david mcgowan – garage sale

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David McGowan

I’m One Of Those Americans

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A garage sale is the sale of miscellaneous household goods, often held in the garage or front yard of someone’s house.

“My good friend David McGowan has been working on a very personal photo essay since last summer. He’s been documenting garage sale culture in West Michigan as the economy continues to decline and people reevaluate what they truly need and what has to be sold. What’s surprising is that as bad as things seemed only six months ago, the bad news has only gotten worse and there isn’t a whole lot of hope that things will improve. At least not for a while. People like to say that when the country gets a cold, Michigan gets pneumonia, and that certainly holds true these days. Things are bad in the rest of the country and even worse in Michigan.

I’m One Of Those Americans is respectful and honest and taps into our collective anxiety and resignation. What’s unnerving is that in this story, I fear we’re only at Chapter One and that the rest of the story is going to get a whole lot darker.”


Brian Widdis

Detroit, MI


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129 Responses to “david mcgowan – garage sale”

  • DAVID McG,

    Nice surprise this morning after an early wake-up from my jetlag (started commuting back and forth with Europe). Another piece of work that we have seen develop on Road Trips and it is a good feeling to see it published here. I very much enjoyed watching the essay, being transported into the lives of these average or ordinary americans facing unusual tougher economic times… I like the fact that your essay does not get into the drama that some may face…it is subtle, suggests rather than demonstrate…There is this great feeling of nostalgia of the past, of the “better” days… Of course, some will say that the edit could be tighter… but it worked for me…. I think it is the complete assembled body of your essay that works for me rather than any particular individual photographs… Some of your individuals pictures taken out of the whole may lack something and in my view and could have benefited from a stronger composition but altogether, which I think was your intent, you have been able to create a mood and I was touched by the whole essay….so for me, it is a success…. Regarding my point about composition etc, I just bought a book in Europe from Larry Towell “The World from my Front Porch”. Great example of a family album and of work that you can do right where you live without having to travel the world… While these are family shots etc, the composition is superb and each photograph taken in isolation is also great…A good example of how to take our family albums and photographs to the next level….You may want to check it out….

    Hope all is well with you David and hope to see you sometimes. Congrats again.


  • David,
    I feel really touched by this work. I’m an American who has recently made the switch to starting life in Europe (Spain) and I often feel such a tug on my heart for the “real” America, made up of ordinary folks- that you have captured so well here.
    I financed my transcontinental move by having, you guessed it, a GARAGE SALE! One of many over the course of my life… they are always punctuating points that represent a mad drive to follow faith and cut my ties with my possessions in order to live true to my dreams. Of course, there are always things I miss— I can empathize greatly with the guy who had to make the heartbreaking choice to part ways his old truck, even if it was a present for his 16th birthday. I’m one of those people that also like to keep some haunting objects from my past that serve as a vivid reminder of who I once was, and who I may become.

  • I really enjoyed your essay David, very intimate. Photographing the ordinary-everyday is not easy. That you have created a sense of time and place, peopled with humanity is a measure of your success. Obviously a labour of love.

    Loved the fade from the “bride” photograph.

    Best wishes,


  • nice concept.
    it worked for me!

  • A beautifully tempered and gentle essay. Rather poignant.

  • David! :)))

    wow, what a terrific surprise indeed to watch this before tossing off to teach. It’s so wonderful to have seen this story progress from it’s first incarnation (focused on the ‘objects for sale’) to the more mature, more evocative and more accepting of circumstances essay that it has become. I absolutely love the edit and thing it indeed bridges the right gap between faces/profiles/people and objects-for-sale (glad to held tightly onto the Watergate shot) and envirnoment (though would still love to see more of that). Some of the environmental photographs are the most powerful and evocative and still silences, and expresses for me all that despair that comes bubbling up amid the difficulties of shifting life. I think the photograph of the tree hung with shirts is absolutely knock-out dead haunting and heartbreaking: a bereaved Christmas tree, a tree after the Johnstown flood, the palpable death there clinging. so too the empty parking lot transition to the lake…the boat for sale, adrift dry, in the apple orchard…and the portraits are, as always powerful. The portrait of the woman who is having the garage sale to raise money for her son’s tombstone is just drop-dead profound…and an example of the intensity and maturity that this project has taken on over time as you’ve attended more, spoken to more people, watched more: that garage sales are not just to raise cash from job loss/bad economics, but for other things both joyful (summer clothes, family trips, extra cash) and tragic (to pay for the cemetary marker for a lost child)…and all those small details: the woman holding the photograph whose 1 finger nail is significantly shorter than the other too, the scar on the man’s chin, the mismatched socks, the mis-tapped sign, etc etc etc…and i too love the introduction piece, to introduce the people, and then the body of the story, follow by the quiet coda, thank you…..it’s deepened, and enrichened and i’ve really enjoyed it…as a book, i imagine the voices of the people, their stories, their reasons…the edit is superb as well as the inclusion of old pics that are strong and the addition of all the new stuff (love the opener)….

    my only regret David: that soulful and melancholic picture of the Garage Sale sign in the field with the country road tailing and stretching away into the distance…(maybe for a final pic??)…where did it go?…the road…isnt’ that the real part of all garage sales? ;)))

    Wonderful, powerful, thoughtful and humane….

    not a lamentation but a celebration of the small, quiet moments that accumulate in each of our lives that build up a house of a lifetime…..

    congratulations David…great stuff!


  • I have a problem with slide shows and this one is no exception. When constructed the way this one is, I’m absolutely at the mercy of the maker, as far as pacing and thinking goes. I can stop but I can’t speed up, I either have to listen to the music or have to turn it off. In short, I feel like I’m at the movies, the subject matter is intriguing and I’d love to spend some time with it, but I can do nothing but follow what the film editor served up. Now, film editors are pros at making the work flow. Slide show makers are not. Solution? If one MUST serve up a slide show, I’d love an option of viewing the contents one by one, without music, at my own pace. Then I might be able to actually see the images the way I need to see them, and perhaps be able to make some possibly helpful comments on them, instead of just posting this stupid one.

  • David McG (and DAH):

    Stoop has a very important point, one i thought about while looking at the essay. For example, yesterday i watched Larry Towell’s MAGNIFICENT Essay Train of Thought (at magnum motion) and there the viewer is able to control the speed or films/framing…i spent a bunch of time with the essay, both listening to the audio (Larry’s poem and music) and without the audio, slowly and then examing slowing some of the pics that broke my cut….I looked at David’s essay 2xs this morning before writing, letting the ‘film’ sit inside me, but now, as a viewer and photographer, i want to go back to specific pics…and linger…that’s something for us to consider :))…

    this aside, I’m so please to see David’s essay finally up and speaking :)


  • what i mean about linger: you can stop the movie for sure, but you can’t ‘fast-forward’ or click back and forth between pics (which is what i love to do with all these essays, like i do with a book)… you cant click on specific pics…make sense?…ok, running….hugs,b


  • Another essay I’ve been waiting to see here on Burn…

    David, it feels like a lifetime ago that you started this project, back when Michigan’s economy was on the slide but had not yet fallen off the cliff. I live in the eastern part of the state so know what I’m talking about. To see your essay now is more poignant than ever. You were prescient in starting it, my friend. Unfortunately.

    It believe this essay is stronger than ever. Your introductory narration gives it a personal touch. That and your choice of title make it clear that you are not standing back as objective photographer/documentor but are right there in the middle of the story.

    David, your technical abilities as a MM artist shine here. There is a “trueness” to every note you hit. Nothing is done for effect; it all rings true. The use of “snapshots” posted to the wall is brilliant. And, to me, the size of the edit was perfect. You kept my interest throughout.

    Where I might be inclined to pick out individual shots for comment in other essays, I’m not inclined to do it here. This work is all of a piece and calls out to be critiqued as such. My only suggesion is to keep going. We’re coming into another garage sale season here in Michigan and I encourage you to take more pictures and continue to work on this project. There is more desperation than ever in 2009 and it will show up in what people choose to sell. I would imagine your audio will become all the more heartwrenching too.

    Whether this becomes a book or a short film, it deserves to be seen by the public. It definitely speaks to the times we are in. Excellent work, David.


  • david MC

    wondered where you have got to and here it is.. just great.. love the openeing narration and the photos on background – genius..
    the portraits opening up really make it personal.. so much more personal than it would have been.. and the title.. you really have nailed it my friend.. some brilliant individual photographs.. gentle music.. background noise.. really able to connect here and climb inside the resigned feeling of what you are photographing..

    never mind the garage sale – would love to see you sell this somewhere.. could see it on any number of media sites who may have money.

    it’s been said before – i could have watched more of this.. would have enjoyed it for much longer.. i think that is true of several essays on burn now.. it is an excellent job you have doing, regardless.

    just great.
    good luck getting enough work off this presentation to remove the need to sell from your ‘god box’

    hope you will stick around – missed your voice here.
    david b

  • excellent job you have done, of course..

  • David, great work giving an insight into the people. I found the photo of the woman holding the garage sale for her son’s tombstone particularly fascinating and it drew me into wondering more about the people’s individual stories.

    Maybe it’s just curiosity from somebody on the other side of the Atlantic, but I’d love to know something more of the process, people sorting through their treasured possessions and weighing up their value; sentimental vs monetary. I can see from above that this essay has been developed with feedback and comment and I apologise if this has been covered before!

    Great stuff


  • Great multi media piece..
    love the 2 audio tracks (after narration),
    very effective…
    the great US of A
    the real US of A..
    captured with respect and
    Perhaps your story is also about letting go…
    not just as a result of the economy?!?

  • Just waking up to all this – got to get my head on straight with some coffee. A resounding thank you to the comments so far.

  • Well, i just loved this! The content was, well, it made me cry. Like Sheila i am an American living abroad and this essay captures so much of my people, my family, my country that it filled me with yearning to be back and be one with them during these hard times. There’s a spirit and optimism here that feels so American to me, that is part of who i am and when times are difficult that’s when we come together in this spirit, that’s when, for example, hot casseroles find their way to the front porch of Jim’s house from someone who knows he and his wife lost someone close to them and might not be up to cooking tonight, that’s when a conversation in front of the supermarket turns into a plan for a BBQ on Sunday and hey, let’s ask the whole neighborhood, everyone can bring something and it will be fun. That’s when people keep an eye out for jobs for those who don’t have them, fix each other’s cars, furnaces, whatever, the smiles get bigger for each other and people step over the curb onto the grass lawns of neighbors they’ve never spoken to just to say hello. I’m not saying that’s unique to America but these are my memories of my people and this essay sings of that resourceful optimistic spirit that i have always loved. The photos are all wonderful. Treasures each and every one. Thank you, David, this essay says “chin-up, we can do this!”

    As far as format, i really liked hearing the sounds of the garage sales over the photos. The birds, the chatter, it was great. Like i was there. The only thing missing was the smell of new-mown grass :))) The “fade to blur” that you used a few times makes the eye then have to focus for the next shot. It was kind of uncomfortable for me. Also, and this is just really me..i didn’t really like the second part being photos “tacked’ onto plywood though it made sense and worked with the theme of your slideshow. The photos are THAT good that anything more than just seeing them with a neutral space around them stole something from their magic for me. I think the plywood idea would have worked for a final photo, as sort of a THE END summation that says that even (and most especially) family memories are disposable during times like this and there’s nothing that can’t be sacrificed and relegated to the sale bin. We will do what we must to survive. That would have been a final jolt that would have said so much. But this is just my opinion. The essay is utterly, totally, stupendously wonderful. CONGRATULATIONS!

    A parting thought for these times..i read a quote once by an Eastern European woman who had been dispossessed by any one of the conflicts in that area, or even earlier during one of the World Wars, cannot recall and it doesn’t matter. But she said “There’s no real estate except memories”.


  • David McGowan,

    This is a very moving piece, well done.

    I grew up in flea market, yard sale culture, some of my earliest memories are of “hawking my wares” to the flea market crowd. Often I was the consumer, but mostly I was selling stuff to make a buck. We would pack an old 58′ Chevrolet truck to the brim, and head out before sunrise on any given weekend. Garage sales, pawn shops, thrift stores and flea markets play an important role in the Four-Corners region, the economy here also plays it’s part I’m sure.

    To this day, my mother makes her living by packing up the Jeep every weekend, and “selling”. Driving as far south as Kirtland or Shiprock. The Neighbors in Durango have put an end to the Yard Sale, forcing her to fuel up and sell at the markets. In this area, as I am sure is true across America, you have the “lifers” and the “one timers”. My mom is the first; selling, collecting, and reselling. I often wonder if it’s really worth it, by the time you add up the time, energy and gas money- but then again- for many it has become a way of life.

    My own memories of tracking down the elusive garage sale, or spending a day under the blazing New Mexico sun standing guard to a card table full of odds & ends have mostly been fond momories! I sure the economy will continue to play an even stronger role in the proliferance of garage sales in the near future, as cardboards boxes find their way to every American street corner!

    Thank you for this sharing this essay!

    Cheers, Jeremy

  • Adam Bartos has just released a book “Yard Sale Photographs”. the approach is slightly different, but perhaps might be relevant to this discussion and body of work. i believe the two photographers intentions are also different, but it is interesting to see how different photographers tackle the same subject.


  • David

    I’m off to work now but just want to echo most of what has been said so far. What a wonderful essay. I cant wait to view it again.

    Gordon Lafleur

  • This is one of those photo-essays that reinforces and affirms one’s belief in photography as a medium of art as well as of information. It makes me realize that I should jump out of my chair and take my camera and go out shooting so that some day I am able to be as good as this. By choosing a simple and everyday subject (Garage Sale) which can be overlooked by many, David has conveyed the message (information regarding the effects of the present day economic crisis on the general people) very close-to-heart manner and yet so successfully and in such a strong way that probably even earth-shattering photos of devastation could not have made such a statement so close to heart! I am in love with this presentation. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kathleen, Sheila…
    Do you guys have psychic powers or what?
    While we are going through our second step of depression here in the states..
    you guys were smart enough to get the hell out??
    Why nobody told me anything???

  • oh… i see why…
    who wants to disturb a californian struggling artist anyways????
    ( laughing )

  • love this essay. i love the connection it has with so many of us right now. even here in canada there is such a shift now in small towns. small factory town being deserted slowly but surely by all of this. but as well new connections within community arise form this. people realize that we all need each other to get through this. very well done essay david. i enjoyed this allot. very personal. thanks so much.

  • All the strength of your essay comes from the gentle eye and true compassion you brought to the subject. Looking at it, we imagine we could have almost driven by, so to speak, not notice, but yet, as we stopped the car (metaphorically) and started to look around, as can happen with garage sales, we are struck with the realization that it is our very own family that we keep driving by and not notice. This is for me, as much a family album, as any other.

  • Not my cup of tea, but very sweet. A couple of odd frames i didnt really get, but yeah, sweet.

  • Herve


  • Panos

    Can’t speak for Sheila but i’ve been gone for 20 years and after 3 of those years i would have kissed the ground anywhere in the USA to have been able to move back “home”.


  • I love this essay! My family and I were one of David’s “subjects”. I have to admit I wasn’t sure how this would turn out, but I think it is great!
    I wanted to be a part of this for a couple reasons: my childhood often involved summer garage sales,and I was not a fan back then. Now that I am a parent of 4 small children, they are a necessity, so the project intrigued me. One of my son’s (his photo is in the essay) has recently been diagnosed with hearing loss which required MANY doctors visits, many tests and the purchase of hearing aids. (Most of which are not covered by insurance.) So the extra income was necessary.
    The other reason I became involved – I wanted a way to share this time in our lives and in our country’s history with my children some day when they are older. This essay shows in a real way, the economic times that we live in. I am hoping there will be a book in the future… what a great gift for my kids!

    There’s my 2 cents. I loved being part of this project. David – it was a pleasure having you at our house for the day. (My kids really enjoyed it as well.)

    Good luck with everything in the future! You are a truly gifted photographer. Thank you for letting us be a part of your essay!

  • First of all I have to say thank you for the responses, they’re quite overwhelming when related to the amount of work that goes into a project like this. And I do have to apologize for being so absent here for the last couple of months. Being deep in editing, building soundtracks, etc. is so time consuming, and there have been so many great essays posted here — especially from 10 or 15 photographers in the original group when this online mentoring experiment started. I anticipate more great essays from that group to be posted here, and I promise to start paying attention more!

    Not just the editing has been time consuming, but being “semi-employed” leaves too much time to have my head in current events, politics, the economy, and all the positives and negatives that go with it. The news turns into a poison that I’m addicted to, but at least it relates to my story.

    I probably will continue shooting something related to the economy, and it could get really personal – I haven’t completely resolved what it’s going to be yet.

    I’ll try to address specific comments – not all now, but as I can.

    Eric E

    Thanks man – totally appreciate your kind words. I did want to mention something about the compositions, and I’m glad you brought it up. The work for this essay started out as really mundane, but instead of dismissing it, I really embraced how ordinary everything was (and I mean that in the most positive way) from the people, to the items, to the signs, etc. Considering the subjects, it was a more conscious decision to create straightforward, “snapshot” compositions than anything I would consider more contemporary or exploratory.

    In other words, I embraced the mundane, and I stand by it.

    more soon…

  • Bob

    Always always eloquent kind words from you, and I’m always happy to see your comments. You are right, the small sign with the road backdrop should have found a home somewhere, but you know the editing process – sometimes things get lost.

    Bob and Stupid

    I see your points, and sometime in the near future I can post a series on my site that you can flip through easily. I guess I really knew how I wanted to have this timed with the audio and message, so it could be a little more palatable to non photographers (yes, it is kind of a cinematic experience) and not just us.

    congrats… YOU ARE NOW OFFICIALLY published in BURN..
    are you ready to get BURNed? or should i wait a bit?

  • Panos – it can’t be any worse than what I experienced recently – tear it up if you need to, I’ve been expecting it.

  • i felt entertained. i was holding my breath for it to get cringe-worthy and over-sentimental, but it never did; it seemed honest and deliberate, not an easy thing to do with this subject i suppose. i also never felt distracted by the MM delivery, not dazzled, but i woudn’t want to be. As an american living outside the states for the last ten years i also felt things that i remember being very american. Thanks for the show David :-)

  • I loved it, all the images flowed seamlessly…

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

  • Now this is a tricky one as I do enjoy alternative presentations, but I feel in this case the second part of the essay is not helping your images shine. Don’t get me wrong, I love your idea of placing the images over the ply wood and wallpaper etc, and I’m not sure if it is the thick white border, but i’m struggling to read the images a little, there is a little too much distraction, or maybe they are just a little too small.

    Perhaps decreasing the amount of (background) space around the image, or increase the size of the images? Maybe shrinking the the borders a little would help?… I must stress again that I do love the concept! Maybe just a little fine tuning?…

    I do realize that this would mean starting from scratch again, so maybe not doable this time, but worth considering for the future projects. After all no matter how creative we get with the presentation (a good thing!) It is all about the images at the end of the day and they have to shine.

    Did enjoy the work though David and the subtle audio drifting over the music. Will you be continuing with this project?

  • just for starters David…
    I will get involved more “deeply” later…
    But … i’m sorry to disappoint you ….
    i dont see anything wrong yet with your essay…
    In fact i like it…i f*****g like it A LOT…
    but, i will dig more..i “promise” you..
    but so far…
    your essay just like Andrew S’s or Chris B’s , it really shines…
    ( many great essays recently in Burn , i have to admit…)
    … and i’m not having a good day either…:)))))))))))…
    so trust me.. your essay must be good..

  • Joe, i will second your thought..

    “… i was holding my breath for it to get cringe-worthy and over-sentimental, but it never did; it seemed honest and deliberate…”

    Honesty i see here and lack of cheap tricks…
    Right on

  • … oh one thing…
    next time please use a sexy greek voice as a voice over…
    other than that … great

  • Forgot to mention that I just love that first image of the two “Goddesses.” Awesome!

  • David McG :))))))

    no worries on the MM :)))…totally get what you want (and as we’ve discussed before in the past, i dig your feel for sound, both musical and ambient)….remember the camping pics ;)))….and my concern (as with Stoop) for the format is more a personal constraint and not a criticism of either the essay, the work or the vision/totality of the piece…i just LOVE to swim around, back and forth, with images…but, since i also worship cinema, i can live with being stuck ;)))))))…..so happy to see people dig this…

    funny, I never think ‘i am an American’ (i actually hate that), and i respond to the work in a very universal way….taking the peculiar (an american tradition) and making it universal (stories and the things that make up, accumulation and loss), people’s livesso the essay …(pics and stories) work so well for me because it takes a very american cultural thing (garage sales) and makes it universal: the uncovering of stories….

    I’m one of those people, regardless of nationhood ;)))))


  • BB

    funny, I never think ‘i am an American’

    Of course, Bob…. You are a canadian. ;-)

    On you about the universality we can find in so many subjects, but here, I find the story is very important as being and seen primarily as “local”.

    If only because “America-USA” is hardly thought around the world as “local”, save anecdotally. Too many stereotypes, too many bird’s eye views and generalities, and for an essay like this, whith little for people to hook the same, if correct at times, generalities to it, I find it crucial to be seen as “USA-american”. IMO.

  • DAVID McG – i fucking love this essay. i do not know what else to say that others have not – it is personal, honest, touching, etc. i really like the music and the audio combined. the recordings in the background truly bring it all to life. I agree with eric – that not every image could stand on it’s own – but works so beautifully in telling your story. Well done my friend, well done!!

  • Patricia!

    Thank you so much. I probably will have to keep shooting this to some extent, though I will probably have to refresh the context a bit. I thought I was covering a story of people on the edge that were maintaining their optimism (which is true) but I also thought that we would be pulling out of it by now. Now I’m afraid that the smiling faces in my intro might not be so optimistic this year.

  • Actually , Herve,
    Bob is an American ..
    He was born in the USA..
    just for the history…

  • Sheila J and Kathleen F

    So happy to bring a bit of Americana to the expatriates. I know the feeling of being away, then seeing something that really brings you back in a way that those around you might not understand. I would advise not coming back unless you have a job lined up, though!

    Kathleen F and James Chance

    I do understand the risks of attempting a new presentation technique, but I do try to push these things without going overboard. My biggest concern is that the technique not be too distracting, so I kept control of it – to some anything other than pure photos is distracting, and to others it may be just enough of a reinforcement to the Americana theme. Moving forward, I may keep it more pure, but who knows?

  • David,

    Are you still working on this? I hope so. The “story” is certainly far from over. i hope you will continue to follow it. Good work!

  • hey there..a big warm congratulations to you for moving through your initial concept and staying with this to what is, indeed, a very sweet and touching piece that most certainly is imbued with your own experience as one of those Americans. I loved the audio especially, personal and tender..and I also appreciated the scrapbook of memories style presentation.

  • Note:

    If anyone knows any of those AIG executives who received the $1M+ bonuses — no contempt from me, I mean, those guys were just having their contracts fulfilled – more contempt for the government, that shouldn’t be providing bailouts in the first place – anyway, if you know an executive, tell them purchasing one of my prints is excellent guilt therapy. Or just have them come to a garage sale here in Michigan. Whatever. Might not be the most appropriate time to toss that out there. Or is it?

  • HERVE :))))

    i couldn’t agree MORE with you! That’s what I LOVE about this story: that it is quintessentially American. What i mean by ‘universal’ is this: the sense of loss, the sense of negotiating memories (things, objects, reasons) as a way to try and survive. I LOVE garage sales, not only because they are a quintessential american thing but also they become universal: scavenging through them was one of the things i loved to do as a teen and college kid…and to this day, now in Canada, it hasnt left: here Canadians tend to have Yard Sales (which they have too in the states)…and so, i agree, the success of this work is that David has taken the peculiarities of something very american and offered it, in a respectful, funny and ultimately reverent way, as a way for each of us, americans and non-americans alike, to get at that same story. :))

    yea, i always hate nationism and i’ve had a totally wacked life: born in san diego, lived in Taiwan as a child before returning to the states…like you, have lived in europe, asia and n.american and now married to a woman from russia. Our son’s sense of identity is even crazier: russian-canadian-american-whatever ;)))…….and as a person whose friends are from around the globe…and as a teacher who everday conducts a glass of koreans, japanese, mexicans, lebanese, saudi’s, brazilians, chinese, venzuelans, russians, kazakhs, turkish and columbians (and that’s just this semester), i dont know what my identity is…but one of universality……but i probably talk like an american ;)))))))))))))…

    u r right, it’s the American story the highlights the universal story here…as a writer much greater than I once said: get the particular right and you’ll get the universal done ;)))

    u absolutely right

    (though i still hate when identify themselves by nation as a means of identity, but that’s my own hang up from a bifurcated childhood ;)))


    PANOS :))))…I;m a california kid by birth…dont hold that against me ;))))))))))))…hu8gs, b

  • A note about “…Americans”

    The title really came about when considering the way we are saturated with current events, and the thought process many must go through when identifying with these events. A collective response could be “I’m one of those Americans.”

    For example, a local report could read “Factory X to let go another 2000 employees by May…”

    I’m one of those Americans.

    “Home foreclosures highest in a decade…”

    I’m one of those Americans.

    “Spike in garage sales the result of tightening family budgets…”


    Or it could be my news report. “Unemployed man, 40, drives rusty van and lives with his mother, studies the culture of garage sales in Michigan…”

    I’m one of those (hilarious) Americans.

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