Raptors 905!

We had a moderately fun time at the Raptors 905 vs Capital City Go-Go game last night (won by Raptors 905, 122-119.) Thanks to the Argos for the tickets! (Season ticket holders were given a free ticket to either this, or the Marlies, and I’ve seen the Marlies a few times and you might even remember that Argonotes was the Marlies Band during one epic playoff run.)

Cathy and me at the Paramount Centre for the Raptors 905 game

I have a couple of notes though.

1) I still don’t quite get how the “NBA G-League” works – Raptors 905 are a farm team for the Toronto Raptors, of course – but there sure are an interesting assortment of teams, including the “Capitanes de Ciudad de México“, which explains the Mexican flag hanging alongside the Canadian and US ones.

1a) I eventually figured out that the Capital City Go-go are
* from Washington, DC, hence the ‘Capital City’ part, and
* named after the Go-go funk music genre that originated in DC.

As I mentioned to Cathy, I was never a big Go-go fan, but I did like The Bangle.

2) The game was at Mississauga’s “Paramount Fine Foods Centre” (which I still think of as the “Hershey Centre”) and with a name like that, I wish there had been more Fine Foods on the menu than chicken fingers, hot dogs or poutine.

3) Free Parking! OMG I cannot remember the last time I went to a professional sporting event that had free parking.

4) The team’s called “Raptors 905” in homage to the local area code for the suburbs around Toronto, which is of course area code 416, and they were kind of rubbing in the whole “technically we are in Mississauga” angle, urging people to make an “M” gesture with their fingers, the spirit squad was the “Sauga Crew” or something, and some of the graphic imagery had a stylized map of Mississauga and I don’t know if how many people actually recognize the shape of Mississauga itself; I for one saw the graphic and thought “why are they showing a map of Washington state?”

4a) we made an “O” instead of an “M” gesture. Oakville 905, represent.

5) I picked out what I thought was a good seat ahead of time – on the aisle – but it turned out that Section 19 Row F Seat 1 is possibly the WORST aisle seat I have ever occupied. (At least until we moved a row back.)

See seat below, highlighted in red. Notice any problem?

if you’re sitting there, every single person who’s heading to the lower area on the left is going to walk right in front of you, and there is absolutely no room for them to get by between you and the railing ahead of you. That is just a dumb spot for a seat. They should remove Seat 1 and Seat 2 in that row.

Fortunately there were about 5,000 other empty seats so we just moved back a row.

Section 19 Row F Seat 1

Memories of Cableshare and Videopress – 40 years of touch screens

I’ve been writing software for touch screens for a long time. iPhone and iPad today, of course – but 40 years ago, I helped build Videopress – a system from London, Ontario’s Cableshare that installed colour graphic touch screen systems in kiosks in shopping malls.


For a moment, shopping malls in London, Ontario were the center of the touch screen information universe.

It feels like all the information about this pioneering system has been lost in the sands of time. Although it only lasted a couple of years in the early 1980s, it was pretty amazing for its day. Let me write up something here for the benefit of future historians.

I gotta tell you, when I visit shopping malls today, I sometimes see touch screens and mall information systems and I think fondly of what we were doing way back then, and then I think “These systems today are not really 40 years better than what we were doing back then.”

plus I have a few stories.


My first job after graduating in 1981. I wanted to work for Cableshare – a small software company in London that was affiliated with the local Cable TV provider for two main reasons

  • it was in London, and I could live at home
  • maybe I would get free Cable TV.

(Don’t try to Telex me, I don’t think it still works.)

It worked out GREAT. I got to learn C, I got to build some cool stuff – at first, code for a cable tv monitoring system that detected fires or something in your house and called 911 – and eventually got in to graphics and touch screens, but most importantly, yes, I did get free Cable TV.

One day the boss showed me a touch screen fitted to a VT100 terminal, and one of these Telidon graphic decoder terminals, and asked me to fool around with it. Videopress was the result. I built some page creation software, the team built a booth and a distributed network to make it all work.

Cableshare’s Videopress – a big deal in 1982

The picture at the top is one of our first booths. I think this is at White Oaks Mall in London, Ontario. Or possibly Westmount Mall.


Anybody could come up and use the touch screens to search for mall information, check out the news and weather, and shop through an interactive gift guide (about which, more later.) Only hobbyists had home computers back then, and certainly nobody had a cell phone, so the idea that you could just touch a screen to find something out was revolutionary.

Especially because we all grew up with our mothers saying “Don’t touch the TV screen! You’ll get an electric shock!”

I remember bringing my grandmother out to the mall to use the Videopress booth. My grandmother! Nanny! Using a touch screen! Using software I wrote! Inconceivable.

So anyway,

technical stuff

The booth featured 4 terminals from Electrohome (and later Microtel) running a graphics standard called Telidon that had been promoted heavily by the Canadian government. Telidon defined a series of commands that you could send to a decoder – send a particular sequence of bytes, and a Telidon decoder would interpret those commmands and draw, say, a blue rectangle of a certain size, or text at a certain location. Slowly. It was a very clever, resolution-independent protocol where coordinates were all expressed as numbers between 0 and 1, so everything would fit on a terminal of any resolution. (I remember getting laughed at when I asked if we could get a 1024×1024 terminal. What are we, NASA? We don’t need some super thing like that, come on.)

Cableshare had fitted Elographics touch screens on top of these monitors. Another Telidon decoder showed a loop of graphics that you can see behind the booth attendant in the photo above. It all operated over serial lines, connected via an absurdly expensive Datapac network connection to … my memory is hazy here, but I think a Vax/VMS system back at headquarters. Initially this was all run from a tremendously underpowered CP/M computer buried in the booth, with a whopping 64K of memory to keep it all running.

Picture Painter

Artists back at headquarters would create all the content using an app I wrote called the Picture Painter. Perhaps you read this glowing review of Picture Painter in PC Magazine in 1984 –

Picture Painter is not as easy to learn as it should be. It takes a lot of nerve to charge $3,000 for software and then an extra $50 for inadequate documentation.

Tough, but fair.

Here’s a historic photo of a dorky looking guy showing off the Picture Painter app he created – and in case she ever goes searching for her own name, I’d like to say hello to my Cableshare colleague Debbie Shelton, who hasn’t seen me in 40 years either.

Picture Painter

That’d be a Summagraphics tablet, with a custom overlay where you could draw and a grid of buttons across the bottom to trigger editing functions, and a Microtel Telidon terminal displaying the results.

I saved one of the overlays –


Telidon graphics were interesting in that they built up as the picture commands came in. it’d draw a circle, and a rectangle, and then it’d wait for more data to come in, and draw some text, and pause again and … It’s hard to believe how slow this was in retrospect but the effect of the pictures gradually appearing was kind of interesting.

so what did you see on the screen at the mall?

I really wish I’d taken some more pictures of what it all looked like. You’d have a menu you could touch through, for mall information, maps to the stores, the latest news and sports scores, and more. It was a clumsy menuing interface because the touch screens of 1982 were pretty limited. The first ones we used had something like twelve specific zones you could touch – and that was it. Twelve little nondynamic islands, and you had to create your content so that the touchable things were under the specific zones.

The Eaton Centre

Our first two installs were at White Oaks and Westmount Malls, in London. Cableshare had partnered with the local newspaper, the London Free Press, to build a joint venture called Videopress and they’d put Russ Demchuk in charge of the project and I’d just like to drop his name again as someone I haven’t heard from in ages.

while I’m at it a few more names of Cableshare people. This team taught me a lot. Frank Mandarino! Tom Martin! Tom McGill! Chris Reinkeleurs! Al Dinelt! Rick McNorgan! Herb Woods! Terry Pocock, rest in peace, company president who really spearheaded the whole thing. And Joe I Forget Your Last Name But You Were Very Nice To Me And I’m Sorry I Complained About One Of Your Functions Delivering Unsorted Data When I Really Wanted Sorted!

anyway. We honestly thought every shopping mall in the world would want some of these kiosks. Many of them came to London to see it in action, and the owners of the Eaton Centre – Canada’s largest mall, in downtown Toronto – decided to dive in, in partnership with the Toronto Sun.

It was all-hands-on-deck to get ready for that huge install. There was going to be a large Videopress booth smack in the middle of the mall. Our team of artists started using Picture Painter to draw – tediously – walking maps from the booth’s location to every store. 300 individual maps. I think they had animated dotted lines showing the route. Fancy stuff for 1982.

Except when the booth was installed, it turned out to be on the opposite side that we were expecting, and all the maps were upside down and had to be redrawn. Oops.

Today when I visit the Eaton Centre, I walk past the spot where the booth used to be, and I get pretty nostalgic….

Sports Scores

One piece of content I remember is a fancy graphic showing Wayne Gretzky’s quest for 100 goals. He was on a tear that season and it really looked like he might score 100; the team built an impressive page with a thermometer of sorts showing his progress, and every night it’d be updated, and there was going to be some spectacular thing happening when he hit 100.

Wayne finished the season with 92 goals. sigh.

The Gift Guide

The sales people were signing up vendors in the mall to participate in the Gift Guide. We had a coupon printer in the booth – using that ancient greasy ATM paper you’ve probably forgotten – and somebody had the idea that we should print special discount coupons that would direct people to participating retailers.

Somehow this morphed into the Christmas Gift Guide. A database driven thing, you’d answer a few questions on the touch screen …

Welcome to the Gift Guide!

  • Who are you shopping for?
  • My dad.

  • What are they interested in?
  • Photography.

  • What’s your budget?
  • $75.

and the interactive database would search through the huge list of participating merchants, and recommend something and print a coupon.

Except … The sales people had difficulty filling all the slots. Most of the time, the gift guide came up with a useless recommendation like Nothing for that combination. Try again.


One day my manager Bruce Grayson came to me and said “Steve, this doesn’t look good you’ve got to make it return something every time.”

We thought about it for a moment, looked over the list of participating vendors, and decided we were going with Shoes. The perfect Christmas gift! Your dad is interested in photography? Why not buy him some shoes? Have you ever seen a photographer that didn’t have shoes?

I don’t think the Gift Guide lasted too long.


the inuit circumpolar conference

Cableshare got government money somehow to install a few systems at the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, which I believe was in Iqaluit, and I am still annoyed that I didn’t get to go. But I did manage to use Telidon’s custom font capability to design an Inuktitut font so content could be presented properly. I remember buying a sheet of Letraset dry-transfer letters that were in that font – all magical circles and triangles – and tediously creating a digital font variant. I hope people liked that.


We modified the system so that it could display video from an attached laserdisc player, and somebody somehow got Buick interested in this as a kiosk for car dealerships. I remember going to see the first install at Buick HQ in Michigan. A standalone touch screen system was there to tell you about the new 1984 cars – but nobody was touching it. Nobody knew that you could actually TOUCH a SCREEN.

Someone had the bright idea to put a helpful sign next to the screen. Touch Here to learn about Our New Cars!, it said.

You can imagine where this is going. I remember seeing somebody touch the SIGN, four or five increasingly frustrated times, and of course nothing was happening. He got mad, and actually hit the real touch screen with his fist while walking away. Stupid thing. Doesn’t work.

Then, of course, the touch screen noticed an actual touch, and beeped, and started playing videos from the laserdisc player. I think the customer came back for a look.

the finger painter

Also I managed to put together a touch-screen based program that let you create graphics without the need for a keyboard or a graphics tablet! We called it the Finger Painter. It was a fun little experiment, and somebody at the Ontario Science Centre thought it was pretty cool and to my great delight, they installed it there and anybody could walk up and doodle a little picture with their finger. Or maybe it was Ontario Place. Or the Ontario Science Centre at Ontario Place. For a few months there, it was all the rage, even though (I can’t believe this memory is coming back) we kept having issues with flow control on the RS-232 line between the computer and the decode.


This was huge in 1982 and 1983. Huge! Nobody had seen anything like it. Interactive touch screen information systems that anybody could use. Anybody! Just come to the mall and try it out!

I really wish I’d taken more pictures – here are a few that I do have.


Russ Demchuk and Bruce Grayson check out the first install.

Frank Mandarino and Bruce Grayson try to use the Gift Guide, as seen from inside the terminal


Frank, and Tom Martin, in the lab back at Cableshare

and maybe my favourite


the Cableshare Marching Band, from the 1982 Christmas party.

In 1983 I went back to grad school at Waterloo, and Cableshare eventually pivoted to doing some sort of interactive thing over cable and phone lines and got acquired by another telco, and the booths faded away.

But it was a pretty amazing couple of years.


I recently stumbled across this CBC video report from 1985 on Cableshare’s pivot to “Touch-n-Shop”, a system for shopping on your TV, controlling it via your touch-tone phone. This used the same Telidon graphics and Picture Painter software I’d built, but reorganized to run on your home TV. Cableshare was convinced they were on to something with this shopping-at-home idea, and JC Penney swooped in.

It’s great to see my former boss, Cableshare president Terry Pocock, in this. He took some big chances. I was only there a couple of years, but I learned a ton, and I have some great memories. Thank you, Terry.

Watch here:


Canada 4, USSR 1, September 4, 1972. Hey, I was there!

fifty years ago today

Canada vs Russia Sign

The older I get, the more nostalgic I get about things that happened on This Day In The Past. Especially if I can remember them! Or even better, if I was involved! That means I must not be getting older.

On September 4, 1972, Team Canada played the USSR at Maple Leaf Gardens, in Game 2 of the classic Summit Series – the first ever tournament between the best Canadian NHLers and the perennial Olympic champions from the USSR.

It’s hard to imagine today just how big a deal this series was. By game 8 in Moscow, the entire country was glued to their TVs (in my case, glued to the TV in my Grade 9 English class at London Central.) We saw Paul Henderson score for Canada, and Canada edged the USSR with 4 wins, 3 losses and 1 tie.

But that was by no means what we THOUGHT was going to happen on September 4, 1972. Admittedly, up until a few days earlier, most people thought Canada would win all 8 games. Or that the Russians might squeak out a tie.

game 1

Then game 1 happened in Montreal on September 2. USSR 7, Canada 3. We watched this one at the cottage, and I knew it was special because we NEVER watched TV at the cottage.

Canada had lost, big, to the Soviets. What did it mean? Was this a fluke? Were they really that much better than us? Oh, wow, what if this keeps happening for all 8 games?

game 2

Game 2 was in Toronto at Maple Leaf Gardens. There had been a lottery of sorts to get tickets. You wrote a letter,with a stamp and everything, and you were entered for the chance to buy seats.

I sent in 10 entries. Because Bobby Hull hadn’t been added to the team, I wrote To Russia With Hull! on each one in a minor bit of activism.

Somehow I won, and I persuaded Dad to come up with the $50 it would take to get the two seats.

Can you imagine that? We had really great tickets, on the goal line about 10 rows back, and they were only $25? If that series were played today, those tickets would cost thousands.

So we went to the game. We drove from London to Toronto, along with my friend Richard Collyer and his father who’d also obtained (not nearly as good) tickets.

Dad actually filmed the trip on his (silent) Super-8 camera, and 10 years ago my brother had the presence of mind to upload that to Youtube. I promise I’ll come up with a higher quality render, but here’s our home movie:

our glorious Super 8 film

It starts out slowly as we drive to Toronto and take the subway to Maple Leaf Gardens, but here are a few timestamps of interest

  • 0:24 Richard Collyer and his father and me on the subway
  • 0:46 USSR takes the ice
  • 3:27 I try to speak to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau
  • 3:42 Margaret Trudeau says to me “He’s pretty busy, isn’t he”
  • 4:00 a sign, “We’ll settle for 7 out of 8”
  • 4:06 Taking my seat. Note, nobody in the crowd wears a jersey, few if any flags. A different era for sure.

Canada wins, 4-1 behind a strong goaltending performance from the legendary Tony Esposito.

the book


For Christmas I think I got a copy of the book Death of a Legend, by Henk W. Hoppener, a retrospective of the whole series.

Amazingly, you can see Dad and me in a picture from that book!

Book Excerpt

I vaguely recall that Time Magazine also had a picture from the game that showed us. I’ll have to find that.

the aftermath

Canada won, 4-1, and the series was tied at one game each. I believe that if the Russians had clobbered Canada again, it would have been all over, and Canada would have entered a decade of darkness, punctuated by Royal Commissions on What’s Wrong with Canadian Hockey.

I think this was also the time we used the term Team Canada to refer to our national team in any sport.

So where does this game rank? If you ask me, these are the great Team Canada mens hockey matches played here in Canada.

  • 1972 Summit Series. Canada 4, USSR 1
  • 1976 Canada Cup. Canada 5, Czechoslovakia 4 on a beauty overtime goal by Darryl Sittler
  • 1987 Canada Cup. Canada 6, USSR 5; Gretzky to Lemieux … hey I was at this one too! the 35th Anniversary is coming up September 15th…. but that’s another blog post.
  • 2010 Olympics. Canada 3, USA 2. Sidney Crosby with the Golden Goal.

Which one was the most important victory? As Ken Dryden has said,

The Golden Age of hockey is “whoever was playing when you were 12 years old.”

For me, that 1972 game was the greatest. And not just because I was 12, but because of the huge hype around the series and the way a vastly overconfident Canada had been soundly thrashed two nights before.

50 years later

Well I was very lucky to see that game, so today, September 4 2022, for the 50th Anniversary, I’m breaking out the 1972 Jersey (which I bought for the 40th Anniversary.)

Me and my Team Canada 1972 Jersey

Thanks, Team Canada. I think we’ll be hearing more about this series this month. Ken Dryden’s written a new book, too. Gotta go get that – and see what he says about letting in 7 goals in Game 1.

and thank you Team Canada Women!

Today our womens national team beat the USA to claim the world championship! September 4. A great day for Canadian hockey.

Taking neat photos of moving water with your iPhone

We’re in Alaska and were near a lovely babbling creek in Ketchican today. One of my favourite iPhone tricks is using long exposures when shooting a waterfall or babbling brook – the effect you get in the water is pretty cool. Here’s how! It’s easy, just a couple of taps.

First, the end result. Here’s Creek Street in Ketchican today.


How do you get that neat silky blurry moving water effect? Easy!

The trick is to turn on the camera’s Live Photo feature, which captures about a 2 second clip every time you take a picture. Then you can use Long Exposure to average all 2 seconds of that clip into a single frame – which blurs the moving water really nicely.

And as a nice side effect, if there are people walking around during the 2 second exposure, it might average them right out of the picture!

So here’s what you do.

  • Approach waterfall or babbling brook

  • Open the camera app – and tap the Live Photo button at the top. That nested circle thing in the top right. If it’s on, the app will briefly display LIVE as seen here.

Live Photo button

  • Take picture. Hold still! It’s actually taking a 2 second exposure, but just showing you a single photo.

  • If satisfied, great! If not, let’s blur the water.

  • Find the photo in the Photos app (or tap the icon in the lower left of Camera, if you just snapped it now.) You’ll see this “LIVE” indicator in the top left, if you’re looking at a LIVE photo.

LIVE indicator

That LIVE thing is actually a popup button, which lets you choose from several different effects that can be applied to a live photo. Tap it for a menu, like this

LIVE menu

These are your choices –

  • Live – a photo that plays a 2 second movie when you long-press
  • Loop – Turn the 2 second photo into a little movie that loops continuously.
  • Bounce – like Loop, but the movie goes back and forth and back and forth
  • Long Exposure – this is the magic one we want! It averages all the frames together, and the effect looks great on moving water

All these effects are quick and easy and non-destructive, so you can try it and see if you like it.

  • Tap Long Exposure and marvel at how cool the water in the lower left looks now — and in this case, a little harder to see but the people walking on the bridge on the left side have been averaged right out of sight! You can use this to remove crowds!

Before –


After –


Note that the averaging also crops your photo a little bit because, I dunno, algorithmic handwaving image stabilization reasons.

Pretty cool, huh. Try it on your next photo of a waterfall. Here’s one I took in the Azores a couple of years ago, using the same trick.

Waterfall  1

Sending off Dad

I promise I’m going to blog about something positive and happy soon – our son’s wedding is coming up next month. That will be great! Especially after 2.5 pandemic years of goodbyes to those we love. Including yesterday …

burying Dad

Mom and Dad's headstone

It was an emotional day yesterday as we gathered to bury Dad. (Yes, he passed away in March, but you might not have heard that supply chain issues mean it can take months to order a monument, and we wanted to wait until everything was in place. We ordered one shortly after Mom passed away last summer and it took most of a year for it to be ready. Fortunately it turned out very nicely.)

It was a beautiful day at Woodland Cemetery and I hope Dad and Mom would be pleased. We tossed in a little sand from the beach at Point View that Michael had harvested earlier in the day, and even a nice skipping stone. Dad was a champion Lake Huron stone skipper and claimed he could make any stone skip, whether it had a flat surface or not. (Sometimes we’d hand him a spherical rock as a challenge and he’d make it skip – maybe only once, but still, that counts.)

Point View sand

I was particularly moved to tears when Nick brought along Dad’s ukulele and sang a song – he’d learned Dream a Little Dream Of Me for the occasion. Not an easy tune! Lots of weird chords, but he did a great job, and my first reaction was – wait, when did you learn to play the ukulele? But Dad and Mom loved it, I’m sure. Dad’s baritone ukulele was a constant feature of so many family gatherings. Thank you, Nick.

We also took time to visit my grandparents, and my great grandparents, and even my great-great-grandparents who are all also resting at Woodland. And Uncle George, who’s interred right next to Dad and Mom and our brother Tim.

John Hayman

HLH Monument

Henry, Mary and William Hayman
The sun was shining and it really was a beautiful day. We even saw a few deer enjoying the scenery. Dad, you picked out a very nice spot and I’m happy you and Mom and Tim are together again.

Many thanks to Rev. Stephen McClatchie and funeral director Steve Harris, and you know you’re in good hands when Steves are taking care of you.

IMG 2756

Naturally we honoured Mom and Dad afterwards with ice cream at Merla Mae, Dad’s favourite spot and a North London institution since before I was born.

Merla Mae

Remembering Uncle George reminds me: we should PRINT more pictures

George Hayman, age 20

Here’s a wonderful picture of Uncle George (my dad’s brother) from 1950, that was on display at his funeral/celebration yesterday.

This is obviously a great photo of a handsome guy who we all loved very much. And a truck with a three-digit phone number! But here’s what strikes me about this:

Somebody – maybe my dad, maybe my grandfather – 72 years ago, took the time to take this picture, on a low-tech camera full of “film”, and waited a week or more for it to be developed and printed just so they could see whether it turned out OK, and they then put the photo in an album where we could all find it decades later and share in its majesty.

Conversely, what do we all do? We have amazing cameras with us all the time, we take dozens of high quality instant-gratification photos every week with our phones, and we never go through and delete the bad ones or highlight the good ones, and they get stored away in a cloud service and do we think our loved ones in 70 years are going to be able to unearth these?

We all need to PRINT more pictures. PRINT. Put them in a book where your grandchildren can find them and where you can enjoy them now. Don’t just store IMG_7305.JPG off in the cloud somewhere, hoping you can remember and find it later, hoping that that Facebook or Google or Apple’s service is still in business.

Somebody told me once of a service where you could just mark digital pictures as favourites as you took them, and once a month that service would scrape through your photo collection, find the new good ones, and print them in a small book for you. I kinda like that idea.

I am a big fan of printing elaborate hardcover photo books where you spend a lot of time futzing with the layout and getting the captions just right, except for the part where it’s hard to finish a project like that and that’s why I have 3 uncompleted photo books in progress at the moment. I gotta bring those to completion.

Of course it doesn’t help that every attempt to print a photo at home is doomed to end in nothing but cursing at the printer for either laying out the picture in the dumbest possible way on the page, or smearing the ink around somehow and producing very low quality output while simultaneously messing up your future attempts to print ordinary text because you’re now out of cyan. I wish our industry could fix this.

Print the good ones. Please.

Saying goodbye to Mom

(note: July, 2021, but just posted now.)

It’s been a tough year or two, saying goodbye to Dad, and Mom, and mother-in-law Eleanor, and Aunt Molly, and cousin Jon, and friends Linda and Ian, and so many others. I was honoured to give a few remarks at her funeral last summer and some folks wanted me to post them for posterity. Love you, Mom. I know you and Dad are watching us all, and, I hope, laughing and smiling.

Order of Service

Anne Elizabeth Walker Hayman

July 30, 1931 – July 10, 2021

Remarks at Mom’s funeral, Saturday, July 17, 2021

Welcome everyone. Welcome to all joining us here at St. John’s, and also welcome to those watching on Zoom.

I don’t think Mom would have understood what Zoom was, but she would love anything that brought people together.

So, welcome again.

Welcome. That’s a word I’ve been thinking a lot about in the past week. So many people have told us how welcome Mom made them feel. Whether they were new to the Church, or new to Canada, or new members of our family like Brent and Cathy and many other happy spouses, or guests at dozens of Christmas dinners or hundreds of other gatherings, or they’d never been to the cottage before, Mom would welcome them with open arms.

Mom would welcome people to the cottage with a hand-written document called “Things in Odd Places.” If you were looking for towels, or the can opener, or a gravy boat, or a dear little dish, you’d consult Mom’s Things in Odd Places list. Welcome to our cottage.

Mom also wanted to make sure we’d never forget those we’d welcomed, so most photos at home have Mom’s handwriting on the back with names and dates. Thanks, Mom. Some of those are pictures of my own babies and I’m not sure which one they are.

I also fondly remember one time in 1981 when Mom welcomed the entire University of Waterloo Warriors Band, which suddenly spilled out of a bus on our front lawn at 994 Maitland before a game against Western. Mom welcomed them all with a nice lunch, listened to the band as it played a couple of tunes on the street because, hey, why not, and then wished the band well as it headed off to Western. Where, if I remember correctly, the final score was 72-0, and not for Waterloo. But everybody remembered Mom’s hospitality. Especially one flute player in the band, who met Mom back then, and then again 30 years later when she married me. But that’s another story.

Mom was born in 1931 and lived, just a couple of blocks up that way, at 944 Wellington with her parents, Alexander Illingworth Walker – everybody called him A.I. – and Audrey Walker – we called her Nanny – and her older brother John. Two years earlier, older brother Joe had passed away in a tragic accident, so I know Mom’s arrival must have been very special for them all.

A.I. worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway – just over there, at the magnificent CPR station. Mom and Nanny thought nothing of hopping on the CPR train to Detroit to go shopping. For years Mom spoke glowingly of “The Big US”, a magical land where you could buy things that weren’t available in Canada. And it was easy if you could just hop on the train for free.

Mom went to The Until Recently Ryerson Public School which, it turns out, had been built by her future husband’s grandfather. Our family has had a long connection with the School at Waterloo and Victoria, and that over-a-century tradition has continued – granddaughter Katie has just graduated from Grade 8.

In grade 3 and 4 at what was then Ryerson, one of Mom’s classmates was a boy who lived up the street named Roger. I wish I had found out about this earlier so I could ask mom what she remembered of him, but that boy, who learned arithmetic right alongside Mom, went on to win the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics. Sir Roger Penrose. One of the most famous mathematicians of the past century – and he was Mom’s classmate. Well – that gets me excited at least.

Mom continued on to high school at dear old Central, the school that claims our loyalty. With colours royal. True hearts and loyal! As we go marching onward, onward to victory – sorry, I’m lapsing into the Central song there. Mom heard that song dozens and dozens of times, as she and Dad faithfully came to every single music night that any of her children were ever in, and from her I learned a valuable lesson: You have to stay to the end! You can’t leave just because your kid’s group has finished! You have to grit your teeth and enjoy the beginning string class too!

She even came to Toronto for some of her grandchildren’s musical performances – and I remember her visiting – on the train, of course – to hear the Runnymede Public School Kindergarten Christmas Concert, where she surely enjoyed the choral performance even though Nick never opened his mouth to sing once. Mom thought it was wonderful.

And then for Mom it was on to Western. Did you know Mom played basketball for the Western Mustangs? I discovered that old Western yearbooks have been scanned and can be browsed online.

To my great delight, in the 1953 Occidentalia yearbook, I found a page dedicated to the candidates for Queen of the University College Ball. Let me share with you a few excerpts about one of them.

Occidentalia 1953

The first thing you noticed is that they incorrectly spelled “Anne” without an “E” multiple times, something Mom battled her entire life. (For the record, I am “Stephen” with a “PH”. Thank you for that, Mom.)

Let’s learn about Ann Walker.

Anne Walker, an attractive brunette … is in her final year of Business and Secretarial Science. After graduation, Ann would like an interesting job, something that offers variety.

Yes, she certainly was an attractive brunette, and she won the Gold Medal in Business and Secretarial Science – she found an interesting job at Labatt’s, where, amazingly, she had an aptitude for beer tasting.

John Hayman and Sons Construction happened to be doing some work at Labatt’s, and one day a young U of Toronto civil engineering grad named Bob was having lunch with his friend Harvey Hurlbutt.

(Ask Dad to tell you this story. He loves telling this story.)

Bob noticed an attractive brunette entering the cafeteria, and asked Harvey who that was. Why, she’s a friend of my girlfriend Frances Branton, he replied. She can introduce you!

That’s how it got started. On one of their early dates, Dad took Mom to see professional wrestling at the old London Arena. Pro wrestling. Dad likes to say that Mom “never complained”, but, well, I’m not sure what she would have thought of that.

Back to the yearbook.

Ann is a member of Pi Beta Phi. Keen on money matters, she was treasurer of the fraternity

Yes she was keen on money matters. I remember at age 4, a major construction project had Maitland Street torn up, and I decided to have a lemonade stand. Get your lemonade right here! Five cents a glass!

Some of the workers would offer me a quarter. Wow. A whole Quarter. Thank you!, I would beam.

And then Mom announced that

I had to make change, I couldn’t keep the entire quarter, and

I also had to pay her for the cost of the lemonade.

Keen on money matters indeed.

Ann is a sports enthusiast. She loves figure skating, basketball, tennis and swimming.

Mom’s love of figure skating took her to lots of events, and when she learned there were actually organized group tours to the World Championships, off she went. Mom loved those trips with Blanche Ward and Janet Cluett, off to Prague, or Indianapolis, or wherever, where they could chat about skating, music, outfits, and unfair judging all day long.

We kids did not exactly develop into Olympic skaters – although Mom took great pride in Rob and Katie’s hockey teams – but at least we learned to identify some of the jumps as often as 60% of the time. Here’s a tip I learned from Mom. The only jump where you take off going forwards is an Axel. Look for that at next winter’s Olympics.

Also – Tennis! Mom loved tennis! I never saw her play tennis, but we sure saw her play Table Tennis. Even up until her later years, Mom was a ping-pong shark. My cousin Kathy says that Mom was the only person who could ever beat her dad, John. And even in her later life, Mom would come alive playing ping pong at the cottage. It’s fascinating which skills stick with you, isn’t it.

In her less ambitious moments, she plays the piano, preferring solitude to an audience

Mom took piano lessons from Miss Taylor, over there on Colborne St, and insisted we do so as well, although Miss Taylor was about 900 years old by the time I started. Thank you for that, mom. Susan played the piano for Mom last week, and I can report with great pride that the last live music Mom heard was Susan’s perfomance of the classic “Yes We Have No Bananas.”

Susan even kindly played it without the extra C#’s I would occasionally add just to see if Mom was listening.

Ann would rather eat corn on the cob than any other food.

August was Mom’s favourite month. By August, the corn on the cob that she’d buy at roadside stands was at its best. Also by August, Lake Huron was finally warm enough for her to swim. Always entering backwards, always keeping her head above water.

And perhaps the best quote about Mom from the yearbook –

Her favourite activity is sleeping

Mine too!

So. With a resume like this, how did she NOT win the UC Ball competition? I demand a recount!

But she won the grand prize – the beer-tasting secretary married Bob, a loving marriage that lasted 65 years, a true partnership in which Dad would have big ideas and Mom would somehow find a way to make them work.

Just up the street at St. Joseph’s hospital, Mom had four children. You know three of us, but you might not have heard of Tim, who never made it out of St. Joseph’s. It’s hard to imagine how devastating that must have been, but Mom showered Dad and the rest of us with love.

Life at 994 Maitland with Dad was full of variety. Of course I remember the vacations – Expo 67, the 1969 Apollo XI launch, which Michael and I have been bragging about witnessing for 52 years, trips to the Calgary Stampede, to England, to France, skiing in Austria, but I also remember Mom’s desserts. Jello 1-2-3! Mom made this miracle product that nobody today has ever heard of. And Mom’s famous Frozen Strawberry Dessert, which I forget the recipe but I believe the main ingredient was frozen strawberries.

Mom and Dad travelled the world too, once they realized they didn’t need to bring us kids along. Cruising the Atlantic, bicycling through France with the Whelens, even a once in a lifetime visit to Australia’s finest resort, Hayman Island.

After a lifetime of volunteering, Mom finally found her most interesting job – remember she wanted one that offers variety, one that had no routine work. In 1993 she was promoted to Grandmother. Alexander – named for her father – arrived, and then Nicholas, and Robbie, and Katie, and just when she must have thought it couldn’t possibly get any better, along come Tyler and Caitie-with-a-C. We told her that Tyler recently got engaged to Diana, and that Caitie is a daredevil at the CN Tower, and I hope that made Mom smile.

Grandchildren, Mom truly loved you. I remember a saying she liked. “If I’d known how wonderful grandchildren were, I would have had them first.” Thank you for escorting her on her final journey today.

Mom had two favourite expressions. One of course, was “Oh, Bob.” But the other was the last word she’d always say to me if I was heading out. She’d say “Stephen – drive carefully!” Every time. And I would try. But today it’s my turn to send her off.

Now, I don’t know what happens when you die. I have a good idea what happens scientifically, but spiritually? I don’t know. But I like to think that you get to meet everyone who went before, and that they’re all very eager for you to tell them stories of what they’ve missed.

So, Mom – Nanny and Bompa are waiting for you to fill them in. And Uncle John. And your brother Joseph who you never met, and our brother Tim, who we never met. Please give them all a big hug from us, let them know we’re all doing great, that we’re taking care of Dad, and that we’ll miss you forever.

And we’ll all Drive Carefully.


Mom was escorted out of St. John’s Church on her final journey by grandchildren Alex, Tyler, Nick, Caitie, Rob and Katie – as the organist fittingly played The Skater’s Waltz.

Presentation Tips you Might Not Want To Use

I’ve been fortunate to deliver sessions at Apple’s WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) in California on many occasions, and have learned some good things about presenting.

These are not those things. But I’ve saved them here for posterity, because I think after 20 years, the statute of limitations has expired.

Be Sure To Wear the Speaker Shirt

WWDC 2002, WebObjects Technical Overview

It’s important that everybody wear the special speaker shirt.

My thanks to engineering manager Toni Trujillo Vian who went along with this dumb idea that was presented to her about two minutes before the session started.

See If You can Get the Crowd to Stand and Sing

WWDC 2001, WebObjects Technical Overview

What session would not be improved with a singalong? Well, perhaps this one.

(This was actually the second time I got a WWDC crowd to stand and sing. In an earlier session on the very dry topic of WebObjects debugging, we staged the World WebObjects Debugging Championship at the end (between a couple of good-natured volunteers from the USA and Canada) and played the anthem of the winning country at the end. Congrats, Mark Ritchie of Canada.)

Saying goodbye to Dad

My father passed away last week and we had a lovely, but unfortunately capacity-limited, funeral for him on Saturday at our family church, the Church of St. John the Evangelist, in our old neighbourhood in London.

I was honoured to make a few remarks (below).

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad had been members of the church – pillars, really – for over 60 years, and I was delighted that the Choir (of which Dad had been a long time member) was able to attend and sing some of Dad’s favourites. Dad had asked for John Rutter’s The Lord Bless You and Keep You to be sung, and the choir did it magnificently.

Here’s a slightly larger choir performing this wonderful work. I am extremely grateful to our choir for singing this one. (I could barely hold it together while listening to it.)

It was wonderful to see family and old friends at the visitation and later at the funeral service. Thank you to all who came, or who watched the live stream. That made the week easier.

I was honoured to deliver a eulogy for Dad, only a few months after doing the same for Mom. Here’s what I said, with more than a few pauses where I could compose myself. Dad, people laughed in a few spots. I hope that’s OK.

Eulogy for Dad

Welcome back

Well, welcome back everyone. It seems like we were just here.

Mom and Dad both loved the theatre. So in that vein …

Welcome back from intermission. Previously at St. John’s, in the Act One finale last July, we said goodbye to Mom, Anne, Gran, Mrs Hayman, a wonderful star to whom Dad was devoted for 65 years.

Today is Act Two. I want to tell you some stories. We have four scenes. Let’s get started.

Scene 1: Bob the Technophile

When Alex was born, Dad couldn’t understand why I felt the need to give a newborn baby an email address, and he wrote an editorial for our family paper the Point View Reviewer wondering why we didn’t just come up with a way to print messages on paper and deliver them through Canada Post. But … he changed. He grew to love online communication. And he’d want me to welcome everyone joining us on Zoom today. Even though Dad would have no idea how that worked, he loved anything that connected people.

Dad was fascinated, although often stumped, by technology. A slide rule was high tech when he was a student. But he adapted easily to this new world. For instance he’d love seeing the list of people who liked or commented on a Facebook post, and it was great fun trying to explain to him who everybody was. OK see those are my high school friends, there’s someone from the band, that’s your neighbour and … I don’t know who that is, one of your Internet friends maybe?

Dad was an amazing early adopter. In 1971 he bought the first pocket calculator any of us had ever seen! He let me take it in to wood shop class, where the teacher was so impressed, he helped me build a beautiful stand for it. It was so early, we didn’t even realize you could spell words on a calculator by turning it upside down. We just multiplied 4 by 7 and went, whoa, it figured that out in two seconds.

And he bought an Apple ][ years before anybody else had a “home computer”. He soon became the first person I knew to buy an airline ticket online! He had signed up for an account on “The Source”, an early nationwide bulletin board, that cost $15/hour to use. Somehow he found a travel agent in there selling tickets, and he experimented a bit and, apparently, actually purchased a return ticket from Toronto to Paris, or something. Of course he had no intention of travelling to Paris, he was just experimenting with this technology …- and we had to persuade him that yes, we think that was an actual thing, we think you actually DID buy a plane ticket there, you better call them back and cancel it.

Years later, in 1996, Steve Jobs demoed buying a plane ticket on the Internet, and immediately called United Airlines to cancel it, and everybody went, “oooooh, cool, that’s the future”, but I remembered Dad had done it fifteen years earlier.

He went through a brief spell where – being an engineer – he wanted to understand how computers worked, how you wrote programs for them, what was actually going on inside these boxes. That phase didn’t last. He wisely decided he would just enjoy using the computer. He’d leave that understanding part to others. Good move. Let the experts be the experts. We did have many discussions about the difference between a “file” and a “folder” though, as Dad pointed out that a “filing cabinet” actually holds “files” and my analogies were all wrong. Taught me a lesson there.

That Apple ][ got me curious, and here I am in my 29th year of working for Apple. Dad was always very encouraging about that even if he was a little unclear what it is I do here.

I overheard him telling somebody once that “Stephen is in charge of education sales for Apple”, which is, um, overstating it slightly. But he was proud of whatever it was.

Scene 2: Bob the Performer

When Dad was in high school at Rothesay Collegiate in New Brunswick, he organized the school’s bugle band, and something must have clicked because he enjoyed performing for the rest of his life.

Dad finished high school at London South, and here’s a quote from the 1946 South yearbook, describing a school assembly.

The program was continually being interrupted by the unscheduled appearances of Walden Allen, Dick Hutchison and Bob Hayman, who pestered the audience with skits and songs. But the people loved them.

The performing bug continued when Dad was studying engineering at the University of Toronto. He tried out for U of T’s Blue and White marching band, but it turned out they were looking for people who could actually play an instrument.

So Dad pivoted and founded the Inter Varsity Barbershop Quartet Champions of 1949, the legendary Four Flushers, from Drano, California.

The Four Flushers

The Four Flushers, from the University of Toronto 1950 Engineering Yearbook

On the evening of February 21st, the men of Civil Engineering grabbed their best gals and headed for the Savarin Hotel. A swell evening was had by all. The “Four Flushers,” of 5T0 Civil and international fame, comprised the official entertainment. After singing several numbers, the quartette was forced, by popular demand, to give its rendition of that old folk song—”Cigareets and Whisky.” The roof promptly fell in.

Dad also managed to appear in some London Little Theatre musicals. I remember him boasting of being in a production of Guys and Dolls, where he played The Greek. Now, I was very impressionable, and grew up thinking The Greek must surely be the star of that show, so imagine my confusion when I finally saw a production of Guys and Dolls and learned that The Greek only had about two lines. No matter! It was Show Business.

And yet some of Dad’s greatest artistic successes occurred right here, at St. John’s Church. I’d like to speak to the choir for a moment.

to the choir

Dad was a member of this wonderful choir for many years. He loved worshipping and singing with you all, but he loved socializing with the choir even more. Thank you, David, and everyone else for being here today and singing some of Dad’s favourites.

But he also founded the legendary St. John’s Marching Band in 1971. Dad would play the trumpet, sometimes – I never did figure out where exactly he figured out how to play the trumpet – or maybe the violin, and my siblings were in it too, along with whoever else in the church played any instrument at all, and the band would play for the Christmas pageant or the Lessons and Carols service, and then scatter until next year – unless the church was running a Chicken Dinner or putting on a show or a road race, and then the a slightly different St. John’s Marching Band, sometimes enhanced with a few ringers, would reassemble. We are all grateful that St. John’s has had a series of directors of music willing to embrace this ensemble. I am grateful for their tolerance and senses of humour about the whole thing.

Mom and Dad would host Christmas or Victoria Day parties and invite the entire neighbourhood, and a new ad-hoc orchestra would be formed. And with Dad and Uncle George on trumpet, my siblings on clarinet, me on trombone, Mom on the piano and other cousins on whatever instrument they were learning, the family band would get together on Christmas Eve and visit Grampa and Nana and Uncle Don and Aunt Grace and Aunt Jean to serenade them with Christmas carols from the well worn red and green books.

And the nightly flag lowering at the Point View cottage was always accompanied by a bugle solo, that could be heard far and wide. Dad was big on ceremony.

He and Mom travelled to Europe with Western’s New Horizons Band, playing to, if not exactly the great concert halls, various nursing homes. Talk about a captive audience.

I was inspired by all this and put a few bands together in my life and Dad was a great supporter, especially when the University of Waterloo Warriors Band would occasionally visit London and play a tune or two on the lawn at 994 Maitland St. before going off to see Waterloo edged by Western 72-0. Cathy was in one of those bands too, although I didn’t get around to marrying her until 30 years later. Y’see? You should join a band. Or a choir. A lifetime of memories is there for you.

Here’s the thing. I learned a valuable lesson from these groups Dad would assemble. Musical quality isn’t the important thing. No. What’s important? Just getting together with your friends and playing some music, and having fun, now THAT’s important.

Thank you, Dad

Scene 3: Bob the Traveller

Dad loved to travel. His philosophy was that money wasn’t doing you any good in the bank, so you might as well travel. And travel, he and Mom did. They saw the world. Sometimes they even took us.

Mom and Dad took our family on some memorable trips, including a mission in 1969 to see the launch of Apollo XI. Michael and I have been bragging about that one ever since – and that is what personally got me interested in science and technology.

I remember a wonderful two-motorhome trip with the entire Jones family. Mr. and Mrs. Jones owned a motorhome, Dad rented one, and we spent a great weekend arguing the merits of Champion vs. Superior motorhomes.

Mom and Dad also shared their love of theatre with us, and we all went to New York in 1978 to see some Broadway shows. We all remember Dad gasping at the ticket prices.

“$28 each?” he’d say. “That’s absolutely ridiculous, you should be able to take the whole family to a show for $28.”

The most memorable trip was to France in 1980. Imagine, trying to book travel for your family without the Internet, just with brochures, to a country where you didn’t speak the language. Dad’s bold speech at every hotel , using the remaining words of high school French he knew, became part of family legend. We’d all repeat this line to ourselves for years. Dad would stride up to the hotel, counter, and smile, and loudly tell the clerk

“Je Voudrais Doux Chambres pour Cinq Personnes.”

(That’d be “I Would Like Sweet Rooms for Five People”.)

Somehow that worked and we got our two rooms for five people.

We visited the world war 1 grave of Dad’s uncle Gordon McIntosh, killed at 19 in World War I in Lapugnoy, France. Dad made sure we were aware of those sacrifices, and of how hard Gordon’s death was on his mother, Gordon’s young sister. It was a very moving trip.

Also I remember we detoured through Belgium at one point because Dad wanted a real Belgian waffle.

Mom and Dad made many more great trips once they realized they didn’t need to bring the kids along, including a round-the-world trip where they flew to France for cousin Ian Hayman’s wedding, and then – seeing as they were already in the area – continued on to visit other cousin Ian Wallace in the Philippines. And on to Australia’s finest luxury resort, Hayman Island.

They cruised the seven seas, they saw the pyramids along the Nile, they cycled through France with the Whelens, they skied in Austria, but they enjoyed travelling to the family cottage at Point View on the shores of Lake Huron most of all. The family cottage wasn’t just our family, it included the entire MacFarlane and Baldwin clans across the ravines too.

Dad saw to it that family gatherings at Point View were frequent, and fun, and frequently filmed. A whole series of movies were shot on Dad’s Super 8 camera, starring every kid who was around, including classics you might remember like The Shed, or You Axed For It, or Quest for the Holy Pail. Movies with plots and special effects and soundtracks and everything. It was a regular Hollywood-on-Huron directed by Dad, H. R. Spielberg himself. And Dad would edit the movies – no small feat, you kids might not get this but back then editing a movie actually involved “cutting” film with a razor blade and gluing it back together, with the constant risk that the film would jam in the projector and melt your masterpiece.

We’re all so lucky that Dad created these moments on film, and preserved them and then showed them over and over and over again whenever guests were at the cottage. What a gift that was for the next generation.

We did our best to repay this – Cathy and I took Mom and Dad, and Cathy’s mom Eleanor, on a Caribbean cruise a few years ago. Sadly, all three of these wonderful people have passed away in the past year, but the picture of the three of them in Cozumel, enjoying frozen beverages while wearing silly balloon hats will make me smile forever.

Drinks in Cozumel with balloon hats

Thank you, Dad

Scene 4: Bob the Builder

Dad was a builder of buildings, of course – a general contractor with John Hayman and Sons, building buildings all over southern Ontario. A great occupation where you build permanence – structures you can point to decades later. (Unlike, say, the computer business, where programs I wrote last year don’t work any more.). He built buildings.

But he was also a builder of family. And not just family who lived in his house – family meant cousins, and second cousins, and sometimes kids in the neighbourhood who we just assumed were our cousins and they just figured Dad was their uncle. I’m honoured that so many of you from Dad’s big extended family are here today. Welcome, especially, to Kathy from Houston, Lisa from Atlanta, and Ian from France.

On an early job of building buildings, he was helping build something at the Labatt’s head office here. One day, eating in the Labatt’s cafeteria, he asked his engineering friend Harvey Hurlbutt who those pretty girls over there were. And Harvey happened to be dating one of them, and offered to introduce Dad to the other.

That was Mom, also working at Labatt’s. They – obviously – hit it off, married in 1956 and loved each other deeply for 65 years.

You know Michael and Susan and me, but you might not know of our brother Tim, their first baby, who never came home from the hospital. Ever the engineer, Dad insisted that the nurses explain Tim’s spina bifida condition. And he couldn’t do anything about it. I cannot imagine how devastating that must have been to this new couple. But Dad supported and loved Mom unconditionally, and while he was building London, he was also building a family.

At their home, Dad built a coffee table out of, probably, lumber he’d scrounged up on a job site – and Mom gently suggested that perhaps fine finish carpentry was not his best skill.

But he was also building skating rinks in the backyard – and, naturally, making dramatic films of mythical hockey matches played there. One squad of neighbourhood kids taking on another, and the underdogs would always triumph because that made for a better movie.

Dad mentioned to me that he knew it was time to retire when the company started working on jobs that involved demolishing buildings he’d built at the start of his career. After retiring, he kept a hard hat in the car, and found a new calling inspecting churches around the province. For this, and many other contributions, the Diocese awarded him the Order of Huron.

Dad was proud of Michael joining the family firm and of Susan’s neuropsychology career, and he warmly welcomed Cathy and Brent to the family. And the family kept growing to another generation. Four day old grandson Alex was the star attraction at Dad’s 65th birthday party. Jenni reminded me Dad made it his mission to get this baby to laugh, even if it took all summer, and when Alex finally did, it was glorious.

Nick arrived a little later, and then Rob and Katie, and as a special bonus, Tyler and Caitie-with-a-C. Dad adored all six grandchildren, and was looking forward to Tyler’s wedding to Diana this summer – and I am deeply honoured that his grandchildren are escorting him on his final journey today.

Dad, the Builder. He built communities. Not just structures, but connections.

All along, Dad was completely devoted to Mom. His favourite expression about Mom was that “She never complained.” We kids had our doubts about THAT – like, really, what about this incident, or that one? – but Dad insisted. She never complained.

Mom and Dad were able to live out their lives at home at 994, which is what they both wanted, and I have to acknowledge all the work that my brother Michael did every single day to make that possible. And we are extremely grateful to the compassionate staff of Medical Priorities.

Now … I don’t really understand what happens when you die. I like to think you get to meet everybody who passed before you, and fill them in on what’s been happening. I hope Dad gets to reconnect with his wonderful sister Molly and brother Donald. And baby Tim too. Let them know how we’re doing.

When Mom passed away last summer, I do know that it left a huge void in Dad’s heart.

But I imagine Mom has been complaining, for the first time, wondering where on earth Bob was.

And Dad surely felt those complaints, and decided that wasn’t right, and did what he could to join Mom again. So, last Saturday, while listening to Anne Murray sing his favourite song, he slipped quietly away, with Michael and Susan and me at his side, to be with Mom again. And I know the first thing he asked her. Could he have this dance? For the rest of his afterlife?

And Mom surely answered, “Oh, Bob.”

Thank you, Dad, for everything.