A golf bag and glitter balls lead me to a chance meeting with picker Rick

A chance encounter and conversation with picker Rick

Walking in Bridgeland, a neighborhood in Calgary, I spotted this golf bag laying on the ground alongside these large decorative balls. Totally random and amusing at the same time. While I was taking the photo a voice off to my left shouted out “you can have them $10” I looked up and there stood Rick. Rick was standing in the open doorway of his garage, bundle of wires in one hand and a lawn mower battery in the other. Turns out Rick was a bit of a picker and enjoyed travelling around rescuing old machines, stripping them down, and using the parts to repurpose other broken ones.

A golf bag and balls lead me to a conversation with picker Rick
A golf bag and balls lead me to a conversation with picker Rick

This is why I love street photography

This is why I love street photography, one minute my eye is attracted to a random object or scene, then moments later I’m meeting and chatting to another interesting person. Rick asked me how long I’d been in Calgary, when I told him I’d moved from Belleville he went on to tell me all about the industrial work he’d done there a number of years ago. He explained he’d lived in Ontario for a number of years but blamed Gordon Lightfoot for moving to Alberta. When I asked why he broke out in song singing Alberta bound and bust out laughing! You really couldn’t ask for a better stranger encounter.

Continuing with our conversation Rick told me about how the house next door had recently caught fire (unfortunately someone passed away so out of respect I didn’t photograph the burnt out shell) and how it took a lot of effort and people to wake him up. Rick had fallen asleep with his headphones on and hadn’t heard the frantic banging on the door and windows of his property by both the Police and Fireman attending the incident. Luckily, one of Ricks friends had come out to see what all the noise was about and managed to wake Rick up by phoning him several times. Fortunately, Ricks property escaped any major damage and now Rick sleeps without earplugs or headphones.

Rick really had a passion for mending old broken machines and said that he spent way too much time and gas money traveling around looking for old machines to repurpose. He told me he had a few compressors at the back of the garage still waiting for parts that he’d had for years. He’d find the right parts needed to make them work again sometime to other.

Thirty minutes later I was on my way having heard his life story from child to adult lol.

Stranger Portrait - Picker Rick
Stranger Portrait – Picker Rick