A few weeks ago, Jimmy and I elected to drive to Java Jungle in downtown Reno. Arttown was still going on and we had not been out and about much. Jimmy was working a lot and so was I. So, our social time had been limited to passings-by now and again. It was time and it was good to be out.
It was too warm for coffee, so I elected to have an iced tea, black of course. I got there a bit before Jimmy and had the Girl sitting next to me on the bench, watching the world go by. I noticed three squids (motorcycle riders who are/think-they-are racers) BS’ing at another table. They were telling war stories of various kinds.
Jimmy showed up, got his coffee, and sat down. We were chatting and people-watching when a beautiful young woman walked along the sidewalk outside the Java Jungle seating area.
“Get your camera ready…” Jimmy said, “I saw her up the street a bit ago.
“She’s gorgeous… and I only have the normal lens on my camera.”
The squids called out to her — not the catcall I expected, but asked her “Do you want a ride?” She gave them this stunning big smile and her demeanor was of the naive.
“I have no pants,” she said, and I immediately recognized that she was not a native English speaker.
“What’s that accent?” I asked Jimmy.
“It sounds like Ukrainian or Belorussian to me.”
The squids continued to talk her up and she clearly wanted a ride. There was a spare helmet and jacket and they found her some gloves, but no pants. So, she tucked her skirt under her butt when she climbed aboard.
“I hope he doesn’t scare her,” I looked at Jimmy.
“He probably will…” was Jimmy’s dry reply.
“She seems a bit naive to me,” I looked at Jimmy.
“She’s not,” he replied, “It’s part of the European woman package. They have a deep sense of who they are and they present themselves well.”
I watched her ride off with the motorcyclist. He appeared to be taking it easy on her — he made an easy turn onto the street and didn’t goose the bike on the takeoff. They were gone a few minutes and then returned. Jimmy was shooting away, having a zoom on his camera. I just watched. Her friend/handler arrived and they sat down. Then she came over to our table.
“You shoot a lot of pictures,” she said.
“It’s street photography,” I chimed in.
“What is ‘street photography?'” she asked. So we explained about the fun of wandering about looking for interesting things, people, and actions.
“Where are you from? Belarus?”
“Lithuania,” she smiled. Jimmy grinned and introduced me as ‘Dr. Dave,’ as he always does.
“Did he scare you,” I asked.
“A little,” she smiled, “but not too bad.”
Sometime during the conversation, one of us mentioned how beautiful she was. “All the girls are pretty in Lithuania,” she responded.
I have no idea whether that is true or not. But, Angelica has much more than just good looks. She has poise, intelligence, and carries herself with confidence and a kind of innocence. It was a pleasure to meet her and the capture is one of my favorites.
Jimmy asked for her email address to send her some of the captures. I looked over to her friend/handler and said “I bet this happens quite a lot.” He looked back at me, shrugged, and grinned.
I enjoy these chance encounters. When I remember to get an informal portrait, they are even better. I MUST learn to ask for the shot when I have these conversations with people I meet. I don’t know what it is about me that prevents me from asking. But I have to get over that.