This photo is of Roy Humber. taken by a friend of mine and a fan of the Character collection. Paul McDonald wrote:
Hi Robert Roy Humber died Saturday, he was in the miller centre with cancer. He was a great character, well known. He lived next to the AH Lilly building on Bond Street. Choices for Youth bought the house and tore it down. This is the only picture I have of him in the door way of that house, you can have it for your collection. Paul
I photographed him last summer on a hot sunny day where every one else was wearing shorts, there was Ed in a "too big" blazer and neatly pressed pants. He was wearing a traditional "Salt-n-Pepper" hat always at a jaunty angle.
Ed usually had a slight smirk of a smile like he was about to tell you a joke.
He told me once in a raspy gravely voice: "I don't smoke but I likes me beer"
On a sad note, a friend told me he thought that Ed died this past winter.
Often the greatest characters disappear without any fanfare, not even a whisper.
The Moon Man otherwise known to his friends as Bill Sweeney is best known for his passionate rants on the St. John's open line radio shows. I photographed Bill two years ago at the Government house Garden Party. He showed up with a bag of "Official Government House Cutlery" which he had acquired sometime in the past. The then Lt. Governor, Hon. Ed Roberts shook his hand but was uninterested in seeing the contents of his plastic bag. Bill, in his usual manor started to sing and loudly tell all nearby that he had stolen cutlery from Government House. A couple of police in attendance started ushering the boisterous singer toward the west gate where I was able to take this photograph. Bill called me several times after that to confirm that his portrait was indeed on my wall. T0day St.John's learned that Bill Sweeney died yesterday. I don't know any details but I do know that St. John's has lost another character. God rest Bill. Your portrait will always hang with the other characters of St. John's in my collection.
Steve is a gifted musician, playing intense Spanish style guitar. He is also a creative professional Busker. Bringing along a battery powered amplifier to help you hear his music and also bringing his dog for you to pet. You can often enjoy Steve's music at the end of George Street where it meets Water Street in downtown St. John's.
I heard an interview on the local CBC Radio morning show with Heidi and her Brother who's family has operated the Taylor's Fish truck in downtown St. John's for the past 30 years. This is definitely a character of our city that should be in this collection. I took my daughter and her best friend for a walk along the harbour front to find the "Fish Truck". Wow, what a nice lady Heidi was, she chatted with the girls and I for 20 minutes or so then happily posed for photos and smiled the whole time. I like flippers once a year, but Cod Fish... I could eat that twice a day!
Camera Sony R1 (again; thanks Lynn) ISO 200 f6.3 1/250 sec.
I have been waiting for the right time to strike up a conversation with Joe. He is very quiet and most days he won't evan ask for spare change. Maybe he thinks that I don't look like I have any to spare. Finally I got around to actually asking if he would mind taking his photo... and "Yes, but I want to comb my hair." He genuinely seemed to enjoy the attention and we spent about 20 minutes chatting and shooting. The lighting was soft and pouring in from Water Street so it made the contrast of the wall really jump out.
Camera: Sony R1 (Thanks Lynn) ISO 160, 1/60 sec, f3.5 Photoshop CS4 convert to B&W
Thank God for Characters in our lives. St. John's is at the end of the world. We are leaning out into the North Atlantic, hugging the wet rocks and praying for 'nice day. People who live here are resilient and out going...Characters. I love people and love photographing people. It is my great pleasure to get to know these people and photograph them in my humble way. Hopefully you feel that I do them justice. Thank God for Characters in our lives.