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ily who had just recently emigrated from southern Mexico, who lived in a small shanty in Colonia Felipe Angeles, Barrio Anapra [in Juarez”. Senor Nieves, the patriarch of the family told me something that completely changed the way I looked at things: “Never did I think I could have all this.” And I realized then that it wasn’t about me imposing my vision. Who was I to comment on his view of success? That’s when I went from wanting to be an artist to just wanting to be a photographer. It’s not about expressing myself Its about using my skills to tell other people’s stories. He doesn’t always need to walk far to tell these stories. He went only a couple of blocks down from his studio to take the picture of Fred Torres playing his ukulele in the same Alameda home where he was born 76 years before. Alameda was also where he snapped a photo of a man who makes his living by shocking people with electric cables and where, for years, Berman noticed a guy passing by almost every day invariably dressed in soccer shorts and holding a basketball that he never dribbled. One day, when the young man passed by carrying a hawk that he found under the Spaghetti Bowl, the circular loop of I-10 underpasses and overpasses near Berman’s neighborhood, he took his picture. The kind of street photography he does puts Berman more in the continuum of Weegee or Diane Arbus and their funky urbanism than with the austere vision of the social documentarians. His trajectory also resembles that of Harry Blumenthal, who came to El Paso from Philadelphia in 1910 at the age of 24, was offered a short stint in a local newspaper and ended up taking thousands of strange and somewhat surreal photographs of the border city’s street lifefuneral wakes, automobile accidents, bar scenes, people missing limbs, men in dragfor almost five decades. Then there was Otis Aultman, another commercial and press photographer originally from the East, whose images of El Paso and Juarez during the Mexican Revolution have become an integral part of the fronterizo iconography. If there’s a phrase that best describes Berman, however, it’s “on the edge”like the border itself. That’s what first brought him to El Paso at the 30 THE TEXAS OBSERVER MARCH 24, 2006