What was I really doing?

This photograph, recently brought to my attention by Smogranch follower and long-time friend Eric Labastida, makes me wonder on several fronts. This was made in Tijuana WAY back in the day. I’m guessing 1996 or 1997.

You will often find me at the fringes, sitting with my journal and making notes. This part I get. But it appears like I’m wearing some kind of sportcoat, which really puzzles me. What was I doing? Why a sportcoat in TJ? I am wearing my favorite ALL TIME boots, Browning Featherweights, but back when the made them in dark, dark green Kangaroo hide. If they still made these boots I would buy piles of them. But alas, like most things I fall in love with…they went away.

Just looking at this image jarred something loose. I did a show in Tijuana. I did. All those years ago and I totally forgot about it. It was something like “Building Bridges.” A great space, great building but the show coincided with a huge soccer game. People still came. I can’t remember who else was in the show. I do remember I did HUGE prints, analog style. I can’t remember who printed them, poor bastard, it had to be Hell.

Well, whatever was going on it must have been okay. I’m still here.

I LOVE looking at old photographs.

9 Responses to “What was I really doing?”

  1. LionelB says:

    Browning still make green kangaroo leather boots. Maybe you just moved on. They say that memory is a process not of putting things in a cupboard and dragging them out some years later but the never ending production of new facsimiles of those things as each version (rapidly) turns to dust. Photographs do the cupboard thing. I suppose that is why they take us by surprise. You look as though you were in a place a million miles away. I wonder what the waiter was reflecting upon ?

  2. mike a says:

    I had a pair of those wonderful boots and yes they were awesome. I wore until there was nothing left.

  3. Young and idealistic. Good combo.

  4. Harold says:

    Photographs often hold more than just the contents of the frame. Memories can fill in many details. Words and pictures are coauthors of our history.

    I knew some browning boot fans… didn’t matter if it was a suit or shorts the boots were the footwear of choice. Cabela’s has the Kangaroo boots, according to their website.

  5. Jason Timmis says:

    Well it’s not like Eric found a pic of you hanging out in a tank top or anything :-)

    I had an Uncle pass away recently. He was a huge traveler and travel ‘snap shooter’. I’m in the process of going through what I estimate to be around 25,000 slides of his. The bulk are from around 1951 to the mid 1990’s (mostly Kodachrome from what I can tell) and some into 2000. The exercise has so far been very cool and intriguing.

    I don’t believe I am doing him any injustice to say the stand outs are mostly from luck but there is an ever growing amount of keepers developing….and I can see another book coming….”I was there – 50 years of travel”

    • Smogranch says:

      Jason,
      That is quite an archive. I would imagine you have a fantastic project and book on your hands, and something your family will really value. Keep them all, scan them all!

  6. Eric Labastida says:

    JESUS DaN! I just saw this post cause I google my name every now and again. (yeah, I do that, get over it,) Well let me jog your memory. The year was 1997. You were attending a fantastic exhibit of fine photographs made by that legendary photographer ERIC “EL CHINGON” LABASTIDA. Remember now? I know it might be a little fuzzy. I bet you also don’t remember the floor show afterwords?

    • Smogranch says:

      Eric,
      What show? I was there doing a show with Building Bridges. You were eating Chinese food and puking on Avenida Revolucion.

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