Sunday, May 10, 2009

Julie (117) - Charles doing it tough

His lungs already riddled with emphysema, Charles quickly turned and stubbed his fag into the garden bed behind him when he saw my intent. He was leaning against the sandstone retaining wall of Hyde Park just before St James Station, where College Street curves into Elizabeth Street. In WW2 he served in a signals regiment with the air force together with his good mate, Harold, who was participating albeit in a wheel chair. Thinking he was in for a wearying day, I watched as he got an attack of the jitters trying to rejoin his mob as it moved off down toward Martin Place.

This is my final ANZAC Day portrait.


Julie said...

As Sally - I think - commented, the ranks of even the WW2 veterans is thinning considerably. I encountered much fragility but the strength of purpose and determination was still very strong.

Ann said...

Poor old fellow, you've captured his spirit and his frailty. These old guys do themselves more harm than good trying to march. Its one reason that I am ambivalent about the march.

bitingmidge said...

I like the colour, it's as if the photo is fading with the subject.

Julie said...

It is interesting what Peter has said about art imitating life. I struggled putting this portait up: continually dropping it down the queue. This chap was in a particularly bad way: very nervy, very anxious. It would not have surprised me if his clothing had been borrowed for the day. Not many people would wear a NT tourism tie to a march.

I disagree about the impact of the march on the aged marchers. I think what they get out of it far exceeds what it takes out of them. The camararderie, friendship and memory of youth brings a string to their step. They could die en route and I would still think it worthwhile. What could be changed though, is how long they wait aroun until their turn comes to march. Pole position should be based on age!