It seems every community has its ‘characters’, the people who are a little zany, but who bring life and about whom we tell stories and remember.

When I lived in Scarborough there was the ‘wheelie man’, a bloke in his 50’s or 60’s who rode a hi rise bike around the suburb but always in ‘wheelie’ mode. I remember the first time I saw him, I was checking my eyes as he wheelied all the way up Scarborough Beach Road. I would see him from time to time riding along West Coast Highway and all around the place. And then I discovered other people had seen him too… ‘an old guy on a bike who pops wheelies?…’

‘the wheelie man?!’

‘you’ve seen him too!?’

Conversations would spark and we would laugh about one of our communities characters.

Well today I snapped this pic of Betty Brackovich, one of the inner city’s wild women. Betty is 59, mother of 4, was born in Kalgoorlie and rides her scooter round the streets of Leederville and Subiaco, while waving the Aussie flag and yelling and screaming. Be warned – she is LOUD!

I first saw Betty last year running amuck in the Leederville cafe strip where I work. Then I saw her another time in Subiaco… and again today she was back in Leederville yelling, yahooing and carrying on. I had to go over and say g’day. I had to meet this person who obviously has chosen not to follow polite convention and mind her own business. So I went over, introduced myself and chatted for a bit. She even let me snap a pic and… she’s a character alright!

Thank God for the wheelie men and the Betty’s of the world!torque free

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