woensdag 24 september 2014

Pusher Palace

Mister Brunselaar visits the city of Delft since he was a boy, together with his parents who were also working at the Fun fair. He considers Delft a little bit as ‘his’ city, and, if possible, he likes to subscribe there every year.

'When I was young I knew a very old couple who were the owners of a bar here on the Marketplace. We could always use their toilet. Now the enterpreneurs of the Marketplace also help us, I know most of them but I can imagine that they don’t like us to be here, certainly not with this beautiful waether. They miss the revenues because we tahek the space of their terraces'.

Mister Brunselaar and his familiy live in Apeldoorn, where many people working on fun fairs live. There has always been a lot of space, which is very useful for keeping the big ‘attraction trucks’ on their own terrains.  His father and grandfather used to own fun fair attractions, his grandfather far before the second worldwar; a carrousell and a wooden wave on which you had to stand and try not to fall of.

During the summers he and his wife travel with an attraction with push-arms called ‘Pusher Palace’ and a car where they sell Churros.  Their daughter sells pizza, also on fun fairs. They also own a Balco Rotor and a Lucky Duck stand. In the winter they sell ‘oliebollen’ in front of the entrance of the Intratuin in Els. That does not generate a lot of income,  but it does not cost much, because the oliebollen car only comes out two months a year.  It can be used for years to come.

The last few years the income of the fun fairs deminished obviously: the youth is not willing to spend a lot on the fun fairs. Mr Brunselaar  blames it on the iPhone; they spend their money on that.  Before, children made appointments in school to meet again at the fun fair. Now they app each other first eight times before they actually meet. It also became illegal to offer fake articles, so the cuddly toys and other awards became more expensive.

‘My cash register is full of awards. From the outside it is hard to see me, but you should know how much I see through all the holes and windows. Unfortunately also bad things like people steeling…..'

A special condition for us to register here in Delft applies: we must be leaving within 24 hours in case a member of the royal familiy dies and will be buried in the New Church at this Market Square. We will manage, because we, the people of the fun fairs, are very flexible. We are used to pack our bags and leave….  

maandag 15 september 2014


Last week met a painter, his name is Ronny. He was painting the courtyard houses in the place where I was photographing. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was making portraits of widows living in the courtyard. ‘Why?’ he asked me. I told him my first husband also died. Then he told me his mother became a widow when she was twenty five. My focus was on photographing one of the ladies so I had to stop my conversation with him.

When I was back home I thought about him: ‘What did he want to tell me about his late mother?’ Today I met him again, still painting the houses white. He does it very secure and concentrated, so at first I did not dare to disturb him. My curiosity won and I asked him about his mother.

Four days before Ronny’s third birthday his father died, age thirty two. He died of a heart attack in the gym.

Ronny has got a five year older sister. Although he was very young he still keeps like six memories of his father. Ronny thinks of him every single day, not in sadness, because over forty years have passed, but for example when he hears an old song from before his father died: he thinks, ‘Yes this song he has known, and hearing a newer song: no he has not known it… ‘

In 1972, the year in which Ronny's father died, his mother used to work in a restaurant. Her parents took care of the children in the evening, and when his sister was older, she was Ronny’s babysitter. Twenty years later, when Ronny was serving in the army, she started a new relation and remarried two years later. Ronny liked his mothers’ new husband. Unfortunately, not long after they got married, he died because of an illness. She is sixty eight years old now and has got a lot of friends, but still Ronny thinks it is hard for her to be single.

Ronny is very proud of his mother. Everything he has got he owes to her: his education and his manners. He is proud he and his sister became good human beings thanks to their mother. Now he is a father of two himself, he has got a son of ten years old, partly named after his father: Hendricus Hermanus Levie,  and a daughter named Stéphanie, sixteen years old. Ronny decided a while ago to quit smoking, because he does not want this to be the reason to die from a heart attack as well.

Last Sunday August 17th, one day before his fathers’ birthday, Ronny visited his fathers’ grave, close by his house. He cleaned it an put plants on it. ‘It is he best taken care of  grave of all the graves surrounding his grave,’ Ronny said proudly. Sometimes Ronny repaints the golden letters on the tombstone, to make them shine again beautifully.

Thank you Ronny for telling me your touching story!