The Happy Wanderer has wandered off this mortal coil. I never spoke with him, never knew his name until quite recently, but I remember seeing him, here and there, in his unmistakable cosmic robes, staff and the weird magical way he carried himself (see comment by Air Canada pilot at the bottom of the Gazette article). This was a Montréaler sans pareil; an individual completely comfortable with himself and his world. And what a world he lived in!
Apparently, he circumnavigated the globe at least three times, traveled to upwards of fifty cities and took over 10,000 photographs along the way. He lived at the same address on Coursol Street since 1953, and watched the city grow around him as he grew into the city he loved. I hope the family preserves those photographs, I can only imagine what a unique perspective that camera benefited from, and what an amazing exhibition it would make. He certainly deserves it.
He was as much a fixture of the Métro as a fixture of the city’s great festivals, and was welcomed wherever he went. A tribute to the independent, free spirits of our city, he will be dearly missed but soon forgotten. L’Chaim!