The old dockhand and the Opel mantra

axel stevens

View On Black - Large

It was a find, it was a steal. I had been walking for hours on end ; from the South quarter right to the old quays in the city of Antwerp, Belgium, and had taken countless photos. I stumbled upon these two oldtimer vehicles, an opel mantra and a hillman car and this old man was walking away from the two cars towards what looked like an old abandoned stone building sprayed with graffiti. I took the shot(s) and decide to walk towards the old guy and the stone building.

We started talking with each other and it turned out that this old guy had been a dockhand, operating the cranes and driving cars into huge ships. We started walking towards the two oldtimer cars again ( I was still talking photos of the old guy, the cars, his movements and gestures) and this guy never stopped talking. He told me about the war, what he had done, his life on the docks and the "good" old days and his love for cars.He told me several stories about Opel mantra cars and how he had driven sportscars like lotus's into cargo ships.
After some 45 minutes I just had to say goodbye because he would have kept me there to listen to the story of his life.

For some reason, I have that effect on people.

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