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Trui. A portrait

The story of Trui, a portrait

The story of Trui

Another story that begins in the butchery … A woman asked for a very tender steak … for her aunties birthday, she turned 78 and she lives at the same address for 70 years now.
Immediately I heard bells ringing and while my colleague took care of the steak I started a conversation … you already guessed it, can I … perhaps … and can she …
Her answer was yes, she was going to arrange it for me.

Trui was waiting for me … she lived in a block of 6 small terraced houses, all to be demolished … only 2 houses were still in use, Trui´s and another where 2 “ladies” ran their business …
Trui lived in her house almost her entire life, at first with her parents and siblings, later with her unmarried brother until he died… It was a tiny house … no maintenance for many years … the wallpaper was 60 years old, to say the least … 3 small rooms, living room, bedroom, another tiny room upstairs and of course the kitchen.
The whole place had the atmosphere of the 30´s and was filled with old furniture. The bedroom still had a bedstead but Trui could not use it anymore, due to rheumatism. So the room was filled with another bed. The toilet was outside, in the backyard, and the house did not have a back entrance.

Trui was happy to see me, kept talking the whole time I was there. When she offered me a cup of coffee, I should have said no, but I said yes please … She poured something dark out of a thermos can and then filled it up with hot milk.
I took stomach tablets for a week …

The neighbours and their business were a problem. Trui didn´t accept it and one could say there was a full time state of war between Trui and her neighbours … From where she lived she had a good view on everybody visiting the neighbours. Many of those visitors came through the backdoor.
Trui had developed a habit of climbing on the kitchen counter, using a little kitchen step, and then yell out of the window at those men: “Pervert, does your wife know this?”
Obviously the neighbours didn’t like Trui …

This is a true story, no lies … but I was there to make a portrait, so gently I changed the subject and Trui went sitting on her bed …
Tripod, Mamiya C330, Ilford 400 film, exposure 1/8 at F4,5
Luckily Trui can sit still for a while …

At that time I had little experience in photography and with that camera, It was always a little gamble, but after developing I knew it was ok. Printed on MG/FB and I was proud as …
I returned a week later, to give her a copy of the photo … coffee? … no thank you … she gave me lemonade and when she went to the cupboard to fetch a glass I noticed her dress … it was her mother´s … similar to the wallpaper … so once again, camera, tripod …
Trui liked the photo, but not herself.

Trui died many years ago, the houses are demolished, but I still have the photo …
It now has documentary value I think, keep it safe …