Day 34 - Will

34 Will.jpeg

Day 34 - Will (2nd person I approached)

February 03, 2014 - Born in Germany, Will was adopted when he was one year old. At the age of two Will and his family moved to England where they stayed until Will was six years old. Will’s parents had a chance to meet with his birth mother, and as Will grew up he considered his adoptive parents to be his mother and father, but knew information about “this other couple who had a hand in my creation.” Will’s adoptive parents weren’t able to have children of their own, and his mother told him that “there were about 200 kids in the orphanage, but my Mother told me as soon as they met me, they knew I was their child. I’ve always felt special because of that.” His father was in the military, and when Will was six, they moved to London, Ontario.

Working for Eaton’s Department Store in London, Will told me “I thought I had a job for life there. I was on the building maintenance crew, and never considered it would end, I really thought it was for life.” After eighteen years at Eaton’s, Will made his way to Vancouver, where he landed a job at Sear’s. “I starred there not long after they opened at Harbour Centre. And yeah, I thought I’d be there for life, then they went out of business here as well! I work now for my landlord, who has four buildings and I also do some warehouse work as well. It pays my rent, keeps me fed and there’s a bit of money left over for my pockets.”

I met Will standing outside the van cover Public Library, where he was smoking a cigarette. When I introduced myself and we shook hands, I commented on how warm his hand was. “I’ve been in the library for the past three hours reading.” He told me he was reading a book about Ellis Island, the immigrant inspection station near New York, where thousands of immigrants were processed before being allowed in America. “Immigration has always interested me, and the book I was reading had some fascinating stories of people nearing 100 years of age, and their recollections of waiting to enter the country. Stories of how with no money, and not speaking English, many of them left their families behind to seek a better life. It must have been very hard. It makes me think of my (adoptive) family, and their roots in Europe.”

Will likes to read, and listen to music. We compared musical tastes and dislikes. “I like jazz, jazz guitar - Wes Montgomery is my favourite (FACT CHECK I don't like heavy metal - I stopped listening to contemporary music in the mid-eighties when it just got bad. The only rap I like is Johnny Cash!”

I thanked Will for talking with me and after I took his picture, he said, “I’ve got a little story to tell you. I was having lunch earlier today with a friend and we had Chinese food. I opened my fortune cookie and it said ‘You will do well in the entertainment industry’ and my friend laughed and said to me “yeah, right, and the paparazzi will want to interview you this afternoon as well.” I can’t wait to tell him I met you, and that you interviewed me - he’ll have a good laugh over this!” #notastranger