Tuesday, 18 December 2012

How Could I Leave Stumping For Weapons of Mass Destruction?



So's there I was. Having a liquid lunch today at the Pilot Tavern in downtown Toronto with a curator from the McMichael Gallery.  He went to Windsor U with my wife and I. Fine Arts.  He had the choice of sculpting me (that's how I paid my way through second year - 1970) or a live pigeon. He picked the bird. Wise choice - although I have outlived the squab.
Anyways. While we were talking I watched as a man my age came into the Yorkville bar and rolled up the indoor/outdoor rug (with the Pilot logo) took it to his white van and then came back with a clean one. Looked very familiar. Bigger. Grayer. Older than the old old days.
He worked at Litton Canada - the cruise missile factory - till he was laid off 20 years ago. He knew me by name. But, mostly because of Caribana. 
I couldn't remember his name. Round face, beard with a moustache.  Married a woman from Litton. Her name is something like Zowie. Or close to that.  She hasn't worked for 2 years. Trouble with her hands. They are trying to get her on disability.
Think the guy worked in maintenance.  Never found out - he couldn't talk long. He was double parked out front on Cumberland Street. Cars were honking.
Didn't have the guts to tell him I couldn't remember his name. He was out of touch. Didn't know about Chuck. Didn't know about Karen F. Or any of the other co-workers who have died to soon.  He just wanted to find out how it had come to be that I walked away from promoting the business of building weapons to becoming the spokesman for Caribana. He and his wife watched  for me every summer on CP-24.
So who was it?  Or does it matter? 
Told him about how three friends from the "old days" still have lunch every three months at a pizza bar in Mississauga near the QEW. Don't think he is going to join us. He isn't allowed to drive west of Islington Avenue - he just works the bars downtown and now and then talks to strange men like me.

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