Boyd's Story

Vintage Gas Pump                        

These pictures were shot while driving on country roads in the summer of 1981, stopping whenever something caught my eye. I had just graduated from Ryerson (now University, then Polytechnic) in Toronto with a degree in photography. Growing up in Alberta the lines, the forms of the prairies landscape, the light imprinted on my heart and mind my basic visual vocabulary

When I saw this old Gas pump in a small town I was passing through of course I had to take a picture, or several. I saw a man in overalls come to the doorway where he stood watching me. His face was in shadow and I didn’t know his attitude. but only recently when I was scanning the negative did I realize he had a big smile on his face. I couldn’t remember where this was so I posted it on a Facebook group of Alberta photographers.

The town was Orion and I discovered that this building burned down on Christmas Day 2016. I wondered what happened to Boyd Stevens, the man in the doorway. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Medicine Hat newspaper. I got 6 replies. He still lives in Orion, pop 4. His friends built him a new office in the
brick part os garage that didn’t burn down.

Hello Susan

First off thank you for taking your
time, trouble and expense in sending
me the great photo taken of my store
that was taken in 1981 it was much
appreciated you can be sure of that.
It was on Xmas day of 2016 at
11 o’clock that the store burned
down, the timing couldn’t have
been at a worse time as people
were getting ready for Xmas dinner
or were on the way to one. I guess I
have been forgiven up to a point.
In one of 2017 - 25 local
people came in and built me
A small office space that I call
( my dog house ) in the SW
corner of the Garage which was
built behind the store but didn’t
burn as was made of Brick.
Speaking of photos last summer two
couples from Germany and one
couple from Viena Austria drop
by to see me as they had travel
magazine with me standing in
my store this just about blew me
mind All the photos were taken
at time from different angle.

Thanks again for every thing you take
care, have a great Thanksgiving
holiday Till then I remain
                      Yours truly
                    Boyd Stevens

  Having the photo framed and will
        hang it up in my Dog House at that time

Boyd back in the day

Last I heard he had to go to hospital and it was decided he could not live alone any more so he was put on a list for a long term care home.