The Art - Photography

The Performer

Aaron always had a good bit of the perfomer in him, and took it on the streets eventually. Our apartment was on a street that had a lot of pedestrian traffic, including individuals coming and going from the MARTA station, and, at the end of the work day, employees walking home or returning to their cars they'd parked on side streets. Aaron had come up with a short routine and would greet them, communicating with them much like a clown in an effort to raise a smile. Me? In order to not be in the way, but looking out for him, I would stand in our building's entry and keep an eye on things, and somewhere on my computer I have a film I made of him greeting people. As far as I recollect--and I think my memory is on target as I would have been immediately by his side if I saw any cause for concern--all were receptive, no one ever rebuffed him, though some might take a moment to catch on, and there were certainly those who were simply more engaged with his act than others. He was never given any trouble, and he loved doing it. He had no fear at all. Midtown was his community, he had grown up in Midtown, and he was connecting with that community. His costume was always a pair of plaid pants, a striped shirt, red hood with black material cloaking his face, and a black top hat. These photos were taken on different days outside the brick front of the apartment building, and the shingled rear of it, on a day when the landlord was cleaning up from removing a tree, and also in one of the empty apartments in which Aaron was allowed to explore while the landlord was painting it.

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