The Story of Mr. Winkle
(from introduction to "What is Mr. Winkle ")


Mr. Winkle entered my life in a manner as improbable and mystical as he is. Lost in an industrial area on my way home from a photography assignment, I spotted an odd tuft of fluff on the side of the road. Moving close enough to take in its diminutive dimensions and enormous, otherworldly eyes, I thought it might be a shipwrecked alien. In the glow of the headlights, this muddy, tattered little creature hobbled straight into my arms, as if he'd been waiting for me all along.

After a year of vet visits and tender loving care, my peculiar pint-sized pal was well enough to lead a normal life. It took even longer to come up with a name worthy of his uniqueness. Finally, it came to me--Mr. Winkle! Of course.

As his health improved, Mr. Winkle began to meet people on his daily walks, all of whom offered theories as to his identity. "It's a robotic squirrel!" screamed a cable repairman. "It's a cat in a dog suit," surmised an out-of-work actor. "He's a furry smile!" exclaimed a Japanese tourist.

It was these hilarious, inspired reactions from mesmerized strangers that sparked the idea for the "What Is Mr. Winkle"? photo series. His power to heal, enchant, and entertain was too overwhelming to keep to myself. I simply had to share him with the world through my photography. Mr. Winkle made it easy, supermodel that he turned out to be. He loves the camera, hamming it up with all his heart, as if he knows it's his mission to make us happy.

What is Mr. Winkle? Well, that's for you to decide. I'm sure you will choose a favorite character or two. Mine is one I haven't made a photo of yet, but I think it may be what Mr. Winkle truly is: the child of a cloud, on loan from heaven.

--Lara Jo Regan


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All pictures 2000-2009 Lara Jo Regan


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