Inside the Portfolio Part 1

Say “Hi!” to Michael…no….say,


No, really, he’s a ‘Teddy Bear’

For many years, on Lafayette Street, in Nashville (here in the South, that’s Luh-FAY-ette), there was this great looking blue clapboard Barber Shop.

Every time I would drive by I would think that there MUST be some way to incorporate this building into a photo.

The Barber Shop closed and still I’m thinking…….

Ah,… my friend Michael!!

The shop is actually only about two blocks from where Michael grew up, so he was not only familiar with it, but was also willing to give me a few minutes to take his picture there… and reminisce.

(About every 30 seconds or so, someone he knew would drive by and give a shout.)

Blue textured wall, yellow T-shirt, imposing figure, sunlight down low and warm….shoot!

The building is now gone…I’m glad this was NOT one of those regrettable “I’ll do that SOME day”s that we all have

About Michael.

Michael works for the city as a tax assessor. I might add, he is equally imposing in a black suit and shades. (Somehow, I always feel SAFE when I’m around him…)

Every summer for the past 10 years, Michael and several friends use their two week summer vacations to put on a free basketball clinic for inner-city boys and girls.

Lunch is provided every day along with MUCH basketball, and life   instruction suggestions from a daily guest speaker.

When donations are sparse, Michael and his ‘buds’ dig into their own pockets and cover the expenses themselves.

It means that much to them.

I don’t have any success stories to tell, such as “This one went on to be a veterinarian, or THAT one finished first in her class….”


It is enough of a success story to see these kids being related to on a level that perhaps many never see except for those two weeks every summer.

Discipline, love, instruction, fun….the FACT that somebody really does care!

At the end of each week, awards are given out.

But not to everyone.

See, Michael thinks it’s a good lesson to learn that

‘You get what you EARN through hard work, fair play, and good attitude.’


That doesn’t seem like such an awful thing to teach, does it?


~ by rkpowers on March 12, 2010.

3 Responses to “Inside the Portfolio Part 1”

  1. Way to go Michael, what a humanitarian to Nashville…


  2. Excellent. Nice transition from the picture history to Michael.


  3. What a great story thanx


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