Meet Fred

Almost every Saturday, I see Fred in his parking spot outside a local supermarket. Today, I stopped to talk to him, and ask permission to take some photos of him and his rig.

He has been on the road with his sharpening/key making service for 50 years now. He covers a wide area of far north Queensland, and seems to enjoy his solitary existence. I’ll be taking some knives to him next week.

Winter or summer, he wears roughly this same outfit.

A relic of his trips into the northern gulf country.

He hasn’t been everywhere, yet.

There should be more Freds in our world.



Filed under Atherton, Australia

15 responses to “Meet Fred

  1. Caroline

    Interesting! You didn’t happen across a Fred in Venice, did you? My beauty therapist friend gave me her old haircutting scissors from when she was a student, with the idea I could cut my own fringe here, but haven’t spotted a knife-sharpener so far. At the time it seemed to me just the sort of nice old-fashioned trade one might spot in a hole in the wall somewhere like Calle Lunga San Barnaba.

    Btw, Darlene, we have already had Jehovah’s Winesses round in Venice! Or were they Mormons, maybe? We were quite surprised, anyway!


    • The nearest one I saw was in Castelfranco, on market day, Caroline! He had a set-up just a bit like Fred, sans the buffalo horns. So, you could skip school one day, and see Castelfranco, and don’t forget the scissors.


      • Caroline

        Thanks Yvonne! I do want to go to Castelfranco – maybe after we finish school (although I have skived off the last 2 days – needed a break 🙂 )


      • I don’t blame you for taking a little break; I found school became the all-encompassing aspect of my life, and that was only a 2 week enrolment! Maybe the market is on at the week-end?


  2. I remember the Watkin’s man coming to our farm when I was a kid – that sort of thing has mostly gone by the wayside here in Canada. Don’t even get the encyclopedia men or Jehowah witnesses anymore.


  3. Michelle

    There were more Fred’s years ago traveling the countryside…providing the services needed by local communities. When you read books that mention the “tinker”…well, they were guys just like Fred. He seems to be the last remnant of a dying breed or at least one we thought died out long ago.
    And even this non-aussie recognizes buffalo horns when she sees them…she’s even seen them still on the buffalos…the mean ones in the Masai Mara in Kenya.


  4. Rob C

    He looks a real bonza Ocker



  5. Sono D. Chicago

    What are those things on the front of his truck–kangaroo horns?


  6. He would have a wealth of tales to tell. Perhaps he needs a ghost writer?


  7. I love it… are so right we definitely need more Freds!!!!!


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