The Man Behind The Beautiful Fence

Today I met the man behind the beautiful fence.

Norman. 87 years of age, originally from Oxford, England.

My new friend.

I’ve been infatuated with this fence for a few years and take the back alley route when walking to the coffee shop, just to delight in it’s nuanced presentation.

In summer, vibrant red roses decorate it, pruned to the tune of tasteful minimalism.

In winter, it stands stark white, bare and beautiful. The absence of the roses give the fence’s motif it’s day in the sun.

The man behind the beautiful fence is interesting. He has a portrait of himself at 27 years of age that was painted by Pietro Annigoni, the same Italian artist Princess Margaret posed for 33 times. It hangs by his front door.

The first thing he bought after moving to Canada 50 odd years ago was a Strauss radio. It still sits modestly in the middle of his small kitchen table.

Norman tells me his wife was a French model who passed away 30 years ago. He still keeps her dolls on the couch to feel like she’s near.

It’s nice knowing so much about someone who was a stranger not 5 minutes beforehand; to be warmly & casually invited into their home.

All I really needed to know about Norman is that he’s the man behind the beautiful fence. One that let’s people in.

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