HIS VOICE WAS boisterous but inviting, and there was a warmth in his smile. Even over the din of conversation and laughter, you could hear the Cajun twang in his siren call to “Step right up!” and play his game. But once he reeled you in, he spoke softly and quietly—timidly, even—to the point where you had to lean in to hear him explain the rules. Then before you knew it, he was back at it, hollering at the passersby to test their aim and win a prize.
The man’s personality was undeniable, says photographer Rob Holt, and he had an air of mystery that just drew you in. His name tag read “Edwin,” but it also said he hailed from Florida—despite his bayou accent—so who knew if either bit of information was accurate. Regardless, in that moment, camera in tow, Rob knew two things: 1) He had to play a round, and 2) He needed to capture the scene.
After tossing a few darts with his wife, his 2-year-old son laughing at the sounds of the popping balloons, Rob took a couple of steps backward to frame the shot.
“He saw me doing it, I could tell,” Rob says. “He didn’t look at the camera while I was doing it, but when I walked away, he just kind of looked at me and nodded his head like he was telling me goodbye.
But he was still hollerin’, ‘Step right up!’”