The internet can be such a double-edged sword. Crowded with yahoos who think theirs is the only opinion that matters, it’s easy to lose interest. But then suddenly, you turn a virtual corner and stumble across a place where everyone shares a common interest and it’s good to be part of the gang. Of course, the internet hadn’t been invented when the I first started people watching, long before I’d found the Citizens of Boomtown.
Although I always though I was Downtown’s people-watcher-in-chief, by 1982 I realised that I was a mere amateur. The people watching king started out as a government employee, in charge of Boomtown’s CCTV systems. If you ever walked Boomtown’s narrow alleys and felt that someone’s always looking at you, it was probably this bloke…the drab, the characterful, the strange and the wild. He watched their faces come and go and up close, he saw the strain – the burden that living in Boomtown added to its citizen’s lives.
I’ve no idea when the big idea struck him, but he left his safe but drab job with the government and set up his own video production company, filming interviews with Boomtown’s ‘celebrities’ and selling them to a string of media outlets. But as a thousand well-known faces passed across his screen, he became increasingly disillusioned, he simply never thought these so-called celebs had much to say.
The crunch came when one night, someone broke into his house. It was strange they didn’t take a thing but he couldn’t help feeling like everything had gone – everything that was important at least…his safety, his inner peace, his place to hide during the long wet Boomtown nights.
But life then intervened – as so often life does - he fell in love with the lighthouse keeper, off-loaded his company on some gullible wannabe and skipped off into the leaden yellowed sunset – making a fortune in the process.
it’s easy to forget that Boomtown is on an island. Not too far from the urban sprawl there’s a wildly dramatic coastline. And from his lofty perch at the top of the lighthouse, he continues to watch it all......