Friday, May 15, 2009

Small town gathering place

Where's Old Man King?
Dry Ridge, KY, December 2008

This bench is reserved for Tom King, otherwise known as Old Man King. We were just passing through this small Kentucky town, so we didn't have the chance to hang around outside the convenience store that overlooks the gas bar and, across the parking lot, this old house. Otherwise, we might have met this obviously locally famous gentleman.

So I took this picture instead, confident that his absence from the frame took nothing away from his influence over this place - or over us as we continued our journey.

Your turn: This is another contribution toward Thematic Photographic's human-themed week. I warned you it would be different! Got anything different of your own to share? If so, please head here.


PastormacsAnn said...

I'd imagine this sign is for you Out-of-Towners.

The locals probably know that this is Tom King's spot.

invisible said...

It being Kentucky, and it being America, it is probably different than this scenario, but......
Old Man King is a small statured old black man, who has always carried himself with a dignity that transcends his surroundings.
He has always commanded the respect of those around him, even in the South, even in the bad old days.
Today even the hard eyed gang-bangers will take off their hats and address him as Sir,or Mr. King.
The old white men who voted against Obama because of his colour
will defer to Mr. King and treat him as an equal or even a superior.
He always has a table at the local diner, and never pays to get in to the local football game or rodeo.
He has been married to the same wonderful woman for fifty years and his kids have all graduated from university and have careers in the big city.

While they do not call him Mr. Tibbs, they do call him Mr. King

Monica said...

That sign seems like the guy just wants to make sure he has a spot to wait in when he arrives to wait for the bus. But I might have hung around just to satisfy my curiosity.

Btw, Tanya sent me. Hi!

Catherine said...

I'd love to know the story behind that one!

Mhairi said...

I wonder what Tom looks like. This is a thought provking picture. BTW Netchick sent me.

Cloudia said...

Big fish,
small pond.


Unknown said...

This is a great find. an "everyman" sort of feel to it.

Roman said...

I think Klaatu's right. I think it's THAT Tom King that the sign is referring to, but who knows? It might be a local dude who just likes to save his spot on a bench. Not a bad idea if you ask me. there are a lot of benches around town I wish I had reservations at. Hehe.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A well taken and thoughtful picture.

NetChick sent me.

sage said...

Great photo--so many possibilities, did he post the sign or his "friends"?

Marda said...

Hi Carmi,

How very serene and dependable.
I'd love to sit on that bench with Tom for a whole day. He probably has some interesting stories.

Mojo said...

I had the same question as Sage... did he post the sign, or was it posted for him? In Small Town America (and probably Small Town Everywhere) the Local Big Shot is a pretty common theme. Could be that's what's going on here too. I think I'd have to have asked somebody about this one, even if Mr. King wasn't around to answer the question himself. Somebody -- probably everybody -- knows the story behind this sign.

But even Mr. King would have a problem getting a reservation in this crowd:

Thematic Photographic 49: "Human" v.3.0