Book signing of "Two Irish Lads" at Baldwin, Ontario--the setting of the story.



Me as draftsman, HEPC



Me as dance instructor

A brief stroll down memory lane


Some people say--correctly, I think--that I have a short span of interest. Certainly my curriculum vitae would suggest this.


I started my career as a bank teller in Sutton, Ontario, and then, at the tender age of 15 (1952), I emigrated to Toronto where I landed a job as a layout artist at Simpson-Sears. The fact that I had absolutely no formal art training whatsoever didn't seem to faze me or my employer, for I functioned quite well in that position until a more 'practical' (my mother's assessment of it) job presented itself.


So, using my experience as a layout artist--which included spray painting the bulges out of men's underwear ads--I sought a job as a draftsman at Ontario Hydro. I mean, if one could draw pictures it seemed only logical that one could draw straight lines and do a bit of lettering. Apparently Ontario Hydro thought the same way, for I held that job for three years until the glamour of the theatre beckoned.


We here in Canada call it a "theatre," and so did Odeon Theatres of England, but it is more commonly termed a "cinema." Nonetheless, being a theatah manager held very little of the glamour I spoke of (except going to work in a tuxedo), and so--using my said experience as a layout artist and now as a drawer of straight lines as well--I secured a position as Creative Services Manager with Columbia Records (Canada).


At the same time, I took a part-time job as a dance instructor with Latin American Dance Studios (an outfit owned by a Jewish chap with two left feet), and using this as a reference I then landed several gigs in legitimate theatre productions. "Camelot" being one of them, with Robert Goulet (who lived upstairs in the same apartment building as me and my 'benefactor') and the legendary Richard Burton.


Meanwhile I was getting older. Already, I was in my mid twenties without a secure career to speak of, and so--like Sheldon Cartwright in "Nor All Thy Tears"--I decided a university degree was the answer. With this in mind I enrolled at York University in political science, and later law, and for more practical experience I got myself elected to the local municipal council.


By the time I graduated I was broke, and so after a brief stint as a property assessor I secured a teaching position at Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto. It was a position I held for twenty-five years, but for the last ten years of it I also occupied a position as a Justice of the Peace.



So what does one do with all these various experiences? Well, for me it seemed writing was an option--something that I had dabbled with throughout of my many careers. Therefore, at the age of seventy-three I launched my latest pursuit with the publication of "Two Irish Lads," and the rest if history.


Whether it will be the last of my careers is difficult to say, but if there is a moral to my story it is this: Go where your heart directs you.