A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Norman Baldwin, A Manhole Cover & Sean Rossiter
Wednesday, August 12, 2015



Norman Baldwin - Water Street, circa 1984-85


Today has been a day of coincidence. My Rosemary asked me to explain to her what is an algorithm.  She read this  in the NY Times. Coincidentally there was in the editorial section of the NY Times this

I started with face recognition squares that appear in her IPhone 4 and told her that soon we will be able to place a picture (any of her) on the web, press search and all the pictures of her on the net will be retrieved. I also told her that any day now her fridge, when she walks into the kitchen will remind her, “Dear you are running out of skim milk. It’s time to get some more at Shopper’s Drug Mart." Which is where Rosemary gets her milk!

And coincidentally Rosemary had no more of her skim milk so she asked me to drive her to the Kerrisdale Shopper’s. I told her that I would park on a loading zone (I have municipal plates) and that I would walk around while she bought her milk.

I looked through the window of Kerrisdale Cameras. It was empty of patrons. I moved over to Hager Books and noticed a book that at one time I would have purchased: Sargent – Portraits of Artists and Friends. I then sat down on a very uncomfortable bench donated in memory of a Mr. Runciman by Hill’s of Kerrisdale.

A tall slim, man wearing semi-transparent sunglasses, arm and arm with an elderly woman in white hair, walked by.

I got up and tapped the man on the shoulder. I asked him, “Did you ever work for the city?” He answered, “Yes.”  I then told him, I photographed you sometime in 1984 or 1985 with your head coming out of a street man-hole cover.” He smiled and said, “You are Alex Waterhouse-Hayward.” I now live in Curitiba, Brazil so I am usually not in town. I am here to visit my mother.”

Norman Baldwin was my subject for a Sean Rossiter, Twelfth & Cambie column in Vancouver Magazine.

It took a while to get the city to authorize us to open the manhole cover on what was the Woodward’s parking lot on Water Street.  Because the street was one-way and most cars turned to park I positioned my camera past the parking lot so I was (and so was Baldwin) safe from run ins with a car bumper.

Since I noticed that Baldwin's mother was tiring I was not able to have him remind me what he did in the city and why Sean Rossiter had written about him. Why I photographed him popping out of a manhole cover will remain a mystery to me. But I do remember using my large medium format Mamiya RB-67 and that it was connected to a not that portable Norman 200-B mated to a softbox. Baldwin's 6x7 cm transparencies were filed under Baldwin, Norman.

It seems that Baldwin is the president of the cricket club in Curitiba, Paraná State.



     

Previous Posts
A Corpse On Arvind Gupta's Former Doorsteps

Bard's Shakespeare's Rebel - All's Well That Ends ...

Anita Roberts Twice

The Selfie

Enormous Techno Petals - Skyfaring

Art History On The Fly

Nun Nicer @ The Roundhouse - Queer Arts Festival

Draped to Kill Redux

Sukie

Las Babas del Diablo



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