While shopping with my wife, in the neighborhood, I met this lovely woman, Mercedes. Turns out she’s originally from Nicaragua and has been living in the states since she was 18. She so appreciates this country and what it has done for her. She says she never would’ve had the opportunities like owning her own house, had she stayed in her home country.
The situation started, where she was getting back in her car, after shopping at the Sunset Super Market. She was giving me a friendly reminder, to not forget my 35mm Nikon camera, which was just sitting idly up on top of a News paper machine.
I had been taking test photos with my newest vintage film camera acquisition, The Nikon F2. We struck up a conversation in both Spanish and English. Ended up speaking mostly English, but she gave me such an invigorating story of gratitude about her life here in the USA.
She asked my name, I gave it to her, Paul Mansfield, I told her that I was a photographer. I asked her if I could take her photograph, she was more than happy to oblige me. As I was snapping my first photos with the Nikon F2, equipped with Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AI lens, she sadly told me, she has 3 forms of cancer happening to her, but that she’s ready to face her mortality. It’s her time she said. I admire Mercedes for her candidacy and openness, which makes taking someone’s picture all the more easier.
Her main sentiment was her gratitude of being allowed to live such a blessed life here in the states. She told me she live in her home on Taraval street. Hope I get to run into her again. I plan to have this roll of Black & White Ilford Delta Pro 400 film developed at The Darkroom.com. I’d like these photographs to be part of the neighborhood portraits series I’m currently shooting. & include it on my new business website Popzeit Arts & Edu. Would Love to give Mercedes a print as well.
July 4th, 2020
The Shire 🏡