Kapa'a Cowboy, 1975

Kapa'a Cowboy, 1975

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When I went to photograph Kapaa Liquor and Wine, I misjudged the east-side sunset. I had arrived well before that perfect twilight moment when the indoor lights are just a few stops brighter than the soft glowing twilight outside. I started walking around town looking for an additional subject when I saw this guy stumble out of Betty's Bar and into a nearby alley. He took a leak, lit a cigarette, and turned. As I walked towards him carrying my camera case and tripod, I asked, "Okay to take your picture?" He shrugged, with his back to the wall he had just pissed on, and faced me squarely. As I set up my tripod and camera, he stood dead still, letting his cigarette burn, and didn't change his expression. I pulled the dark cloth over my head, focused, pressed the cable release, and exposed one 4 x 5 negative.

"Pau?"

"Pau. Thanks."

He stumbled down the alley and turned back toward Betty's. I usually carry a notebook to record the date and the subject's name--but I didn't get the cowboy's.

Anyone who can give me his name gets a free print.