“God Does Crap”

A number of years ago, during a stint of unemployment, I was assisting a friend, a still-life photographer out in his Brooklyn studio. One day, after a day’s shoot, we went into Manhattan to drop off the film and while we waited for it to be processed by the lab, we had dinner and drinks. For reasons that escape me, we had a lot of drinks. We drank well into the early morning. On our walk up the Bowery at about 3AM, both of us heading home, we crossed  Bleecker Street. I looked up ahead and under the glowing light of a street lamp, I immediately recognized the shock of white-gray hair walking towards us. “What to do?”, I thought. There he was. A 36 roll pack of toilet paper on his shoulder and his other hand was clutching a plastic bag. As we got closer, I wanted to acknowledge his presence. I nodded slightly. So slightly he didn’t acknowledge it back. I wanted to say something and also take a photograph. I fumbled. I was too inebriated.

As we passed, I turned and saw that he turned around the corner towards where I knew he lived.

I said to my friend, “Do you know who that guy was we just passed?”

He said, “The guy with all the toilet paper?”

I said “Yes.”

My friend,”Who?”

I said, “That was Robert Frank.”

My friend stopped dead, “No??!!!”.

I said, “Yup. God does crap. Apparently a lot.”

Published by Keith Goldstein

Photographer, husband, dad, and passionate cyclist. Lives and works in New York City.

3 thoughts on ““God Does Crap”

  1. Great story, Keith. I have one (rather less dramatic and theological) like that about Joel Meyerowitz. One day, in the early 2000s, I’m walking down Broadway around 96th street when I see a guy ahead of me on the sidewalk with one of the new digital Leicas hanging off him. Curious, I asked him how he liked it. He raved about it, the size and quality of the files he got and how he’d been using Leicas for I forget how many years. I thanked him and we both continued on our separate ways. But it struck me he looked kind of familiar and when I got home I started looking through books and ultimately online till I confirmed it – that was Joel Meyerowitz I’d casually asked about his Leica!

  2. Connected world… Legendary Vancouver street photographer Fred Herzog (that inspired so, so many) has passed away. Chances are, you’ve seen and admired his work @equinoxgallery
    Smiles Hedy ☺️

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: