"Not eating chard. That's what all those weirdos eat at their stupid picnics on the Hungry Ghost lawn." -Nina

January 29, 2008

Suntan Man: It's Local Celebrity Week On Northamptonist!

Following in the footsteps of recent posts on local residents of Northampton who offer color and community to my life, here is a photo of Joseph Kurasinki, AKA the Suntan Man, taken by Robert Tobey that appeared in a local newspaper years back.

The Suntan Man used to stand under the digital clock of what is now Silverscapes Design, on the corner of Main and King St., for hours and hours during the summer months. Shirt always off, little radio in his hand, and impeccably tanned at all times. He put a smile on my face every time I saw him, and I really admired him even though I was so young and hardly knew him. I would think to myself what a happy, happy man he looked to be, and I really thought he had the life. Standing there on the corner for hours, under the bright sun, listening to his radio, and smiling. In my mind, I imagined he had lived a full life, retired, and was now going to spend his days anyway he damn well felt, and apparently he was going to do that shirtless, standing on the corner, watching people and listening to his radio. If I wasn't only seven and more concerned about what penny candy I was going to buy at Poleto's on Market St., I would have taken many photographs of him, and attempted to record his oral history. Who knew Joseph Kurasinski? Do you have any personal experience to share?

The photo here was cribbed from dannrayv's Flickr stream. You should browse thru his other photos, he's got a few more you might really enjoy, such as...

--Check out this one of the late John Borg. There is even a video on Super 8 film of John singing that dannrayv linked to. Awesome!
--Or how about City Councilor Raymond LaBarge in China, dressed the part.

LABELS: downtown,northampton history, personalities,