Best Shot Monday: Friends and Strangers Project, Sherwin

Next up in my Friends and Strangers project, meet Sherwin! Having an on-line creative business, I make regular trips to the post office to mail orders. Jacksonville's main post office is close to my campus, so most often that's where I go. I've found all the staff there to be very welcoming and friendly, but Sherwin has always stood out to me. I've wanted to catch his photo for a while, but most often when I'm in there, there's a line of people so I don't want to interrupt. Thankfully one day last week, I dropped in to mail a package on an afternoon that wasn't quite so busy.

Sherwin was born into a military family in Texas and through the military, his family ended up in Jacksonville by way of Norfolk, Virginia, when he was in kindergarten. He's been in Jacksonville ever since. I have to admit, I was shocked to hear how old he was because he certainly wears his age well (much like my good friend Walter)!  He's been with the Postal Service for 20 years, so I'll let you do the math.  Thank you, Sherwin, for your always excellent service, positive attitude, and welcoming smile.  Those of you in Jacksonville, stop in to the main post office on Kings Rd. and say hello!

I've been enjoying this project. It's a been a challenge to capture the "strangers" portion as it truly is pretty daunting to ask a stranger if you can take his picture. I've been turned down often. Heck, I've even been turned down by friends who don't want me to photograph them!  Even though I see Sherwin at the post office every visit, it was still a bit frightening to ask.  Recently I finished reading a book a blog reader, Carol, recommended to me after seeing this series of posts.  The book is called In the Neighborhood:  The Search for Community on an American Street One Sleepover at a Time, by Peter Lovenheim.  From Carol's email address, I'm guessing she's from Rochester, NY, and the setting for this book is Brighton, just outside of Rochester.  I really enjoyed the book, and it's encouraged me to reach out to more of my own neighbors, so I hope to start including them in this project.  Our street shares some similarities to the Sandringham Road of the book, not necessarily because we don't feel the need to talk with each other, but rather the nature of the street makes it more of a challenge. We live on Heckscher Drive, essentially AIA, a heavily traveled state road with no sidewalks.  We know all our immediate neighbors and have many times helped out our elderly neighbor directly next door, but beyond our little cluster, we don't really know our neighbors. I'm hoping to change that soon, thanks to Carol's inspiration.

Happy Labor Day to you all!  Sherwin and I are enjoying our day off!  I hope you are, too! See more Friends and Strangers project posts here

1 comment:

Melody said...

Wow, he does look way too young to have been working anywhere for twenty years.
I'm really enjoying this series.