Recovering from my bruises I’ve had time to think. All my life I said I wanted to be somebody. I can see now I should have been more specific.
When I was eight I had a teacher who I thought was wonderful, mainly because she believed there was more to early education than the repetitive chanting of numbers. She was also the art teacher and I glowed in that area. How I ended up in a high school for engineers and tech drawing buffs I have no idea but that’s when it all went pear shaped. I hated my time at school from then on. I seemed to attract school bullies. I was too ‘arty’ for them and at one point felt I was put on earth for no other reason than for kids to beat up. The only thing I took up at school was space. My parents had the impossible task of getting me there and short of setting about me with a sock full of billiard balls or using a chloroformed towel ……. no way! I ended up in the “naughty class” and the teacher was useless, no idea how to control creative kids. We must have picked up on that and had him marked down as the injured wildebeest limping on the edge of the herd.
My best mate at school was a guy called Jonnie Stick, which was odd because he was so thin he looked like he was made out of pipe cleaners. Jonnie had a Kodak Brownie 127 very popular camera in it’s day, made out of bakelite by the million. We would bunk off school together and ride the underground sharing the Brownie and taking shots of the passengers all day long.
His father worked in a chemist shop so we never had a source problem for film and he developed it for free. Jonnie had a wonderful knack of capturing people in morning mode and I always felt his photo essay of ‘Men in the smoking compartment’ was world class.
The years passed by and we lost contact after Johnnie and his family moved to Tasmania. I’ve often wondered what happened to him and his gift and always look out for something that suggests his work but you can’t watch everyone can you? Or maybe you can.
I get a great buzz when I find out that someone is watching me and feel quite special but my red bubble bursts when I find out they are also watching 756 other people. It takes the edge off if somehow. I know…………. fragile egos.
It reminds me of the gravestone that says “gone but not forgotten” but you have to pull all the grass away to read it.