A man and his machine, 1983

Don and his Norton, Vancouver, 1983

Don and his Norton, Vancouver, 1983

A few posts back, I began this series, or returned to it, by recalling one of a number of “communal” houses I lived in during the 1980s. Fact is, this was just one of several places that an evolving group of photographers, artists and Mountain Equipment Co-op employees chipped in to rent over a period of about five years, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

As anyone who has shared accommodation knows, communal living has its ups and downs, but irritants can be more than compensated for by camaraderie and adventure.

Whether it was climbing and skiing expeditions or nightclubbing and kitchen dance parties, there were few dull moments in the houses we shared. Speaking of dancing, Don McTaggart and I enjoyed the dubious distinction of clearing dance floors with our combination of disco moves and bare fist sparring. Though our intention was not to connect any of our punches, enthusiasm and beer occasionally led to a black eye. Oops! Somebody weaved when they should’ve dodged. Fun times!

In the photograph above (cropped from a 6X6 negative), Don poses in the back yard (seen in a previous post) with his lovingly maintained Norton Commando motorcycle.

Technical details: Camera: Mamiyaflex C; Film: Ilford FP4 @125ASA, Developed in Peceptol 1:1, 15 min.

Raymond Parker

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