The Last Bus Home

Quito Ziegler takes her freedom ride photos on the road

Ziegler stops on photos of Lu, a Filipino immigrant who works in the dish room at the Mayo Clinic even though Ziegler suspects he could be nearing 80. He stands on a step stool and laughs along with a co-worker as they scrub down dishes in one photo, and then closes his eyes as he reads from the Bible in another. Ziegler describes him as the granddaddy on the original Freedom Ride, and imitates his way of turning ordinary words into elongated, romantic prose.

She passes through photos of Hesbon, a Kenyan who emigrated here in 1997. His wife finally received her immigration papers in 2000, but their children didn't receive travel documents until this year. Ziegler went along for their reunion at the airport where she photographed them as they excitedly snapped pictures of one another. The kids are bundled in thick down coats as they pose for the camera at the baggage claim, their faces a mixture of apprehension and overwhelming excitement. "It's about what happens in people's hearts," Ziegler says. "That's why I took these pictures. I think the greatest artists try to react to the world."

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