To the Editor,
Jim died unexpectedly on Aug. 11 at the Peterborough Hospital where he had gone for surgery. In his 87th year, he had been barbering since being trained in his father’s shop in Whitby as a teen. He loved his trade, wouldn’t have wanted anything else and liked to quip that “he stood behind every haircut he’d ever done” – this while holding his round barber’s mirror behind your head showing what a good cut he’d done.
I first knew Jim in 1979 as the new owner of Foster’s General Store on Lake Boshkung north of Carnarvon. He had his signature chair in a side room off the store and it used to be slightly intimidating to be exposed to his keen if quirky sense of humor and listen to his endless litany of slightly to very earthy funny stories. But the humour wasn’t all that bad and the price was amazingly good and the haircut first rate. So he built a good business there which he continued when he moved the shop to his home on Mifflin Road.
Many of us men are missing this man and his ways; the people, the fun and warmth of our visits over the years (40 for me). COVID, for the time being, is making it impossible to get together with his partner Millie to celebrate this good man who was a good neighbour in the best sense of the word. Jim “did for” his friends when there was a need. He drove them, shopped for them, helping out with chores and visits whenever possible. For some years he even took on the heavy responsibility and physical work of supporting a neighbour on home dialysis. His care for people was also evident in his shop where he had hung pictures and clippings about scores of clients who had passed on. He knew us, cherished us in his way with his rough warmth and friendship. Thank you, Jim.
Journey on, Buddy!