F 1 D 0 - 2003 10 27 at 2230

Geordie Bullock.

Let me see. It wasn't today. Today I helped
Mark load boxes into a UHaul truck.

It wasn't yesterday. That was sunday, and
while I managed to get a nice workout, I
didn't go for coffee or anything afterwards.
Oh, I picked up a coffee from Tim Horton's 
but I didn't linger.

It wasn't the day before yesterday. That was
Saturday, and while the weather was right, I
was not right. I didn't feel good about getting
up, and managed not feeling right about going
to the dance later that night.

It must have been the day before that. Friday.

I got up early to catch the 915am class with
Amy at the Rec Centre, where she teaches a
very tough kickboxing class. We used handweights
which tired me out almost instantly.

I had a nice shower afterwards, and noticed
that the lights were on at Grumbel's Bakery.

This place is directly across the street
from the Main Street Centre. Main Steet
is very wide at this point, perhaps eight
lanes wide. Next to Grumbel's is a dance
studio where people can sign up for Jazz
or Ballet.

I was curious about what I'd find at Grumbel's.

Once inside, a British lady with an apron asked
what I'd like. The counter was full of things
familiar, and not familiar. I saw sliced salmon
on a plate. Pies which had a very round look, 
and a round top on them. Lots of meat could be
sliced up. And there were many dishes of salad
and stew there. This place was a bakery, but didn't
have too many baked goods.

In the window there were lots of things, but the
treat which caught my attention was a baseball with
lots of chocolate sprinkles on it. It was also
dark like chocolate itself, but wasn't. It was a 
huge Rum Ball!

Any of you who know me know I need this like
I need another 20 pounds of body fat. So I
got it anyway, and a coffee. $4.

At the back was a elderly man, who identified
himself as Geordie. He was born in 1926. He took
issues with people who always had something to
complain about. Like cold winter, or hot summer.
"No pleasing these people," he said to me.

He started working at 14, doing anything he could.
In a trucking yard, he could make a dollar sometimes.
He eventually got himself work at DeHaviland, as
he went to Central Technical School, and learned
to be a pipefitter by night, as he worked by day.

He wanted to fight for Canada. He, like many, was 
part of a reserve when he was 18. He wanted to go
where the action was, but the doctor said he had
flat feet, and so couldn't do much active fighting.

There weren't many men around during the war years,
and so someone who was effective and diligent was
in great demand. 

He eventually came to own two planes of his 
own, and bought a trucking firm.  I'm not 
sure how. He explained how to me, of course,
but I do not remember many of the details. 

He asked those who worked for him not to discuss
what he paid them. "Let them talk to me. If they're
good, I'll give them work too." If his employees
needed money, he'd say, "don't talk to the banks.
Talk to me first, and see what I can do for you."

He got tired of the trucking business, and sold
it off, and many of his staff were very sad.

Over an hour of rum ball and coffee, I got to 
learn about the history of this man, someone who
has been a part of Toronto for a long time.

He remembered how the city keeps changing the 
names of some of the streets, but not all of 
them. He used to work on Geary Ave, near the
train tracks. Geary is still where it used to
be, but many of the other streets have come and
gone.

The Grumbel's bakery was strange, in that it was
covered with plaques for those who had served
their friends and their country. It was some kind
of old building, a memorial to those who fought.

Or to some of the living, like Mr Bullock, who
can remember a different time, when someone could
start without an education, and go to work early,
and become an important leader in the community by
caring and working hard.

That's all I know.