I spent the most of 1988 Democratic National Convention covering the “official” protest area across the street from CNN Center in Atlanta. The only time I would leave the area was when there was nothing going on in the area, or a rally/protest was happening somewhere else in the city.
The man leaning against the steel beam was present during the majority of the rallies and speeches in the protest area. He never took notes, no obvious camera, and generally tried to just blend in with the media. During downtime some reporters would ask who he was, or who he was with, and he always said he didn‘t want to be interviewed. Eventually reporters just stopped talking to him.
Was he a government employee, who knows. Was he a reporter, who knows. Was he simply a curious person, again, who knows. I just love how for just a few seconds, everything came together so I could capture this photo.