He bought the bag, thumbed through the transparencies, and projected them in his backyard. Shore says they were more than just old photos — they were forgotten stories, and he was determined to fill in the blanks.
Shore grew up in Odell, Indiana — a town of 25 people, one street, and two stop signs. There were plenty of stories, but not many characters, and at 23, he took a one-way trip to Brooklyn with no plans of going back. He landed a gig in a New York library and has since spent almost two decades soaking up information about cities and culture.
It wasn't until he transferred to Phoenix (and later lost his job to the failing library economy), that he took his research to the street. Our streets.
Meet Shore for a drink, check out his blog, or take a seat at his monthly slideshow series at Metro Retro, and he'll catch you up on the gossip out of Sun City, the latest of his T-shirt creations, screen-printed with historical buildings, or any one of the stories collected during a day trip to Sunnyslope.
The local historian labeled himself early on as an "information curator" who's not afraid of dark basements or dusty corners. Shore says he chooses to ignore the all-too-common claim, "Phoenix has no history," and is, instead, on a mission to connect the community to its current and historic place.
He's got a camera and a notepad he only uses for names and numbers. And he keeps the stories in a hidden, photographic system in his head. Now we just have to get him to write it all down.
On a cool night in December, local crafty types take over a Phoenix parking lot for Crafeteria organized by Smeeks and Frances owner Georganne Bryant, a woman we are quite certain has never possessed a ceramic Kleenex box holder. Crafeteria is a jackpot for anyone with an etsy.com addiction and a one-stop shop for any letterpress, jewelry, or custom-button craving. All Crafeteria goods are 100 percent locally made by the likes of Danielle Hacche, Against the Grain, Crafty Chica, Harmony Handmade Books, Nancy Bobo, and SeeSaw Designs (to name a few). The baked goods at Crafeteria will keep the corn in its kettle, and the people-watchings just as good as at any old arts festival.