It happens every day. On the street, in the mall, on the bus, in the car, your head is turned by someone who catches your eye, looking so marvelous your pulse all but percolates and your mind burbles inane odes to joy. To prove that such sidewalk epiphanies are not flukes and that beauty resides not just in our stars but in our selves, PEOPLE drew an exuberant diagonal across the map and sent three astute local photographers—in southern Florida, central Tennessee and greater Seattle—out and about, to look for good looks and shoot same. Each spent a week and found beauty in abundance. It was, they report, a most delightful job.
PAUL PIERCEY, fisherman, Seattle; 35. Married, one daughter. "The Milky Way at night on the sea is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen."
JEANNE WEAVER, hair salon owner, Clarksville, Tenn.; 28. Married. Stood in for Michelle Pfeiffer in Love Field
. "She has a pouty mouth; I don't."
SEAN BENNETT, aerobics studio owner, Seattle; 25. Single. "I exercise four hours a day. Too many people throw on a suit in the morning, go to work, come home, eat a steak dinner and fall into bed. That's why they are obese."
ANNE FROST, administrative director, United States Croquet Association, Palm Beach; 26. "Weeding" eligible males. "It's just a good overall look [I have]. Everything goes together, no one thing stands out. I think having a good inner outlook is important. It shows in your smile."
GINA LANE, fight attendant, Washington, D.C. (photographed in Florida); 21. Single and enjoying it. "They say I look like Doris Day, which is fine with me. Sort of a girl-next-door look—nothing spectacular."
JOSH FERNANDEZ, Cuban-born artist and furniture designer, Miami; 26. Single. "Some people keep looking at me. Others say, 'Who are you? Where did you come from?' I just try to keep a level head."
NORMAN ROY, freelance commercial artist and aspiring architect, Nashville; 20. Single. Sky dives, skis, rock climbs. "As a kid, I think I was pretty sad looking. The cards flipped when I went to college."
DIANA ENDSLEY, homemaker, Lewisburg, Tenn.; 22. Two sons. "I'm very outdoorsy. I love to sing country and western music. No matter what the problem is, I can always laugh, and I think that's beautiful."
SUSAN SLAVICK, Chicagoan who plans to enter Miami-Dade Community College this May to study interior design; 19. Single. "I hate guys who whistle at you and make comments. Some of them act like they've never seen a woman before. People's reactions are pretty funny."
TOM KACZMAREK, bartender, Seattle; 31. Single. "I thought if I looked good, people would automatically think I was stupid. So I've always read a lot."
GEORGIA SATTELE, guide, Universal Studios, Orlando; 24. Married. "My looks do get noticed here, but hopefully they're listening to what I'm trying to tell them."
ANTHONY HAYCOCK, Catholic priest, Seattle; 53. "Beautiful people are those who have a singular purpose in life, and use the whole of life."
CAROLYN BLEDSOE, saddlery owner, Franklin, Tenn.; 36. Married. "I was one of those little girls who wore blue sparkle glasses and braces."
COLLEEN BURNHAM, graphic designer, Seattle; 29. Married. "I played down beauty growing up. That's the last thing I'd like to be recognized for."
JANET STANLEY, homemaker, Seattle; 39. Married, a son and a daughter. "I try to surround myself with the world of nature. I always have flowers around me, and I love paintings and music. Balancing the trinity of God and man and nature, that's where we get our beauty."
TIM McKEE, lifeguard, Miami Beach; 37. Won three Olympic silver medals ('72 and '76) in swimming. Single. "I look at all my bathers, but some are easier to look at. I've been known to fog up my binoculars. But it's a far cry from the old Jersey beaches where girls brought you lunch every day."
PETE AND BRIDGETTE CURTIS, contractor and computer operator, Hendersonville, Tenn.; 29 and 24. Pete: "One of our favorite things is ballooning." Bridgette: "It's peaceful—no noise, no dogs barking."
JUAN CARLOS ALONSO, advertising agency art director, Miami; 28. Single. "I think being attractive helps. I think it's a benefit. But I don't focus at all on my looks. I try to focus on my career."
SUSAN STUCKWISH, sales rep, Morristown, Tenn.; 26. Single. "I was big and awkward growing up, a tomboy. I ran track, played trombone. Being at ease with yourself is what counts. After that, you have beauty."
JULIE LIRA, psychology student, University of Washington; 23. Single. "I was very much the ugly duckling as a kid—spread teeth, thick glasses, frizzy hair. I would read instead of flirting. Now I do both."
PATRICE TULLAI, artist, Seattle; 28. Single. "To me, beauty is truth. If you love someone but argue or fight, that's beautiful because it's true."
GJERYL BENDZAK, pediatric X-ray technologist, Seattle; 26. Married. "Children are always hopeful. A kind word or smile makes them happy. That's beautiful."
JIM MUNNELL, sanitation engineer, Seattle; 27. Single. "I love my job. We have flashy trucks and good uniforms, and I never really get dirty. I get to watch all kinds of people. My favorites are the street people. They stop traffic and help us back out. We're all good friends."