Gut Rumbles

April 15, 2006

a savannah icon

One thing I liked about my years spent playing guitar on River Street was the opportunity to get to know many of Savannah's street characters, of which the city has an abundance. One of the more interesting characters was the "Picture Man," a wizened black man who ran around with a Polaroid camera and charged people $5 a pop to take their picture. Hell, I still have two pictures that he took of ME and a lady companion back then. (I bargained him down to $2 each for those pictures. If I could figure out how to operate my scanner, I would post one.)

I saw in the newspaper where he died Thursday. I never knew that his real name was Robert Hall until I read it today. He was always Picture Man to me.

The guy had skin the color of a pecan shell. Looking at him, I could never decide whether he was 40 or 400 years old. But he hustled the street with vigor when he wasn't vending cold drinks in the stands at Savannah Sand Gnats baseball games.

His obituary was short, with no mention of kin. Picture Man was 71 years old when he died.

RIP, Picture Man.


I remember him well. He was a pain in the ass, always wanted to take your picture. I talked to him several times and gave him a few dollars, just to get rid of him. He smelled like shit, I think he never took a bath also. He was always smiling, but he smelled like shit.

Posted by: Catfish on April 15, 2006 12:25 PM

Picture Man left a indelable impression on you,and I am sure many other folks in your comunity, too bad the paper lacked his vigor in doing their job.

Posted by: Arathorn on April 15, 2006 12:25 PM

What a great story and kind of you to share it in his memory! If you were my neighbor, I'd scan the pics for you. If I have managed to figure out how to do this, I'm sure you could too, though!! Give it a try. I'd love to see the pics!!

Posted by: Di on April 15, 2006 01:24 PM

I HAD to buy the pictures Robert took of me. It was extortion, plain and simple.

Posted by: Velociman on April 15, 2006 11:44 PM mention of kin.

Sounds like the whole town was his family.

Posted by: McGehee on April 16, 2006 08:43 PM
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