Gut Rumbles

June 12, 2008

A Savannah icon

Originally PUBLISHED APRIL 15, 2006

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.

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