By Joann M. Ringelstetter
One of the most interesting encounters I had on our recent trip to North Carolina was with a man and his dogs. It was our third day in North Carolina and we had just entered Alamance County. As we drove down a country road, we passed an old red and white Chevy automobile with a “For Sale” sign on it. It was early afternoon on a very sunny day, so the lighting was pretty harsh, but I decided to snap a couple of pictures of the old car anyway.
As I set up my tripod, I heard some dogs barking from across the road. When I turned around to see what the commotion was about, I realized that the dogs were about to run out into the road. Just then, an older gentleman with white hair came out of a large shed and scolded the dogs. “Rowdy! Rambo! Get back here!” he shouted. As I watched him, I realized that he looked a lot like the eccentric inventor, Dr. Emmett Brown, in the movie Back to the Futue.
I said, “Sure, that would be great!” Cary quickly turned around and headed into the shed. Rowdy and Rambo were running around in front of the shed. As I tried to get a photograph of them, Cary called from the shed, “Come on, get in.” I wasn’t sure if he was talking to me, but then Rowdy and Rambo made a mad dash for the back seat. Cary started up the Buick Special, revved up the engine (which he later explained was a Straight-8), and backed the car out of the shed. He drove it across the road and towards the Chevy Bel Air.
I was still standing on the other side of the road by the shed, and as Cary stopped the car, I noticed a great silhouette with him in the driver’s seat and Rowdy’s profile in the back seat. I attempted to capture the silhouette, but Cary was too quick to jump out of the car. It was then that I realized that, although his appearance reminded me of Dr. Emmett Brown, his mannerisms reminded me of the character, Kramer, from the sitcom Seinfeld.
I crossed the road and Cary asked me if he had parked the Buick Special in a good spot for my photos. I asked him if he could move it a bit so that there was a better background. He willingly obliged and, all the while, Rambo and Rowdy were sitting in the back seat, just like a couple of people waiting for the chauffeur to drive them somewhere.
I took a couple of shots of the Buick Special and then pulled in close to capture Rowdy and Rambo as they waited patiently in the back seat for the short ride back to the shed. And while I photographed them, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. You never know who you’ll meet as you travel the back roads of this great country. In this case, two rambunctious dogs, Rowdy and Rambo, had made my day.