Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Couple Dancing, Harry's Tinaja, Alpine, TX
I love to study this girl's face. What does her expression convey? Shyness? Embarrassment at being photographed? Loving the attention - loving that the photographer picked her as a subject - unable to restrain a smile of delight at the inherent compliment? Shy, and embarrassed, and loving the attention all at the same time? If she's embarrassed, exactly what is she embarrassed about? Does she believe she is unworthy of being photographed? Is she embarrassed about her dancing? Embarrassed about her end of a long day sweaty hair?
Is that a ring on his finger, slipping down towards his knuckle? The couple is sunburned. Could they be on their honeymoon? Or, is the couple on a date? Have then been hunting? Riding around in an open jeep? Are they a married couple who have been working in their yard all day? Planting a vegetable garden? Watching a nephew play in a Little League game?
I really like this couple. If they are not married, I hope they get married and have a wonderful life together.
This is a classic American photograph. You can see this type of couple in almost any small town in America. And I always do see these couples when I drive: all over Texas, in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana. Everywhere. All those couples are part of what attracts me to the photo of the Harry's Tinaja couple.
This girl is attractive and desirable. I can't decide if she knows it. One time I look at this, and think: she totally knows it! J'accuse! The next time, I think: she doesn't know it. She wants to think she is attractive and desirable, but she just won't allow herself to believe it. Every time I stumble across this in my photo cache, I have a different opinion about what the girl's face is communicating. It's part of the attraction of the photo. Today: I think she knows it. Totally.
Photos of Harry's Tinaja. Harry is an immigrant from, I believe, Germany. I've no idea how he selected Alpine, TX as his American home.
Alpine is beautiful: rugged, mountains in the distance, miles of sky in every direction. Alpine is a couple hours from El Paso, and maybe an hour from Mexico.
Alpine resident Hugh MacLeod is a big time marketing bigshot, and now a budding artist. He grew up in England, has worked in London, Chicago, New York. He says: "Texas has the least racial prejudice of any place I've ever lived." That's easy for me to believe about a place like Alpine, or about any towns which are within a couple hours of the border, and which have been infused with (or actually founded by) Mexicans since the first moment of the towns' existences. Good people. You can see lots of good Alpine people in the photos of Harry's.