Saturday, November 24, 2018

What ever happened to...

Soooooooooooooo many thanks for the great e mails ... Eileen and I love getting them ... cold up here but to rain this weekend … go figure ... snow on driveway ... ploughed once ... Robbie just got new car … so excited ... old guy still driving a 1998 dodge ram 1500 pick up ... but ... you know how it is ... older people trudge on ... young people 100 mph straight ahead ... good for them ... sweety and me been in this old house 44 yrs ??? I think Bill you helped close this property from my dad and then Lockharts ... remember … bank on Margret's ass ... many thanks Bill ... long time eh??? dad thought the world of you and Raymond Jamieson … and Donny Johnson ??? salt of the earth ... where do you find that ... now ??? world going 1000 miles per hour ... no one has a true friend anymore ... you helped dad and me... and Eileen through many probs ....  Bill cannot express our thanks ... just memories now eh??? had too many beers Bill ... but for always a true friend .... hope you and Dennie ... enjoy your time ... to hell with world affairs ... its all screwed up ... so just carry on ... and enjoy ... your old friends in Almonte Bobby and Eileen

No matter where you are, everyone comes from somewhere. And wherever you happen to be at the moment it's strange to encounter someone who is actually from there.  People travel and move around so much.  Most often you just meet people who come from somewhere else. I suppose this is to be expected in resort areas - especially places like Longboat Key, many areas of which only got water service in the 1970s when the developers began building exotic residences on the Gulf of Mexico.  The place practically didn't exist before then.

As I am about to complete my 7th decade on this planet it pleases me to look back upon my past, where I have come from, where I went, what I did and the people I have known and loved along the way. Maybe even some of the people whom I have known and not loved along the way - but that particular absorption is proving to be a dead-end street, an utter waste of time. I get a bigger bang out of recollecting the many happy moments that colour my past.

Until recently I often quipped about the miscalculations I have made in my life on my road to discovery. The first one was the decision to forgo Trinity College, University of Toronto upon graduating from St. Andrew's College and to choose instead Glendon Hall, York University.  The late Escott Reid, Dean of Glendon Hall can be blamed for that decision. Subsequently I re-applied to Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto after my first year at Dalhousie Law School in Nova Scotia but determined to stay on the East Coast.  Murray Fraser, Dean of Dalhousie Law School carried the banner on that one.  Later I transitioned from Macdonald, Affleck Barristers &c. on Sparks Street, Ottawa to Galligan & Sheffield in Almonte.  Senator George J. McIlraith PC QC bears the brunt for that metamorphosis. And finally I made the unprecedented move from a law firm to running my own practice - for which I can thank John H. Kerry.

In retrospect - apart from the inevitable idle speculation about how different life would have been had any of those decisions been different - I am completely at peace with what transpired.  And a good deal proud as well. Proud for example to report having spent the past 42 years in the Town of Almonte which has a population of about 5,000 people and an enviable community. The people whom I first met influenced me profoundly - R. A. Jamieson, QC, Michael J. Galligan, QC, Mr. Justice Alan D. Sheffield, Mr. Justice C. James Newton QC, John H. Kerry, Jennifer M. Thomson, Brian Gallagher, William Bellamy, Russell B. Thompson, N. T. Sadler and Bobby Sadler, Howard Sadler, Jimmy Lloyd, Stan Morton, George and Terry Charos, J. Desmond Houston, JC Smithson, David Drummond, Nicholas Magus, Gordie Timmons, Geoffrey Hirst, Jack Peterson, Gladys Currie,  John and Halcyon Bell, Peter and Ann Brown, Shirley Deugo, R. Louis Irwin and James R. McGregor. There is a story to tell about each one of them.

The history and evolution of my tapered community is something about which I could write endlessly (and to a degree I have already).  The resources of people, events, opportunities and challenges were unsurpassable. The authenticity which has insinuated those experiences makes them all the more memorable and rewarding. Each of them in turn has their own channel of episodes. Imperceptibly the network of tales has grown and extended, each path of which is as mesmerizing and enchanting as the other. Naturally my original acquaintances broadened into others; what I had learned from one spilled over onto another; the circuit of life became increasingly more complicated, interdependent and fascinating. It wouldn't occur to me at this late stage of my life to imagine doing anything any other way than I have - at least not without the risk of making a horrible mistake.

The particular anecdotes which erupt in my mind from time to time must await a specific occasion for their reiteration. Only the opportune awakening of those special moments affords them their true merit and entitlement. Until then the details of those years of exploits, laughter and hard work must lie dormant though their strength and robust flavour are what propel me in the meantime. It goes without saying that many of the deepest affections and escapades will remain forever unexpressed. It is a writer's privilege to pretend to capture a moment.  For the rest of us we must settle for living the mood, for feeling the cherished sensibilities, for grasping at the straws of skylarking.

A lifetime of adventures is but a blip on the map. I am grateful that I can attest to complete satisfaction with what has evolved. The inescapable utility and correspondence of those erstwhile deliberations makes it all worthwhile.

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