He was drumming on an instrument in his car when I asked if I could talk with him. “Sure. Do you mind if I finish working out this beat first?” He tapped rhythmically with concentration. Then he looked up and smiled. “I just got this. I ordered it from Brazil. It’s called a Pandeiro.”
"How is it different than a tambourine?"
"The way you play it. Samba." He played for me again, then let me try it.
"Is this what you do? Are you a drummer?"
"Yeah. I play in a band called Pink Martini."
I just learned of the death of Derek Rieth, percussionist for the Portland band, Pink Martini.
I met Derek through Humans of Portland back in February. (http://on.fb.me/XZYMbJ)
The news of his tragic passing reminded me that I had unpublished photos from when we met. In memory of Derek, I wanted to publish them today.
1971 - 2014
Seen on Alberta St.
"What was the happiest moment of your life?"
"I have cancer and the chemo has probably made me infertile. Before the chemo, I went through a fertility preservation treatment process to freeze my eggs for later. I cried tears of joy when I found out they harvested more of my eggs than we had expected.”
"How is your treatment going?"
"I’ll find out tomorrow. I recently had a stem cell transplant and I’m going in for a scan to see how that went."
"Her name is Lost n Found. She came to my friend at a Motel 6 one night and just started eating with these other dogs and then we started hitchhiking with her and I just loved her from the first time I saw her. My friend just gave her to me yesterday."
I haven’t been here on Humans of Portland much this summer. At first I felt bad, like I owed you guys something. Like I wasn’t “doing my job.” Then I came to terms with the fact that I only like to make work that is inspired and authentic, rather than forced. So over the past couple of months I’ve talked to, and made portraits of strangers when it has happened naturally, and I have shared those moments here as I’ve wanted to. I will continue to do so as the ebb and flow of inspiration moves me to do so.
My summer has taken me elsewhere. On adventures with my family and friends, to the woods, to the beach, to music festivals, to the water, to the orchard. I have portraits and stories of the people close to me in my life, and I’d love to share them with you.
If you’d like to follow along as I post them over the coming weeks, I invite you to follow me at Briana Cerezo Photography or my other Tumblr. If not, that’s just fine, too. I’ll be bringing you more story portraits of interesting Humans of Portland soon.
Thank you for your ongoing listening ears and watchful eyes. It’s lovely to have you see what I see and hear what I hear.
For better or worse, I got to hear him read aloud a pretty epic poem he wrote about flatulence. People were in stitches.
Debbie pumped my gas this morning. It was busy. I waited 10 minutes before anyone helped me. I wasn’t in a hurry. Debbie was friendly. She couldn’t understand why I wanted a photograph of her, but she let me take it anyway.