Saturday, August 2, 2014


Thousands of people came through my family's place of business, Metropolitan News Agency, every week and many young people found their first employment at Metro. But most of them were entities that no one would have really noticed as they handed them their Pittsburgh Courier or Corriere della Sera.
I am quite sure no one remembers Dave Richardson, Paddy Farney - I have published an article about him on this blog - Roger O'Mara, young Gerry Murphy, Celia Panneton, or the women who served at the chinaware counter, my mother and my grandmother, and the refined Scottish Mrs. Arbuckle, the petite, white haired Helen Curry, Suzie Ballard.
Suzie and I used to go out once a week to The York Theatre on St. Catherine West, but first, we would have chicken fried rice at the little restaurant next door to the theatre. As we walked from Metro toward the theatre, I would dream up all sorts of funny, mischievous things to do to make people laugh - like talking to a bubble gum machine.
No one probably noticed Rachel Goldman on her way upstairs to work in our office, or the lean, white-haired gentleman in a straw fedora, Terry, also worked in the office. He was so fine and polite - and so quiet. I wish I had known more about him, but he worked for my Uncle Sam and I think he was involved in gambling. Sssh! Today the government is in the betting business. The Quebec Loto was started with the promise that all the profits would go to the hospitals. Hah !
You can read about Gerry Raquer in an article at this blog address. My friend, Gerry worked at Metro for decades. He graciously provided a nostalgic photo of himself as a young man in front of Metro.
And I'll bet there isn't a soul on earth who remembers Willie Robitaille. They called him "Crazy Willie." Like so many others, Willie did odd chores in our store from time to time over the years. He was very poor. He only had a few teeth, but he laughed a lot anyway. He loved my parents. He called my mother "Ma" and phoned her at home to talk abut his troubles. And he had many. Willie spent time in and out of mental hospitals from Montreal to California, He managed to travel across borders, I don't know how. And he talked about having painful surgeries. Willie suffered, but he kept going and going and going ... and I want him to be remembered. He mattered.
I have so  many memories about so many people. Such vivid memories. I am so grateful to have met and known so many people from all walks of life - largely because of my decades at Metro News and my life with Cliff. Tired, because I never stop remembering, day and night. And so grateful that I am able to remember.

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