Filling The Shoes

Robert Frank's shoes under glass at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York
Robert Frank’s shoes under glass at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York

You can’t expect to walk away from your house for a month and not be overloaded when you return. The mundane stuff piles up. Cleaning the gutters, raking the leaves and getting the garlic in. We are about a month late on that last one. We put 140 cloves in this afternoon. Nowhere near the one thousand cloves our neighbor, Emily, put in. We picked the last batch of Pimientos de Padrón and had them with dinner. The plants just look exhausted but our greens – the lettuces and arugula are loving this 60 degree weather. We have a neighborhood get together this weekend and we should have no problem supplying a big bowl of salad.

I received an email from the photographer Fred Chance in Gloucestershire about the photo I took of Robert Frank’s shoes. I posted it along with a review of a Scott McCarney show at Writers & Books back in 2012. Fred wanted to know if he could use my photo in connection with a written project he is working on. He is hoping the use the shoes as a focus. I found the original photo and was able to improve it in PS Elements’ “Haze Removal.” The shoes were in a glass case when I photographed them. Of course I am letting him use the photo and I’m excited to see what he comes up with.

Interestingly, we kept seeing Robert Frank’s “The Americans” book in Spain and it was often displayed next to a book of vintage black and white photos call “The Italians.” Like Fred, I like the late Robert Frank work as much as or more than “The Americans.” We have five or six of those Steidl books, some given to us by Duane, and they are treasures. Funny thinking about Robert Frank in these shoes (if they indeed were his). Frank is a bit of a prankster but these look like bowling shoes. Maybe he went bowling while in Rochester and wore the shoes right out of the alley.

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