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Quick portrait of a street preacher

John Clanton Modified: April 18, 2013 at 11:57 am •  Published: August 24, 2011
Tim Beason  in Oklahoma City on Monday, Aug. 22, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
Tim Beason in Oklahoma City on Monday, Aug. 22, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman

Tim Beeson and I sat on unbalanced chairs under a faded white tent that was once used for old-fashioned tent revivals. He talked excitedly about his shop and his girlfriend; he told wild stories about his time in prison and what led to his ten-year incarceration; and he remembered a recovering alcoholic he’d helped out once upon a time. Then he closed his eyes and quietly sang a song that he’d just written about Jesus.

On Monday afternoon, I finally stopped and talked with Tim, who works under the tent set up in front of the old Owl Court on Route 66, or Britton road in Oklahoma City. I pass by the tent every day on my way to and from work. Beeson, who says he is a preacher, sells fruit, plants, and vegetables out of his roadside tent. He said he tries to give back to needy people who stop to buy vegetables. Beeson leans through a haze of smoke to poke twigs under a 65-pound pot of soup inside his smoker. He talks about giving back 60 percent of all the money he makes by giving customers bowls of vegetable soup and free produce.

Interesting and unpredictable conversations with people like Tim Beeson are still a part of what I enjoy about news photography. Remember that you can click on any image featured on Alternate Crop for a closer look. You can also see more pictures by photographers at The Oklahoman by clicking here.

-John Clanton

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