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Tourist Towns

Georgia and South Carolina tourist cities are cosmopolitan oases in America’s Deep South. Visitors travel from around the world to enjoy the area’s charm and history. Rarely do they see the everyday, behind-the-scenes lives of those who make their beds, prepare their food, and work in and run the attractions they enjoy.

Sightseers spend time shuffling from one camera spot to another, grabbing a quick snapshot of the things that earlier generations created and built. Then, they race to a local shop for souvenirs or a restaurant for a quick bite, not realizing they have become participants in the feel and dynamism of the cities they visit.

This project is a panorama of the people, local and exotic, in the streets and attractions in America’s Southeast. It explores the visitors, the places and events they attend, and those who make their livings in the tourist trades.

Here are selected images from that project.


Essence – A House on 43rd

Photographer Bernice Abbot once said that you are “photographing people when you’re photographing a city… You don’t have to have a person in it… It’s an intensely immersive human subject.” The same is valid for photographing a house. The essence and heart of earlier inhabitants can be seen and felt in the architecture and artifacts they leave behind.

Margie and Weldon Robbins lived in a post-war, 1948, stick-built home. They were part of the Greatest Generation, one couple in the millions who lived through and served during the tumultuous years of World War Two. After their passing, their house is scheduled for renovation, and with it, elements of the culture of their time will pass on, too. This records how it looked in 2023, three years after their deaths.

Following are a few images of that home.

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Faces of Panama 1998

It is said the Canazas is authentic Panama.  If you want to experience the country at its core, visit the Canazas area.  I agree.  The population of the village is mostly Mestizo people who are a mixture of Spanish and Native American.  The Ngobe speak their native language along with Spanish, a necessity for commerce.  In the jungle there are many villages where Ngobe is the only language, making communication with outsiders difficult.

I was shooting pictures for a team of doctors and dentists who were organized by a mission group from Savannah, Georgia.  At this time, 1998, the village is supported by the Santa Rosa gold mine.  Protests were organized as a weekly occurrence by the chief of the Ngobe people. Pronounced, “un-gobe” they are often referred to as the Guaymi tribe.  I will learn later that the mine management would close it down to pacify the locals, only to reopen many years later when gold prices soared.

Following are images of that project.