And This is Where We Lived When We Lived in the City

Photograph by Jose Padua
He used to panhandle on Dupont Circle in the early 80s. That was where I’d get off from the subway at the end of the day when I worked at the Library of Congress, and he was one of the people I’d always stop to talk to before I made my way back home to Mt. Pleasant. This was during a brief period in the 80s when I would take a lot of photographs, and of course one day I happened to have my camera with me when I stopped to chat with him. That’s when I took this photograph. A couple of weeks later, when I had it developed, I gave him a copy. “Oh, that’s beautiful, man,” he said and he smiled more than I’d ever seen him smile before. Though, now that I think of it, maybe I had never seen him smile at all before then. He really seemed to like his portrait. He called himself “Om.”

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua

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