1980s Memory

One September Glen Kirkland and I were in T.O. presenting and staying at the Delta Chelsea. We decided to rent a van and head north to the McMichael Art Gallery which houses the most Group of 7 paintings anywhere. What a wonderful epiphany being up close with our country’s greatest art collection under one roof! The Tom Thomson gallery was to die for; I had not previously realized how small most of Thomson’s paintings were in actuality.

It was a terrific, warm fall day and we had time to kill after the gallery and motored further north to Kleinburg where Pierre Berton still lived with half a notion to see him. Kleinburg was a quaint village then, and we also found another hamlet nearby which had had a small, crammed antique shop. We would get very thoughtful and slow down whenever we in such a setting. In some cranny, I came across a gold-colored metal shoehorn looking like something from the early twentieth century. It was sturdy and had survived the ravages of time. I bought it and brought it back to Edmonton where it has resided ever since. I still use it most days and, when I do, I always remember Glen and our beautiful, sacred Sunday ‘getting lost’. It was typical of how we did things back then when we hit the road for conferences. Remarkably, the intelligent, witty, personable young Glen has never been far away during such simple moments as putting on my shoes ever since.

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