Sunday, February 23, 2014

Meeting Scotty on a Sunday Morning Sidewalk

Let me introduce you to Scotty. I was out on the street early today, and so was he. Not too many other people about on a Sunday morning at just before nine. Not many with coins for the minstrel; not many passersby for me to photograph and share a moment with.

Scotty Singing on a Sunday Morning Sidewalk
(Armadale Western Australia February 2014)

Well, yes there were the Sunday morning "let's read the paper over breakfast" crowd in the cafes, but not too many people actually on the street. So, as I walked by, I shouted out to the guy singing and strumming on the sidewalk:

Me: You're an early bird. What's that expression?
Scotty: It's the early bird catches the worm.
Me: That's right. Have you caught any yet?
By this time I was standing next to him and we kept on chatting.
Scotty: Well not really, but you know I used to have a worm farm. I know how to do that! 
(this said with a laugh)
Me: Really? They're a great idea aren't they?

Scotty went on to explain how he kept a worm farm going through the hot summers and how he used the worms for fishing. Now, being a vegetarian, I can't help but go "Oh" at this kind of thing.
"Well, you know, I used to feel pretty sad about them myself sometimes," Scotty said, clearly picking up on my vege face.

"But those worms helped me feed my family," he added. We agreed that we all have to do what we have to do and sometimes it's not always how we'd like it.

We talked for quite a while. I learned a little more about him. He joined the navy at 17 and "saw quite a bit of the world". Now, he's a man of the road, a nomad. A lot like me you could say.

"I'm a free man," he told me. He went on to explain that his busking allowed him to eat well and he move freely wherever and whenever he likes.

"I put my tent and a few spare clothes in my pack, grab some food and water, and I'm right for a few days at the beach. I just pitch the tent in the sand dunes." Scotty has seen a lot of Australia in this way. And while he's at it, he's bringing a lot of joy to people in the street with his fine voice and guitar playing.

We chatted on about photography (the pros and cons of digital vs film, photoshop vs a traditional darkroom for working on photos), the various places around the world we'd both visited, and a lot of other stuff too. As you do on an early Sunday morning sidewalk.

Then I asked Scotty if he'd mind me making a photo of him. He didn't mind and, while I focused on making the photographs, he played an instrumental. Very groovy indeed! I thanked him, we shook hands and said our goodbyes. He started up a new tune and I turned my camera towards the now more numerous passersby.

PS I gave Scotty my card and he told me he uses the internet in the library sometimes. I told him to look me up sometime. I hope he does.  If you see this Scotty, I hope you like it mate!

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