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The site below was placed online in July & August, 1996, and has largely been left in its original form
Olympic People Watching....The Final Chapter
On the final Sunday of the Olympics, after shooting the marathon, I made one final trip downtown to the area of Centennial Park. As it turns out, I never made it into the park itself. If the *show* in there was any better than the one outside, well, I just didn't bring enough film. Also, please be patient, as I was a bad boy and loaded five images on this page that may take a minute to download. I think you'll find the wait rewarding, if for nothing but the closing picture......it's one of my faves.

OK, I know, technically this isn't Olympic People Watching, but take a close look at "Scooter." How do I know his name? Because the dang dawg had credentials around his neck! After 17 days in this Olympic Zoo, I felt *marked* by my lack of dangly things. That's where the street vendors missed the boat. Instead of $4 snowcones, they should have been selling credentials.....
21k-Mr. Paja

No, I wasn't lucky enough to photograph Santa at the Atlanta Games. That's Edward Paja, a retired 74 year old professor from the Warsaw (Poland) Institute of Geography. Here I was moaning about my 17 day marathon, while this man is on day 907 of an around-the-world bike ride, having already passed through 23 countries.....all with 110 pounds of luggage strapped to his bike. That is an incredible inspiring feat, but, to be honest, at the moment I saw Mr. Paja, he looked like he might have been lost. Atlanta does that to folks, even professors of geography.

28k-ymca This may be the only reason I'm glad the Olympics are over. No, these women aren't cheering athletes, or praising the heavens for their good seats. They are *signing* along with what is apparently the Official Bad Song of the Atlanta Games, "YMCA", by the Village People. It seemed like I heard it at most of the venues I attended. I even kept expecting to hear that insipid tune waft over the hills of the Cross Country course during the Equestrian 3 Day competition. Thankfully, veterinarians determined it would spook the horses.....

21k-pin trading Little reported by the press, there was a highly contagious epidemic at the Olympics that even the C.D.C. couldn't control......pin trading. Personally, I avoided the plague by remembering that each $5 pin I bought, in order to trade away, represented another scan for this site. But by the final day, even the cops were into it. I've always made it a policy not to barter with folks wearing guns. But it would have been hard for him to draw, because of that city policy mandating that a can of Olympic-sanctioned beverage be carried at all times by Atlanta's Finest.

28k-I was there

I was walking down a quiet street making my way towards MARTA and home, when I saw this sight, stopped, and thought, "Thank You God." On day 17, this apparently homeless, obviously passed-out man appeared just as whupped as the rest of us. The kicker was the t-shirt that said "Atlanta....I Was There." It seemed fitting, and proof of what Billy Payne and Andy Young have been saying all along.

Everybody's welcome in Atlanta for the Big Show, there's room for all, and plenty of fun to go around. And as someone who was in the thick of it the whole time, wallowing in every minute of this experience, it was plainly obvious the fun was universal. Well, except for His Excellancy Juan Imreallyold Sayanara, his minions of limousine elite, and most of those folks who buy ink by the barrel....the media. As if this little shindig was solely for their personal enjoyment.

Silly me, I was under the impression the Olympics were about bringing together thousands of the world's best athletes and huge enthusiastic crowds of spectators to cheer them on to marvelous performances. On those terms, the Atlanta Games were the best Olympics ever.

And my former good-buddy Juan can just kiss my grits!

[click the cauldron
for more stuff I saw]

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