He was my grandfather. We called him Papa. He was a simple man, from what I remember, from the stories I've been told. He was a war veteran. He fell in love overseas and brought his Dutch bride home. He was a mailman and refused any promotions that took him off his walking route. He loved people. People loved him. He was a photographer. He documented life. His passion was trains, and he would travel anywhere and everywhere to photograph them. His collection is one of the largest in Canada. Every photograph he took, he printed as an 8x10 and wrote the location, date and subject names. His home was filled with filing cabinets to house all these images, and he knew where each and every one was. He walked or rode his bike everywhere. One of my favorite stories is that he was pulled over by a policeman from riding his bike too fast down the old Royal Oak hill Road. What I would pay to witness that scene... priceless...
What I really loved about Papa was that when I moved to Vancouver, he would telephone me and say "Hi darling, I was hoping to call on you today". He was an absolute gentleman.
To this day, when I see an older bike, I think of him... my Papa, camera slung over his shoulder, slacks and polished shoes, riding faster than the speed limit down a steep hill... off to capture his next train.
I miss you, Papa... xoxo