Thursday, January 05, 2006

On the Waterfront

I was talking to my Dad about my Grandfather when I was back in Cardiff just before Christmas. My father told me that when he was a boy, his Dad used to get up around 4am each morning so that he could walk down to the docks to see if there was any work available unloading the ships that had come in. The practice of standing in front of the foreman - or whatever he was called - and trying to catch his eye was called bobbing apparently.

To me of course this is tremendously resonant with Marlon Brando's turn as Terry Malloy in 1954's On the Waterfront. I wish I knew more about life in Cardiff in the forties and early fifties. One of my uncles told me he used to "run numbers". I have no clear idea of exactly what that means but it sounds like a New York movie as well.

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