[66/100 Strangers]: Carolyn

Portrait of Carolyn, Stranger 66 of 100, an eighty year old woman wearing tassel earrings and a sequined blouse.

[66/100 Strangers]: Carolyn

Carolyn, 66/100 of my strangers, had applied her lipstick and was waiting for me to take her photo right after I finished with her friend Tex, my stranger No.65.

She slid down to the opposite side of the bench from Tex, and I followed her so I could isolate her for a portrait. Carolyn was with two friends outside the entrance to the Albuquerque Rail Yards Market. They had purchased some fire roasted corn and were greatly anticipating eating it. They had to wait for it to cool down so it would not burn their mouths.

Carolyn, is another octogenarian. She moved to New Mexico from Arkansas in 1986.

“I love it here,” she said. “I made a decision, once and for all, to give my asthma a break. The high altitude makes breathing easier for me. I wish I’d come here years earlier. I’ve made lots of good friends here, too,” she said, gesturing to her companions.

I told Carolyn I was glad that she had found a route to better health by moving to Albuquerque. I mentioned how ironic it was that I had met another stranger, through this very project, who recently moved to Florida to be at sea level. It was too hard to breathe at high altitude with one lung (after lung cancer treatments). And still another person came to mind who I had met at the very same market on a different day. She had told me, “I moved to Albuquerque 30 years ago and have been trying to leave to go to Michigan ever since.”

“Right, it’s that Land of Enchantment versus Land of Entrapment business,” Carolyn said. “Well there is another reason I like it here. I like the people. Anglos, Blacks…Latinos, and Indians deal with each other better here than in the South. I look around and see a rainbow of faces here [the Rail Yards Market]. I like it this way.”

Carolyn falls on the side of this being Land of Enchantment.

One response to “[66/100 Strangers]: Carolyn

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