I got an unexpected phone call on Monday. It was from MMA Fighter Mark Miller. After the brief but, essential how do you do’s Mark told me he was in town for a few days and that Tuesday would be a great day for us to meet up and hang out. I checked my schedule its totally fucked as usual and agreed immediately.
“Where ya wanna meet?” I say hoping it would fit in without me canceling anything.
“Tuesday at Peticca’s I’ll be there a little before five.”
“Sure. I’ll see you there.”
Shit. My brain is trying to figure out how I can get out of the first half of this appointment I have at 6. Peticca’s also known as Vegastar Gallery is about 45 minutes away. I gotta go there anyways to drop of clothes. How can I make this happen?
A few phone calls later and I’m golden. I bought some time with my appointment and tomorrow I am going to Greensburg (GBG) but, I have to be back in Pittsburgh before 8.
The drive to GBG is generally a quick process shoot up 376 to the PA Turnpike run that shit like three maybe four exits get off at New Stanton and you’re pretty much there. Just a couple more turns on some local roads after that.
Not today. I leave at 3:30 hoping I can beat rush hour out of the city… Not Happening. Traffic.. At least its moving. I push through the lanes of sheep trying to herd them outta my way. Finally I plow through the last bit of traffic at the Squirrel Hill Tunnel and I am home free the turnpike is a couple miles ahead.
After the quick jaunt on the turnpike and a few quick maneuvers in GBG I illegally park and grab the box of clothes and my camera and head inside.
Jim is in the back tattooing Willis is out front taking care of the desk work and downloading god knows what on the computer. Mark isn’t there yet. I look at my watch. Damn traffic and all and i am still early.
I catch up with Jim while he finishes the tattoo he is working on. Mark comes in shortly afterward.
We chat for a while. Mark is gonna be on L.A. Inked they are filming Wednesday or Thursday in L.A. I thought my schedule was crazy. We talk about L.A. I ask Mark how training is going (good) and him and Jim catch up on some news about their old friends. I look at my watch. 5:45 I gotta get going if I am gonna make this next appointment. I suggest we shoot a couple photos before Jim gets started on Mark’s tattoo and I roll.
The thing about hanging out with an MMA Fighter is that any time the camera comes out so does a choke hold. Jim is the unwilling victim. We shoot some flicks.
I say my goodbyes and I am off. I fight through some more traffic on the way back. Get home change and am off to my next appointment. Success!
This is way more uncomfortable than it looks. Mark with a little impromptu training with Jim.
When you don’t know what to do with your hands, point at the guy next to you. Me, Jim, Mark and a whole bunch of finger pointing..