Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Race Horse Figure

As restrictive as it sounds, "maintaining the race horse figure" is code for permissive indulgence. It is meant to be a joke. I stole the quip from James R. McGregor, one of my first and most faithful clients when I began practicing law in Almonte in June of 1976.  Jimmy had come home to Almonte from Sudbury where he had dug himself out of a mine vowing never to return. Animated by his awakening success as a real estate agent for Gale Real Estate he hauled his lumbering frame up the steep staircase to my 2nd floor antique law office to consult me about incorporating his own real estate company. This was especially poignant because it was on the very desk on which we signed the documents that Albert T. Gale had 40 years previously instructed his lawyer (and my predecessor) R. A. Jamieson, QC  to "do up the writings". I told Jimmy, “If we stick together we can go places”.  It proved to be an accurate premonition; but not a long lasting one. Within five years I was performing (at the request of the investigating police officer) the dubious honour as his Solicitor of telling his parents that an hour earlier Jimmy had died in a car accident on the Wolf Grove Road.

As I peddled my bicycle today down the Gulf of Mexico Drive in the warm breeze of a sunny Sunday morning I thought about what Jimmy was missing out on. The last adventure I recall with him was a Grand Lodge meeting in Toronto at the Royal York Hotel when I ended removing myself from our room in the middle of the night upon discovering that - as Jimmy had warned me - his snoring was intolerable. That was before anyone knew about sleep apnea.

The mottled shade on the winding bike path beneath the rubbery leaves of the mango groves.  In the distance the plate of shimmering green emeralds on the open sea beneath a cloudless azure dome. A white sail on the horizon and two seabirds in aerobatic embrace. A white Rolls Royce slips silently by on the Gulf of Mexico Drive and completes this unqualified image of Hedonism. My obligation is clear - maintain my race horse figure.

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