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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Strange in 78203: Witness for Mr. Perkins...

I first read about Reverend Seymour Perkins who lives over by the Alamo Dome from one of my daily haunts, Strange in San Antonio, and later in the Express-News. I was fascinated with the story of Reverend Perkins (no, not really a Reverend) and vowed to drive over and take a look for myself.

Having seen the place first hand, I can't help but feel sad for this man. First, let's be clear about a few things. South Hackberry is not in The Dominion; you will not see David Robinson or George Strait jogging up and down the street, nor will you be required to pass through gated entry points for access to Rev. Perkins' church. But having said that, the neighborhood is not as bad as you might think. I should have taken pictures of the surrounding homes along the street. Yes, they are old, but most seemed to be maintained and clean. A few streets over, there were even fairly new homes.
The freakishness of this man's yard is that it hits you like a carnival that has sprung up in an HEB parking lot between the time you first went in to grab some samples and the time you waddle out to the car. So, driving slowly down the street looking for address markers, I see normal house, normal house, normal house, normal house,... Holy Jesus on a on a surf board in capri's, where'd this come from?My brief glimpse of Rev. Perkins was distressing. He looked at me as I pointed my intrusive camera at his yard and it was as though he was using his eyes to say, "Yea, I'm the one." Or maybe he just had a buzz.

There were several people in his yard, but no discernible hookers as described in the stories I read. I pulled into a convenience store cati-cornered from the house and there were people hanging out, a guy using a pay phone who eyed me suspiciously as I took a few pictures with my lens just to the side of him.
I had seen two women walking on the property toward the house and one of the ladies asked me not to take her picture (which of course, I didn't). My entire visit lasted less than a minute or so. Where I had plans to possibly stop and maybe talk to Rev Perkins or one of his disciples, seeing the place first hand changed my mind. There is something desperately wrong with this situation. This goes beyond an eccentric artist who chooses to display his creations in his yard, but seems to be a person in need. Or he could be perfectly normal and just wants to live his life the way he chooses to do so. Thankfully though, he does not choose to do so in my neighborhood.


Albatross said...

Wow. I've seen pictures of the place in the media, but your photographs capture the haunting reality of the place.

I agree with you: this seems to go beyond mere eccentricity.

Dave said...

Yea. I wonder how many of the police calls that are attributed to disturbances at his address actually originate with problems from across the street at the convenience store.

Either way, there seemed to be a genuinely interesting man looking out from the eyes that focused only briefly on me. But not having a shotgun at the ready, I chose to take a few pictures and be on my way.

I'd love to see the inside of his "church". Perhaps that is where he keeps the real art work, and the missing crack-ho's.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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