Journalism is about truth. So in utter honesty, I was a little too hung over to attend the lecture this past Friday. Duly noted, my ideas lacked a bit of inspiration because of this… Until earlier on today.
Keith, an elderly gentleman approached me at the bus stop explaining, “I like to just sit here and look at the sea views. I used to spend all my time out there”, gazing out to a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean surrounding Castor Bay. Keith divulged into every little fascinating detail about his life, including how his mother has 17 brothers and sisters and his uncle, 21 children.
The fact that Keith was willingly able to open up to me, a stranger, about his life, made me think, was it my demeanour that allowed this? According to Lynn Barber (1991),
Now, I understand that I wasn’t technically interviewing this man, but a journalist never misses the chance of a good story. In realisation of the fact that what I thought was only a mere chat, turned into an interesting story of a man who lived his dream, my journalist instincts kicked in.
Through the use of open-ended questions, allowing Keith to do most of the talking and me, the listening, the conversation commenced into his career and love life.
Before the introduction of the Auckland Harbour Bridge in 1959, Keith was employed by the first ever ferry service operating on Waitemata Harbour. After the Toroa was put out of business in 1980, Keith went on to sail the whole west coast of New Zealand, where he met his now wife of 53 years. He informed me of their romantic love story, meeting at a dance at their local sail club where they instantly connected.
With talks of the government creating a light rail link through the Additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing to the north shore, to be completed by 2030, how many other ferry services will be put out of business? I intend to look into this further in blog posts to come.
I have been telling myself that I would get out there and talk to the people within my neighbourhood, but this is proving difficult due to my anxiety of door knocks. But as William G.T Shedd says,“A ship is safe in harbour, but that’s not what ships are for”.. I think it is time to stop testing the water and plunge right in instead.