That's what I ended up calling Brandon ever since we discovered something we conspicuously had in common. See, I always knew I had a lot of family down here. Many of them that I had never met. Most of them on my Grandma Fleming's side. I somehow managed to make several Arkansas reunions but never went to the ones in Texas. I always thought it was too long of a drive. Rather ironic considering I would eventually end up here.
Anyway, Grandma's maiden name is Redic. There are are still several family members down here with that same last name. It just so happened to be Brandon's last name. He wasn't from the same town where many of our Redics reside (can't even remember the name of it now); however, he was from a town around the area called Waxahahie, TX. So we just had to be related somehow. I tried checking with the elders to see if his parents' names rang a bell. Never did get confirmation one way or the other. Didn't matter. The similarities were close enough that we started calling each other Kinfolk.
We met when I started at my former company down here. The area does have more minorities in the workplace than I've ever had at any previous job, but he and I were the only two brothas in our department. Not counting the boss's boss. Not that it mattered a whole lot. I would come to find out that there were few real people there. Folks are friendly with you when you work with them, but the divorce is swift when you leave. At least while I was there I met a good person with Brandon.
Having just been down here for a few months at the time, I was really struggling to get the XL-Images name out. I hadn't yet joined any local photog groups down here. Didn't even know where to find them. I certainly didn't want to spread the word at too much at the day gig either. The head honchos act like they want to encourage a life outside the job, but they frown on it if it involves one being enterprising. It was during a casual conversation with Brandon during lunch that the whole thing came about.
The Redics were long overdue for a family photo. He didn't have anyone in particular in mind to do their pics until I showed him some of my work. He was diggin it, but that was only half the battle. Naturally, I had to sell the Missus too. She got on board even quicker. So we set up an appointment for a Saturday afternoon at a park in Dallas. One called Robert E. Lee. Leave it to Texas to name a park after a Confederate general.
The session with the Redics holds a special place with me. The reason being that it was my first official shoot in the DFW area since relocating here. That meant it had to set the bar for future business. If things worked out, then it would lead to more business with their friends and their friends' friends. Unfortunately, that part never did happen. This shoot was several months ago and still haven't had any referrals from them. I'm still holding out that it will happen eventually. I just try to be optimistic like that. But even if it never does, at least I got XL-Images kicked off in DFW on the right foot.