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Not Taking Your Picture

Yesterday, I was out taking a few pictures and decided to drop by RD Seafood for a fish sandwich. RD, located in Elkridge, looks like a food truck, but it’s a trailer and it’s in the same exact place every day. The food is pretty good, especially the aforementioned fish sandwiches, even if their default bread choice seems to be a bun and not white bread. They must be good, as they’re always sold out of whiting when I show up.

After I placed my order, I went back to the car and grabbed my camera. The order was going to take 5-10 minutes, so I figured I’d get a few shots of Washington Blvd and Troy Hill while I waited. I’m still getting back into the swing of shooting again and it felt good to just have the camera in my hand again. I walked over to the edge of the property. As I did, a small car turned onto the property and did a circle, ending up facing me. The driver didn’t stop too close, but I could see him looking at me the whole time. As he got out, he said something inaudible. “Excuse me,” I said as he approached me.

“May I help you?” he asked.

“I just ordered some food, may I help you?” I asked him back.

That was the planned answer. I’m long used to being asked by a certain type of person why I’m in any particular place. I’ve experienced that many times in my life, especially in and around Baltimore. Plus, this was in Howard County. Some might scoff at the notion because it’s Elkridge, but it’s still Howard County and my presence has certainly been questioned more than a few times in Howard. It’s perhaps not as bad as White Marsh or Essex over in Eastern Baltimore County, but I did notice the one or two houses on Loudon Ave where the Confederate battle flag and the Gadsdon Flag both fly from time to time.

“Oh, no. It’s just that I get photographers in here taking pictures of my trailer,” he said, “from Grubhub and places like that, taking pictures, then they want to charge me $200 and stuff.”

“Ohhhhhh, I’m not here for that,” I said, gesturing as if to throw away that idea. “Just taking a couple of pictures of Troy Hill while I’m waiting for my food.” Which I was. I’d been looking catty corner down Washington Blvd. as he approached me.

He walked back towards his car. I only noticed only as he walked away that his shirt had a logo with the name of the place printed on it.

In the end, I’m glad it was just a minor misunderstanding. I didn’t see the store’s logo on the front of his shirt. I don’t think there was one. He also didn’t specifically identify himself as the owner, or a manager, perhaps thinking that just asking if he could help me would be enough for me to have figured out who he was. Still, with my order having already been taken, a guy walking up to me not appearing to be with the restaurant, and having lived in a “Permit Patty” world, long before there ever was a name for it, I wasn’t sure what was going on. So far as I knew, he was some guy from the area who didn’t approve of my presence there for one reason or another. Thankfully his concern was just the camera and not wanting to deal with somebody looking to out him a couple bills. I get that. Many folks in this area are out here hustling hard.

After I snapped a few pictures, my sandwich was done. I picked it up and went around the corner to Troy Hill Park to eat it. Snapped a few pictures around there, too. My only regret was not using my telephoto lens when I was shooting in front of DR. I could have gotten a closer pic of this plane on approach to BWI-TM.

Writer, et. al.

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