Since I’m on vacation this week, this seemed especially fitting, since it reminds me of vacations we took as a child. These are the photos of Andy Sweet, who chronicled Miami in the 1970s like no one else.
His subjects were the denizens of some of the more senior-citizen-friendly locales around Miami, and his portraits are so evocative of the time and the place, you feel as if they’re your own old family photos. He loved them all equally; the well off and the welfare recipients, the natives and the snow birds. And if the photos are any indication, they loved him back.
Tragically, Sweet was murdered (stabbed 29 times) in 1982. He was just 29 years old. Coincidence? Who knows. His parents paid an art storage facility to store his negatives, but the facility lost them all in 2003. Those poor people. His sister, Ellen Sweet Moss, formed the Andy Sweet Photo Legacy a few years later, and the organization has been gathering prints to restore the collection ever since.