Happy 88th birthday, Jim!

It comes as no surprise that a man with the middle name “Natchbull” is related to Jane Austen’s best friend. Today is Mr. Justice James Knatchbull Hugessen’s 88th birthday (July 26, 1933). When we spoke on the telephone a moment ago he was evidently in fine form and ready for a fight!

His Lordship informed me that while he did not take a morning dip today, he has indeed been swimming in the glassy waters of the Mississippi River which flows around Coleman’s Island on the point of which Jim and his delightful wife Louise now live.

Jim and I agreed that being an “Islander” is no small compliment in Almonte society.  I was for example told by the late J. C. Smithson (former Land Registrar) that the geographic distinction has afforded an unwritten elevation going back as far as the first baseball teams in town with the likes of another Islander named Harry Walker who significantly later managed the LCBO store on Bridge Street.

It was a reverberating experience for me to share a conflab with His Lordship today.  Like everyone else our social net during the pandemic has been impenetrable. Jim and I historically shared idle moments together during the business week at my office on Little Bridge Street (meaningfully adjacent Baker Bob) when Jim would arrive with Rosy, his mutt breed dog.