In 2005, my husband and I were trekking through England as part of a three week journey we had planned. Towards the end of our stay, we found ourselves enamored with the little seaside town of Whitby. On one of the two days we were there, just as we were ducking into The Sutcliffe Gallery, I spotted this amazing looking man sitting on a bench across the steep sloped lane.
I normally do not have much courage when it comes to photographing strangers. I tense up, and lose the moment because I’m too shy to lift the lens. But there was just something about this man that intrigued me, and so I hoisted up the camera, and snapped the picture. Part of my inner voice was prodding me to go introduce myself. The other part of me just wanted to fade away and not disrupt his day. The latter won out. I stepped into the gallery, wandered around for at least a half hour, and by the time we emerged… he was gone.
For three years I’ve wondered who he was. I’ve heard from a couple of people that he is a peculiar local of Whitby, but that’s about all the information I had – until today. I received a note today from a resident of Whitby, who filled me in on who this gentleman is. His name is Barry, and he has an amazing story to tell.
I was linked to a YouTube video, showing part of a documentary filmed by Channel 4 in England, featuring Barry. If you’ve made it this far in my ramblings, I urge you to click this link, and watch the clip. If anything, it really drives home the point that in those brief moments of time when you pass by a stranger on the street – you never really know the intricate history wrapped up inside that skin you see. They are valuable treasures…these unique experiences we all have. It is the stitchwork that weaves us all together. I really wish I had sat down and said hello to Barrry that day. It would have made this life’s tapestry all the richer.
Copy and paste this link to meet Barry: