I canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t remember the moment I first heard a song by performer, Charles Knipp, known for playing his blackface character: Shirley Q. Liquor.
But it wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t long after that before I found my self face to face with the larger-than-life character inside a Louisville night club.
I had pitched the photo shoot idea to Reuters after I noticed that my travel schedule and Knipp’s would take us to the same city on the same night.
After photographing the Kentucky Derby, I spent eight hours with the performer backstage and onstageÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âeven finding myself as part of the monologue as Knipp, standing six foot, two inches, and weighing 420lbs, introduced me to the crowd, and suggested they should try to take me home at the end of the night.
Here is an interesting video from CNN featuring the performer.