Dana Walters, 37
Sixth Ave and 9th St
Mon Aug 13 2007
Photograph by Jay Muhlin
"My mom used to put me in polyester three-piece suits. It frustrates her that I still have this hickdom thing going on. She calls me a ragamuffin...But most of us are walking around in some kind of Halloween costume, even if it's discreet and conservative."
Where's the pitchfork? I know, I look like I fell off a turnip truck.
Well, did you? No. I'm overseeing the guys replacing the boiler in the building around the corner.
Does your job require that you wear overalls, or are you just going for a hillbilly look? No, we don't have to. I happen to like the functionality and the hickness of overalls.
Good for picking up redneck ladies? [Laughs] Not that I've noticed.
Do you ever wear them with one strap down? That used to be really cool. No, I never went for the Tarzan thing. Or for one pant leg higher than the other—I'm not white-boy ghetto that way. I just admire the blue collar experience.
Is that to say you consider yourself not blue collar? I'm not as tough and blue collar as a lot of guys who are actually doing real stuff. I'm not up on skyscrapers or digging ditches. I just push a pencil, mostly. I've got kind of a blue collar drag going on.
What's in the bag? Just a salad, which, again, blows my image as a true tough-guy redneck. I should have a hamburger or something.
Yeah—and hey, tough guy, what's up with the girl's name? [Laughs] My response to that was always, "Well, it can't be a girl's name, 'cause I'm here." In first grade, I told my best friend my name was George. And I went to his Halloween party and told everybody my name was George. When my mom came to pick me up, my friend's mom said, "Oh, we just love your son George." And my mom's like, "Who's George?" So yeah, it got under my skin.
You could have gone by Walter. Yeah, I could have, but I just really liked Curious George.--Kate Lowenstein