Getting to Know Joe: An Ethnographic Archaeological Snapshot

My friend just recently got divorced and is spending some re-grouping time at his Dad’s place, nestled quietly in a sleepy corner of the Hillsborough river in Tampa, Florida.

This neighborhood has yet to be the object of gentrification conquest, despite its waterfront “vibe” – leaving it to be enjoyed by the mostly retired if industry folks like Joe who call it home.

This was my second visit and I really enjoyed getting to know more about Joe as I documented some of the artifacts of his life.

Joe’s life work was as a systems engineer for a utilities company. One of the very first “computer geeks”, he spent his time writing code and developing computer systems in the era of punch-cards and mainframe rooms the size of a small residence.

He has been married and divorced four times and has been living the “bachelor” life for many years. He is proud of his adult kids and mostly pays homage to them by displaying their artwork. He volunteers one day a week and spends the bulk of his time practicing and performing Karaoke. He has a goal of reaching 3000 songs,for which he has never repeated a single one. He has raised his goal twice (once at 1000 and again at 2000).

He is frugal like most older folks not blessed with lottery winnings . ;). He is set in his ways and likes to transfer new products into previously used containers that he is used to. He is very organized and regimented. He eats specific things at specific times and keeps a tightly curated grocery cabinet and fridge.

He knows what he likes and what he doesn’t. Fortunately, he has learned to like having his son living with him and loves having guests.

So, Thank you, Joe, for allowing me and my small family (wife and two dogs) into your home this weekend. We enjoyed the beauty both inside and out.

Here is a photo-snapshot of Joe’s world.

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