Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mr. Punch. Seattle, WA, 2011

If you had the chance to stop by the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle, chances are you passed by this gentle soul.

"20,000 people have already walked by and into that party... You're one of only seven, to stop and simply say 'hello'. You're also the only one to offer to shake my hand. Thank you." - Mr. Punch 

His statement, really dug a hole in my heart, and made me think about how the acknowledgement by others can affect us. Often times, people are jaded to the power of a handshake, and how it can truly change a person's day. 

My good friend and recently published PDN photographer Jacob B Murphy, also encountered a situation where he made a positive impact. Check out his blog post here.


  1. I met him last night in a safeway at 11:30 at night, we joked about the shaving cream my partner and I were buying. He was buying an ice cream bar and he gave us a fake 50 dollar bill that turned out to be his card and showed us a photo of him in the Mr. Punch outfit. When I got into our car I started crying and I don't know exactly why.....I am glad to see him here.

    1. He's a kind and gentle soul. It's great to know other people are willing to interact with such a unique individual. There have been many times where I've been overcome with emotion after shooting someone's portrait. Mr. Punch lives his life completely against the grain, and I applaud him for that. It may not be the easiest...but it's his way. In that brief moment inside your car, I think you recognized that. Thank you for commenting.

  2. I tried to comment on here as I was with him on his train ride home a couple days ago. He was leaving the hospital after a heart surgery. It was also a day that I'd decided for myself to NOT acknowledge a soul on my commute home that afternoon. It had been a long, emotionally-draining day.

    However, I felt drawn to this character, probably as he did me, having sat down behind me at Westlake station. Initially he wasn't the easiest to understand, especially on a noisy train, but he made some jokes that I enjoyed and magic tricks that I couldn't help but enjoy.

    And he was such a FLIRT! Shaking my hand, and even kissed it by the end of it all, saying it was his lucky day to talk to a "super model" and such. He was just very happy to have someone to tell his story to and talk about his flying squirrel, hoping that his new landlords will let him keep it, instead of keeping it at a friends house.
    We decided he should pretend he doesn't have the squirrel, imagining as the landlord stands in the doorway, inquiring about the little beast: "Squirrel? What squirrel? You must be seeing things, man."

    Most days, I avoid talking to people who may seem a little off, for fear of having to nod on to some poor soul unable to put coherent thoughts together, or worse - for fear of some manic going haywire on me. It's draining, and saddening.

    Mr. Punch (no, he wouldn't tell me any other name) is a giver, however. And I will thank him every time I run into him in the future for his light and continuous kindness.

    P.S. I showed him this picture, he was very excited to be a celebrity, haha!

  3. I just met Mr. Punch today. I'm working at the Bremerton Farmer's Market at the ferry terminal. He came over telling my girlfriend and I jokes and doing magic tricks. He gave me a fake million dollar bill (which was his card) and told me he expected us to call him. At one point in the conversation he pulled out his Sugar Glider from a pouch around his neck! When I hugged him as he was leaving he sighed and said, "I really needed this." He walked through the market and eventually came back and I gave him a bowl of ice cream and we chatted more. He really is a beautiful soul and I hope more people take him up on conversation. We have an open invitation to come see him where he lives and watch some tv. I hope I can make it out there and see him. :)