Memory’s Rusty Springs
I was reading through my news feeds this morning when a story came up in my scroll about Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson retiring.
I was reading through the comments and one individual stated about Mr. Simpson, “Best columnist the Globe ever had.”.
I responded to the comment that yes Simpson has some good stuff but I was more partial to “Richard Needham”. On the wiki for Richard Needham you’ll find this line, “Despite his cranky print persona, he was a kindly man who enjoyed the company of teenage misfits with intellectual pretensions.“.
I said this as well in my comment, “Some even a year or two shy of their teens. I don’t recall being pretentious but I did have a bit of a full of myself streak preteen.“
I can tell you first person personal that Richard Needham was indeed all those things. I can tell you I got to go a few places with Richard. He believed youth should have experiences and adventures rent free. That would be rent free as in free of their parents. When you’re the age I was, you just appreciated being free and didn’t see the genius.
Now at my semi advanced age, I very much see the wisdom of Richard’s view and views. Just like the plants need the sunshine and water to grow, youngsters need adventures to encourage their growth.
I recall being in Kitchener for a book signing and winding up with the worst haircut of my life! That one in Kitchener is still the worst ever and this includes a haircut from a few years ago where I got left looking like a muffin head! I really could of done without those two misadventures!
There were chaperones. I recall two very sweet university girls while being on adventure in Montreal. The girls on the trip bunked with the Chaperones while the 6 boys had their own big room.
You know how this is gonna go right?
I learned a couple things in Montreal I forgot I’d learned and no I’m not telling you what they were. I recall meeting Richard the next morning at the Radio Station where an interview with him and his entourage was taking place. I do recall Richard looking at the boys who’d been out the night before, smiling and shaking his head because it was him they called. Relax, it only involved Montreal’s Subway Security and not police.
In my search I found some quotes by Richard. One of them is in the moment poignant with a Canada Post strike looming on the horizon, “The ghastly thing about postal strikes is that after they are over, the service returns to normal.“.
Richard wrote some books, wrote some columns, did some speaking, all on how he saw things. A real decent guy too. You gotta like and admire all that!
As I head off in to the sunshine to do a little observing of my own that may or my not get written, I wonder what Richard would think of me now.
G.R. Hambley – July 03, 2016
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