Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lighthouse Keeper

When I first left home and went "on the road," I lived for about three months in a boarding house.  Rooms were used by three of four men, depending on the size of the room.  It was quite normal back in those dark post WWII days of the late fifties and early sixties.  One of my roomies was a lighthouse keeper.  He worked for Trinity House which is the organisation that controls all the lighthouses around England's coast.  He would have three-month assignments, and during that time he would often not speak to anyone. He was an interesting fellow and told me a lot about his chosen profession, and its isolation.  The thing I most remember about him was that as soon as he woke up, he would scrabble about for his pack of cigarettes, pull one out and light it.  Then he would throw one over together with the matches for me to do the same.  His brand was Capstan Full Strength.  It was a staggeringly strong brand and it took all my control not to cough my lungs up.  I was also glad that this first smoke was taken lying down in bed, as it made me incredibly dizzy!

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