Photo: Graham Newhall
Bob is from Rhode Island, “and this is my neighborhood.” He retired “a number of years ago” because of health problems, and is looking for “anyone I can talk to. In all the years I’ve been downtown, which is about 18, I have had one wonderful conversation. It was with a physics PhD student from Brown, he was from India, and I had a wonderful conversation with this man. I enjoyed it immensely.”
Before he retired, Bob was at one point the head teller at bank, and worked part time in the Shepard’s department store selling menswear. Then he went back to school, and emerged to become a manager at the chamber of commerce and then the Rhode Island Credit Bureau, before becoming an underwriter. “But I got sick very young.”
Today, he describes himself as looking “like Alfred Hitchcock, from the side”, and he enjoys reading a wide variety of books.
“Right now I’m studying mysticism a lot. There’s a writer who is very fascinating to me, she’s supposed to be able to look at people and see what’s wrong with them internally. It’s way out there.
“I stay open minded, sometimes you learn things that you wouldn’t think you would learn, and you won’t learn in other books. Her name’s Caroline Myss, and it’s called Defy Gravity. I saw her once on the Oprah programme, and I was busy watching Oprah’s reaction because I wanted to know if it was a setup. It didn’t seem that way at all.”