day ! What fun ! Trill – I saw a man trying to hike up the frozen waterfall at Niagra Falls today to set a record. It made me think about you climbing ! This guy is freezing ! You, don’t even think about it !

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