Morrie Bowman Grant
"Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die!"
When I photographed Morrie Grant he was living at the back of his sister's weatherboard home in Leeton; a tarpaulin as shelter for his makeshift living area and his kombi van as bedroom. I guess many would have considered Morrie itinerant, 'living rough', but I was humbled by his lack of concern for material possessions and his 'secret' that living life to the fullest came from finding contentment in your lot in life, despite tough times.
Morrie's values were simple; his van which had provided him his freedom, and living honestly, "treat all as you would want to be treated'. When I asked Morrie how he had spent his time all these years he declared "practising life!"
Morrie told me that he had once 'had it all'; the wife and family home and all that comes with it. And I am not sure what lead to his life as a wanderer. But the only regret he confessed to me was having not studied further; having finished his formal education in the 9th grade (which of course was so common then), Morrie would have loved to learn more about the universe, "given my brain more work early in the piece".
Morrie Grant has since passed, and I am not sure but would like to think, that this intelligent, enlightened man is buried as he wished under the couple of gum trees he had picked out on his son's property.
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