I’m not entirely sure how this man lost his legs, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they had to be amputated due to heavy smoking and alcohol use. As I photographed him, I noted that his fingernails were stained yellow from nicotine and his hands were shaking, probably due to the DTs. He’s clasping them to make the shakes less visible.
I gave him a dollar for signing my model release and he promptly wheeled himself into a bar to drink it up. This was a common experience in Uptown during the mid-1970s and this was not the only amputee I photographed. Heavy smoking and high alcohol use are risk factors for amputation.
This photo was taken on Sheridan just north of Argyle at an apartment hotel that catered to parolees, older folks and the medically impaired.