My grandfather, Jerry P. Simmons, was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He’s a simple yet complicated man with a bad sense of humor, usually only finding something funny if it involves someone tripping or hurting themselves in a clumsy way. His sunglasses are his prized procession; never, I repeat, NEVER touch them or misplace them whatsoever. I had to learn the hard way a while ago, after being a dumb kid and stealing them for the afternoon to play outside with friends. That sure was a moment we’d never forget. He eventually forgave me after several weeks though, so everything’s back to normal now. Being the oldest of three brothers, he was raised with the morals of being a leader and the protector of his family. He is the quiet man in the corner who observes and watches his family laugh and have fun, while he remains content just to be in our presence. He enjoys a nice cold glass of whiskey on the rocks, and sips it quietly at family gatherings. I snapped this photo of him the other night at my aunt’s house. He usually hates having pictures taken of him, but as I looked at the nearing bottom of his whiskey glass, I strutted towards him nonetheless. I snapped the picture without a word, and he looked up at me and gave me a smirk. He drank the last sip of his whiskey, stood up and took a picture of me as well.
Story by Serrena Elkharrat
“I shot a priest today. And I’m going to get away with it. Hell, I might even get praised for it. It’s not often a man can say that without the promise of serious jail time or the fear of eternal damnation. But, as you know, it’s what I do. My clients expect a certain focused professionalism when I come to town, and I’m inclined to give them exactly what they want. Call it ‘job security’ if you will. Anyway, after so many years in the community, the school kids thought it was about time somebody shot her.”
“That’s quite the confession.”
“Yes, I suppose it is.”
“Does this mean you’ll shoot me next?”
“Tomorrow perhaps. What time could you be ready?”
“Early afternoon, I have some things to attend to in the morning. Does one-thirty work for you?”
“What should I wear? I mean, how should I dress?”
“Comfortably. In my experience, it always turns out best when my subject is comfortable. You know, one less thing on your mind.”
“I can’t tell you how excited I am! I’ve followed and admired your work for years. I’ve watched you capture humanity in such a beautiful way, time after time. So much compassion, so much dignity, so much truth. Finally, it’s me in front of your lens. Me through your viewfinder. Me…the way you see me. Thank you so very much.”
Story by Dan Bandel
People say I look a lot like him: the writer, the drug guy, the shooter. But I don’t know, I’ve never read him or seen a picture of him, don’t even know who he is.
Who are we talking about, sir?
I don’t know his name. Here, fetch me a cigarette, your presence is making me nervous.
I like your choice of shirt; it suits you.
I like horses, bought it off a guy who said it was meant for a cowboy.
You ever been a cowboy?
Don’t be stupid. I like the films, John Wayne and Jack Palance.
You could pass for one of those guys.
I think I look more like Jerry Lee.
Now that guy knew how to live.
He’s still alive.
Sir, when I pick up the camera I’d like you to think of someone.
Shall I lose the cigarette?
It’s up to you.
I’ll lose it. Okay, I’m ready.
Got someone in mind?
I have. So please take the picture.
Hunter S Thompson!
That’s not who I’m thinking of.
That’s who people think you look like.
Never heard of him. I’m thinking of a woman.
Good, someone you loved?
Not really, someone who’s long gone.
I won’t pry.
It’s affecting you. She must have been quite a woman.
Don’t go there, son.
I’ll take three pictures and we can pick the best one.
She was the perfect woman. Too good for me. So, she left. Now shoot!
Story by Alan McCormick