Lily and Scotty, Ritzville 3

 

Zion Philadelphia United Church of Christ

Zion Philadelphia United Church of Christ

I first saw Lily and Scotty walking hand in hand getting the morning air and the thought occurred to me that they might make an interesting couple to photograph. However, I had the historic Zion Philadelphia United Church of Christ with its unusual ball tower and spire as that morning’s objective. Just as I was finishing Lily and Scotty reappeared  walking by on their way home. I introduced myself and said that I would like to photograph them. She told me that they lived just down from the church and invited me to come with them to see their gardens but cautioned that they were in dire need of weeding.  She told me that they were both 77 but she looked and acted much younger to me.

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Lily

 

Scotty was very quiet; he followed along, sat wherever and whenever he could and wore a big tag with his name and address. Lily was quite voluble. We spent some time in the garden while she chatted on about the old house (early 20th century) and grounds. The porch and yard were the home of a few children’s toys, sundry gardening tools and a bicycle or two.

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Scotty

We then went into her house. Lily was quite proud of the original woodwork and other features and pointed them all out. Their home was very definitely lived in and housed three generations with various family members that walked in and out looking for food or misplaced possessions. The members who were not walking about were proudly displayed in many different photographs. I was there for nearly an hour. She is a native Haida and quite proud of her ancestry. Her uncle (I believe) was a tribal leader. As she showed off her house, she introduced me to her granddaughter, and made me feel as if I was an old family friend.

Then nothing would do but she had to take me across the street to meet her neighbor Darrel a retired Boeing engineer. His place was very neatly maintained. We talked of his old auto restoration projects and engaged in the general chitchat of newly introduced people. Lily was quite proud of him as a neighbor. They both agreed that the church carillon was severely off key but played loud and long regardless.

Darrel

Darrell

 

This article has 6 comments

  1. Gene

    Hey, Skip. When I saw the title of the post I figured Lily and Scotty was a four-corner intersection in Ritzville. Then I opened it up and saw the portraits. What I think you got there is what Diane Arbus could have been if she wasn’t looking only for the depressing, bleak and injured people in her world. Love to see more of your people photographs. I am still humbled by your work. -Gene

    1. Skip Smith

      I feel certain that she is Haida. She showed me pictures of her family, and had this special painting done for her uncle. And yes, she is a long, dry way from home!

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Please send me an email for general inquiries, friendly hello's, or to contact me for print purchase. All pieces are available. Thank you for your interest! –Skip