(CBS) — They might leave you feeling groovy: everyday people undeniably photographed in the early-1970s, complete with flared pants, long hair and other characteristics of the era.
He was a total stranger at the time, but as CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, the Highland Park photographer who knew them for just a moment is now trying to track them down.
“I woke up one morning and said, ‘You know what, I’m going to take pictures of people walking down the street,’” Jeff Cohen recalls.
He would eventually encounter a Japanese couple on vacation and an older Boy Scout from Denmark, among many others.
Somehow, Cohen convinced total strangers to walk up two flights to his San Francisco studio.
It was 1973.
Cohen says he forgot about the project until several years later, when he moved into his suburban studio and found some prints. Shortly after, with only the names of his subjects, this former Playboy photographer turned detective.
He notes he had “no phone numbers and certainly no email addresses.”
Cohen searched social media sites and began re-connecting. He began pinpointing locations of some of his subjects on a map.
Some of the stories he’s unearthed are sad. Others are humorous.
“This threesome,” Cohen explains, “to a person, they told me we were probably stoned, ‘We don’t remember anything about this.’”
Cohen says he’s been able to track down 25 of the 39 individual people he photographed. One challenge he may not overcome, he says, is finding a woman named Smith in New York City.
Cohen’s website has more information about the project.