I didn’t really think there’d be a story here. I got a call from an old friend, John Ficarra, one of the editors of MAD Magazine who said one their artists had just come out with a book. As a courtesy to John, but certain there’d be no story, I went to Le Select to meet Rick. He was engaging and I liked his work A LOT so I started shooting but still not convinced there’d be a story.

Two things changed my opinion. At the café I was only seeing Rick’s notebook, some sketches. I finally went to his studio and saw the mounted works – they were absolutely stunning. The other thing was I remembered having shot Bernard who owns the café I frequent. Here’s another example of taking advantage of tape being cheap – I was at the bar talking to Bernard about cafes when he pulled out the list he keeps in the cash drawer — now that happened easily two years before I ever met Rick. Again – it was dumb luck – but so was the fact that for some reason I’d saved a copy of Le Parisien with the headline about cafes changing. I must have done something commendable in a past life that so many fortunate things fall in my lap but with those two outside elements AND the fact that Rick and his co-author, Noel Riley Fitch, actually mention the waning French café – VOILA!!! There’s a story.

Just for the hell of it – can you find the three acts?