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Eleven and a half minutes on a rainy day?

27/06/2013

Street work today
Images are crappy but…

Met a man today – 96, wanted to know how heavy the camera was, he used to own one. I handed the Nikon to him and he weighed it in his hands. His hands were shiny, and his skin mottled, he wore a jumper under his short jerkin jacket, he had pressed trousers. He didn’t wear glasses. Smartly turned out but no tie.

“Mine was nothing like that fancy thing” he tells me,
“it’s only as fancy as the eye” I replied, it sounds corny but it’s true… I love my Nikon, but it’s true!

I sat down at the table he was sitting at, mug of tea resting beside him, I was asked if I wanted something by a waiter, so I ordered coffee.

We sat and made polite conversation, we had an uncomfortable silence so I asked the great ice breaker…
“You’re an experienced man of the world, with everything you have lived and experienced what advice would you give yourself at 15?

He told me he was 96, no walking stick and really cognitive. He thought for a moment and said “I would say to him, ‘you know all the things you think are important, well, a few years down the line, not so important”, then he said “Stand up for others” and finally, “when a good woman tells you to shut up, sit down and listen, bloody well shut up, sit down and listen!”

He sipped his tea, looked at me, the man blew me away… please let me reach 96 and in his condition!

I shared a coffee with him, made some small talk and we partied, my only two regrets, I didn’t take his photo and, shamefully, I didn’t ask his name!

Street photography, where we shut up and watch others, maybe we should talk as well!

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From → Journey, Photography

2 Comments
  1. Go back! Every day if you can, go back and see if you see him. If you do, get his picture! He’s an important piece of unsung history who has made an obviously important impact on your life.

    We only live once, and usually try to celebrate each other after we’re gone. If you can, get his picture and celebrate him now.

    A beautiful post.

    • I’ve started a street project in Dumbarton Road, met a few shop owners, a few publicans and the police (just so they know who I am) – if I see him again you’d better believe I will, and buy him a tea!

      It doesn’t happen very often, hardly ever, but it didn’t seem appropriate at that moment, but not getting his name is inexcusable!

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