Sitting waiting for the bus an elderly man walks up, I shift over making room for him to sit down and he winks at me. I take one look at him and I am ready to start the conversation.
In the headband of his fawn coloured cowboy hat he has guinea fowl feathers which I instantly recognise. He wears glasses and sports a big bushy moustache that hides some of his upper lip but as the moustache extends out the edges had clearly been twirled. This is a man with a glint in his eye. Around his neck a red kerchief which matches nicely with his blue shirt. He wears a black leather jacket and leather Aussie boots and a great matching leather belt to his fawn coloured trousers that of course match his hat. He took out a fog watch ( ! ) from his upper pocket to read the time. Oh my, I thought to myself, I must find out about this man so I casually say,
"Well dressed like this you must be heading for the EKKA, the big agricultural show in town which starts tomorrow".
"Oh he said the last time I was at the EKKA I came by tram and that must have been in 1967!"
He comes all the way from Lightning Ridge in New South Wales and his name is Reg. He hands me his card and I see an equally fascinating last name and the clue to his get up. He is involved in Opal mining. Lightning Ridge is home to Australia's biggest Black Opal mines. Black Opals are the most precious of the opals and while they come in all different shapes and sizes their inner dark background is unmistakable and makes them very rare and valuable specimens.
I know these are a poor substitute for Reg - he is much more colourful, but I have his card now and so I will design a trip over to find him in Lighting Ridge. I love my bus stop.