[photo post] Thanksgiving Urbex, Part 1 + A Flower Man

At the time of this writing, the sun is just about to disappear over the western hills of Kingsport, TN. It’s about 4:30 and I’m hanging out at the dining room table at my parents’ house. It’s my first holiday home in almost a decade (if not a full decade). Dinner is later tonight and I’m excited. If it won’t be a new tradition, it’s at least a welcome change from my current day-to-day in Knoxville.

I had a few beers with my uncle at Sleepy Owl Brewery and Model City Tap House last night before having a hash brown night cap at a Waffle House around 10:30. When I woke up this morning, the sun had barely peeped over the horizon. It wasn’t even 7AM. I decided to throw my clothes on from last night, strap my camera over my shoulder and hit downtown for some Golden Hour shots of my home.

I roamed a few of the main drags but mostly stuck to the alleys between them. I’ve been through there several times before but there’s always something new for me to capture. So that’s what I did. Everything except the selfie was captured with my 24mm lens. The selfie was done with my iPhone.

If you want to see more photos high-res style, check them out on my Flickr feed. Otherwise check these out or follow me on Instagram. As always, thanks for having a look. Below is a story about the Flower Man.

In addition to it being Thanksgiving, it’s also my mom’s birthday. She’s working and we’re celebrating tonight. I can’t wait to see her.

On my way home from my photo session, I pulled in to the local Food City to buy her some flowers. I grabbed up two dozen roses and struggled to hold them together since my hands were still numb from the blistering cold I’d just spent two hours walking around in. When I got to the check out, the sweet cashier started speaking to me and a minute later her bag boy — a hunched over, short gentleman; older but not OLD; Pushing 60 I’m guessing — came over to help out.

The cashier and I talked about how cold it was outside. She then brought James into the conversation — “James, aren’t those beautiful?”

James studied them closely. Probably five or six very uncomfortable seconds passed before he said anything.

James: Well…I mean…I think a T-Bone steak would look a little better if it were me.

Cashier: (polite laughter)

Me: Honestly, James, I’d say the same if it were me, too. But they’re not for me or you — they’re for my mom. Today is her birthday.

James: It is!? Well how old is she?

Cashier: (condescending look toward James)

Me: How old? She’s 19.

James: 19!? I thought he said his MOM!

Cashier: He did! He said they’re for his mom and she’s 19 why is that so hard to understand?

Me: I can’t explain it, James. No one can. When your mom is forever young that just happens.

James: Well, honestly, my birthday sometimes falls on Thanksgiving — around every four years or so — it’s the 26th and I hate it.

Cashier; Me: (blank stare)

James: You get together with family and you’ve already got cakes and pies coming and it’s hard to tell who’s celebrating what. And I just don’t like it.

Me: Well, my mom is going to have a pleasant night tonight with her family whether it’s Thanksgiving or not. A lot of it is all in how you interpret things, I guess.

James: (silence)

Me: Happy early birthday, James. Y’all have a happy Thanksgiving!


James was weird. Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry I bought your birthday flowers from a weirdo. Happy birthday either way!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s