Richie and I had a sick catchup this morning and I realised he's the perfect person to profile first in this section of Lucky Roland. He combines generosity and down-to-earthedness (word existence?) to such a genuine effect that I walked away this morning literally feeling uplifted after hanging out with him. I experience this every time we hang out, so I'm certain his other friends feel exactly as I do - lucky to have him on the team.
Rich and I met in 2010, waiting tables at a recently refurbished cafe in Chatswood. He was way nicer to me than most guys had been in school and I was a little suspicious at first - I didn't really feel cool enough to be his friend. He had all the gear; a sick fixie, sick cameras, sick clothes, heaps of existing friends, but continued to give me the time of day where historically those similar to him would have quickly written me off as a loser. Most ultra-popular (subtext 'cool') people I had encountered inside and outside of school seemed to be ruthlessly self-indulged. I always wondered why I never seemed to gel with those people. Maybe my lack of self-worth was more obvious than I realised, and not particularly endearing to others at the socially-tender age of 18. In any case, I hadn't left school with a great deal of confidence in how 'cool' I was, and once prescribed I didn't feel fluid enough to change this self-evaluation.
Funny to consider how my brain rationalised back then! What the fuck even is 'cool' anyway?! I'm smiling thinking about it.
Richie was the first radical betrayal of this stereotype for me. Cool people can be nice, not just dickheads!
Saturdays were the busiest day of the week at our work, and we quickly achieved a dynamite rhythm on the floor waiting tables. I like to think we would have been mates anyway, however the shared achievement of getting through a chaotic day definitely helped set a solid foundation to be friends. We've stayed in touch ever since, and despite not spending 10-hour shifts together anymore, I reckon we've become closer. Colours can fade in the sun, as time wears on I've noticed some relationships can lose strength. This is definitely not the case with Rich, we can go for weeks without even communicating but I know he's out there and he'll always pick up the phone if I call.
One of Richie's most positive influences has been teaching me style. And not hey-look-at-me-in-my-fresh-threads style (although he nails that too). I refer more to style of character, where everything he does is measured, balanced, and so genuinely well-intentioned. There is not one iota of bullshit in his being, a supremely rare trait that I value very highly in a person. What you see really is what you get, and since day one I have only ever received positivity.
Thanks again for brekky today brudda!
PS Rich is an extremely talented lensman, geeze @richiebrennanphotography on Insty for a sample of his craft.