I received another email the other day. This one telling me that Bandit had left a unique Memorial piece in Laguna Beach. Not a wheatpaste exactly, more of an installation. It is a graceful and heartfelt tribute to Max Caputo, a 17 year old resident of Laguna Beach, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident exactly 5 years to the date these pictures were shot. They never found the driver.
As I was standing there, I noticed a dark-haired woman a ways up the street. She was shooting pictures of me shooting pictures of Bandit's memorial to Max. Eventually she approached me, introduced herself as Marilyn and asked me why I was there and how I knew Max.
"I didn't know him," I replied, "But there is a reason I was sent here to photograph this work."
As our conversation progressed she told me that on the night he died, Max's friends created, and have ever since maintained, this memorial site. They have brought flowers, skim boards, boogie boards, decorations on the holidays and celebrated his birthdays and the anniversaries of his death. Marilyn went on to tell me she had a photo essay of the site published in the OC Register.
She began to tell me the story of her connection to Max saying, "I never actually knew him but..."
And then her bus arrived.
As she ran to catch it she called back, "Don't worry, I'll find you and tell you the rest of the story! I want to see your pictures!"
Here I am, Marilyn. Here are the pictures. Tag, you're it.
Rest in Peace, Max.
UPDATE 9/4/11: I'm perusing the web for something entirely unrelated and come across this: Marilynn's pictures on Laguna Patch