Good People: Uncle Porter – Elder

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He built half of the house he lives in with his own hands.  At 95, a World War II vet of the Army Corps of Engineers, he still drives and puffs the occasional cigarette.  He grows his own tomatoes and walks where his wheels won’t take him.   It’s the 21st century and he still burns his trash.  I remember when the white hairs on his head was a dark red and when he wore a Kangols instead of ball caps.  But more than anything I’m happy that he’s still here, that he kept the words I wrote for a birthday in a frame, and that he can still laugh at himself.  I’m glad that I took these shots and recorded some of his stories for the lens and mic.   He’s gone from farm boy to living history, and I hope to document as much of the road he’s traveled as I can.

Karriem Riggins: Alone/Together

While folks always remember the hits, it tends to be the “working” producer who has the most longevity in music.  Karriem Riggins is not only a seasoned jazz drummer who has played for folks all over.  He’s also been working with artists like Common, Madlib and Erykah Badu since the turn of the millennium.  Today I’m listening to his Alone/Together compilation.  Check out this well-directed clip “Summer Madness” below:

Salt and Pepper

Art is not easy.  Whether it’s creating it or getting the world to give a damn about what you made, the path of the creator comes with a price tag that often includes poverty, scrutiny, turbulence and instability.  The artist has to live in the moments: some past.  Others present and future.  It is our moments that get us through the rest of it.

For inspiration I look at a guy like actor Michael K. Williams, star of both HBO’s The Wire and Boardwalk Empire.  His price came with a blade slash across his face in some bar one night.  It came in the form of drug addiction.  It came in the form of being typecast and pigeon-holed.  He had to grey before he got there.  Maybe I do too.