Tuesday, November 19, 2019

"With his eyes still closed, he depressed a plunger, initiating the exposure, a minute and thirty seconds long.

A man in olive-green work pants and a matching shirt approached with a clipboard. 'Ranch security,' he said briskly. 'Sir, I need you to pack it up and leave immediately.'

'Could I have one minute?'

'No, you need to leave now.'

“I’m really sorry. You couldn’t give me a minute?”

'You’re not supposed to be here,' the guard said. 'It’s posted. You don’t even have permission to be on the property photographing.'

Cooper began to wheedle, stalling. 'I didn’t mean to bother anybody,' he said. 'Come look at what I’m looking at. Come look—look, look, look, look. Give me one minute. Have a look.'

The guard was steadfast, miffed. 'It doesn’t matter whether you’re photographing for the Blue Room or the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House,' he said. 'You need to respect private-property rights. There’s rules.' Cooper didn’t move. 'You know, I’m about to lose it, sir,' the guard said. 'I’m going to call the sheriffs and you’re going to get a twelve-hundred-dollar fine.'

Cooper waited a moment longer, as the exposure finished, and then said, 'Thank you very much! Would you like to look? It’s not much, but it might make you smile.' The guard remained unsmiling. 'I’m not trying to be silly,' Cooper said. 'We’re from Scotland.'

'You’re Scottish?' the guard said, almost under his breath. 'So am I.' Cooper apologized again; the guard apologized for doing his job. Then he asked about the camera. He, too, was an 'analog redneck,' he said. He offered to carry the camera back to the car."

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