Monday, October 25, 2010



When my husband, Ciff Carter, was playing piano at The Astor across from Eaton's on St. Catherine Street in Montreal in the early 1970's, we met some interesting people. One was a man who looked like Robert Goulet - maybe a bodyguard, or ? He gave me a beautiful blackjack covered in braided black leather - just because. Dawn McSweeney stole it along with all my other precious treasures. See The Dawn McSweeney Case at for all the details.
While I was working as an investigator for J.A. Buck Fortin at West End Investigation in Montreal (late 1950's-1960's), another "Blackjack" - a.k.a. Donato - pointed a loaded gun in my face one morning when I came into the office - just because. I was not really afraid because Blackjack had no reason to be angry with me. I said,
"Blackjack, what do you expect me to say?" - and he told me he was just testing me to see how I would react. I did okay. Another time, Blackjack handed over his loaded gun to a very young child in our office - age about three or four - and all the detectives dove under their desks until Blackjack felt he's had enough fun with them.
Back at The Astor, we met an engineer named Rod Chapleau. He specialized in underwater demolition - to free ships from Arctic ice, for example. He had just returned from Africa very recently when he came into the club with a suitcase full of exotic treasures. He had done some demolition work for an African dictator and, for his payment, the colonel or general opened the doors to his storehouse and told Chapleau to take what he wanted. At least some of this story must be true because Chapleau opened the suitcase and showed us the statuettes, and silver bangles and ebony and ivory and gold. He gave me a handcrafted silver necklace and earrings - just because. If Dawn McSweeney didn't steal those along with all my other treasures, they must still be among my things in storage.
Rod Chapleau told us that he had fallen in love with a beautiful girl on that adventure in Africa, but she was not allowed to leave the country on pain of death. Perhaps for religious reasons? He was going back to try to get her out - at risk to both their lives.
We never heard from Rod Chapleau after that.
Vicarious adventures are the safest kind, and so pleasant to remember.
Rod Chapleau wrote..

My dad was a civil engineer. He traveled to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in the 70's. We (mother and two sisters) met up with him in Tanzania a short time later. We returned to Canada months later and he went on to Saudi Arabia to work before returning home. I later moved to live with my father in Montreal, mid 80's.

October 23, 2010 6:29 PM

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