I’m as in love with the small river town of Locke as anyone can be with a town. You probably know that from my Locke posts here and here and here. Locke is a tiny main street on the Delta. Years ago, it was bustling with Chinese immigrants who made the town home while they worked the fields, picking asparagus and pears. It’s the first town in the country to be built entirely by the Chinese, for the Chinese. And now, it is a quiet little street where rough bikers stop on the weekends and cats lounge on wooden planks in thin alleyways. If you follow one of these walkways off the paved road, you’ll discover lush foliage against old homes and overgrown community gardens that never lose their mystery.
On a whim, I took a drive out to Locke the other night. While my friend Jen photographed an engagement session, I walked around the town, photographing the changes: a few more carvings in tilting building; the garden, once clean and maintained, now overgrown with tall grass and fallen branches; the succulents bigger now than they were before; the amount of “closed” signs in business windows as summer tourists have gone home.
I sat for a while in Al’s Place, formerly Al the Wops, and ordered a hamburger, which Jen and I shared on a bench after her shoot. Men at the bar wore lots of leather and Harley on their backs. Their wives and girlfriends wore black leather booths, and continued to fix their wild hair in the mirror on the wall. They would pout their lips and take another sip. Handle their liquor? Not really.