Rob Walker, 33, is a Petal native and Jones County Junior College graduate. Walker loves fishing and kayaking on the river and you can usually find him at one of the bars in Downtown Hattiesburg. After getting his first camera in middle school, nearly two decades passed before his love affair with photography came into full bloom. Specializing in live music photography, Walker was named Best Event Photographer in this year’s Best of the Pine Belt awards. His portrait is compliments of fellow photographer Grant Hobgood.
What is your idea of happiness?
Being around good friends and good music. Some good whiskey wouldn’t hurt.
What is your greatest fear?
Dying unknown and alone, leaving nothing but a memory that will die along with the people that knew me. And pickles. They’re embalmed cucumbers. They’re terrifying if you really think about it.
What is your most prized possession?
I have a rusty beat-up hunting knife my Papaw made. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love some kind of musical talent, any kind would be ok with me.
What is your greatest regret?
Far better men than myself still haven’t found a way to go back and change regrets, right the wrongs, so to speak. I don’t see much use in wasting a lot of thought on them
What do you hate the most?
I try not to hate too many things. It takes way too much effort.
What is your idea of misery?
Being forced to listen to horrible music.
How would you like to die?
Peacefully and at ease, maybe watching a sunset. That is honestly the best answer I can come up with. I’ve spent my life trying to stay alive.
What do you most value in your friends?
Their ability to put up with me.
What is your favorite quality in a woman?
Strength. I love a strong woman. A woman that can get stuff done.
What is your favorite quality in a man?
Reliability. People should be able to depend on you.
Who is your favorite fictional hero?
Leon from the movie The Professional. A tragic hero, but a hero nonetheless.
Who is your hero in real life?
I’m sure this is a very cliche answer, but I’d have to say my Dad. They’re aren’t enough pages in this magazine to explain all my reasons why.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I can get lazy at times. I don’t always put the amount of effort I should into things.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
When people don’t do what they say they’re going to.
Who are your favorite authors?
Mario Puzo, Hunter S. Thompson
What is your motto?
It is what it is.
What was the worst day of your life?
November 22, 2004. I was in a fairly severe car accident. I was broken up pretty badly. I was conscious, but my mind managed to block out most of the event, a blessing for me. It’s my worst day for knowing what my loved ones had to go through during this time.
What was the happiest day of your life?
A couple of days after my accident. I woke up with a broken back and a few punctured organs. But I was told I wasn’t dying, though it was touch-and-go for a while. That can really change your perspective.
What words would people use to describe you?
I’m sure descriptions would be all over the map. Artistic, excessive, social, curious, stubborn, witty, snarky and at times an asshole, well meaning. And hairy.
If you could have dinner with anyone - dead or alive - who would it be?
I can’t choose between Hunter S. Thompson or Dr. John. I’ll go with both. I bet a bestselling book could be written about that meal.
Besides the Pine Belt, where is your favorite place to be?
I love New Orleans; it’s a different world. Even on a random Tuesday night, you can find amazing music everywhere.
What would you eat for your last meal?
A big bloody rare T-bone steak and a baked salmon roll from Sakura with an ice cold PBR. Or my mom’s spaghetti – it would be really hard to decide.