People would drop coins for him beneath his favoured bench seat, and he would never fail to thank each one for their generous contributions.
As the shoppers began to disperse, he would bide a while longer, before leaning forward and gathering up his money, and then, with a rye smile, he would diligently place the coins deep inside the pockets of his heavy, and well weathered, overcoat.
As I drew closer to him, I nodded, and smiled. My polite, if somewhat brazen effort to seek approval for this picture. The vivid blue old eyes sparkled, and he graciously returned my smile. Right then, immediately, without need for verbal dialogue, I just knew approval had been sanctioned.
And so, with my photograph complete, I dropped some coins at his feet, thanked him, and I headed back toward my vehicle, which was parked over in the square.
As I glanced back, I saw he was gesturing and smiling, deep in conversation with local parents and their young children.
For myself, I remained curious. Keen to enquire what had brought him to this situation in his life? What was his story? Who did he share his time with? Was he eating properly? Where did he sleep? And so on…
But despite my personal anxieties and concerns, the over riding emotions I still retain from this special meeting, were those of warmth and of humility.