Author Archives: L. G. William Chapman, B.A., LL.B.

About L. G. William Chapman, B.A., LL.B.

Past President, Mississippi Masonic Hall Inc.; Past Master (by demit) of Mississippi Lodge No. 147, A.F. and A.M., G.R.C. (in Ontario) Chartered by the Grand Lodge of Canada July 20, 1861; Don, Devonshire House, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario; Juris Doctor, Dalhousie Law School, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy), Glendon Hall, York University, Toronto, Ontario; Old Boy (House Captain, Regimental Sgt. Major, Prefect and Head Boy), St. Andrew's College, Aurora, Ontario.

Lazy summer days

Last evening following our exceedingly healthful seasonal dinner of assorted vegetables and mixed bean salad we lingered into the twilight and the mosquitoes upon the balcony overlooking the pastures and the gentle river. It is a hardship to withdraw from the summertime perfection in mid-July. The balmy air from the south completed the idyllic ambience. We departed the heavy black plastic armchairs on the balcony after having positioned them appropriately for our next visit, a sculpture set as a surviving reminder of the sublimity.

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“My other car is a tractor!”

It constitutes the height of lofty arrogance to proclaim, “My other car is a tractor!” Or so I quipped to my erstwhile physician earlier this afternoon while luxuriating in his meadow pool on his country estate. He and I had been carrying on an aimless conversation about Trump’s latest misadventure. There were as well idle references to the klan and the brotherhood (though importantly not in the same breath). Somehow the focus of our disjointed confab diverted to automobiles which I confess are routinely a point of inspiration for us both. It would be tarsome to track the convoluted process by which we jumped in a succession of unrelated topics to automobiles. But suddenly we were together sharing a belly laugh that, “My other car is a tractor!”

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Do you have a reservation (secundus)?

Previously I was forced to withdraw temporarily from my monologue concerning the subject of reservations.  At that time I had addressed the matter of dinner reservations in particular; and that only in a cursory and somewhat apocryphal manner. I am however more engaged philosophically and psychologically concerning the matter of personal reservations, that collection of skepticisms and reluctances which so forcibly govern one’s otherwise rampant behaviour whether intentionally or unwittingly.

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Do you have a reservation?

Reservations often attest a defining moment (such as a gathering) or a material qualm (such as a persona). In my experience reservations – whether bookings or scruples – mark engagement or disengagement of significant rank. A dinner reservation customarily signals a matter of especial social significance usually more than putting on the nose bag (“groups of ten or more should make reservations“). It is a practice we’ve frequently adopted over the years for family gatherings at the golf club when our numbers (with friends included) climbed surprisingly. Its substance clearly contrasts with those “dining” places which purposely do not accept reservations, itself a demur expressing an unqualified and vulgar dedication to retail advantage (not to mention snapping one’s fingers at those who are so equally selfish to abandon a commitment). In the result the dinner reservation is preserved for those instances which are anticipated to involve nutrition of more than the fleeting visceral imperatives.

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Horseback riding

When I was a youngster living in Red Deer, Alberta my sister Linda and I frequented the nearby farm of one Mr. Brandt for horseback riding lessons. We were initiated on bareback then graduated to Western and finally English saddle. Although I haven’t ridden a horse for decades, I recall that my preferred animal was a Quarter horse which was between 16 and 18 hands high, not insignificant to a wispy child. I also spent summertime vacations at so-called “dude” ranches where the horses tended to be less agile (though I recall on an outing to the hinterland having hobbled our team during a violent rainstorm so they didn’t evaporate into the bushes overnight).

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Muddling morning

Overnight during what was at times a restless and disturbed sleep marked by ephemeral interruptions of seemingly astonishing insight and creative flair, I forecast in my then inventive mind a production of indescribable consequence. One must always move forward; or, as my erstwhile physician is wont cryptically to observe, “Keep moving!” Period! There is simply no other way to calculate life’s productive motives whether physically, intellectually, psychologically or emotionally. Thus I too find the succinct denomination not entirely beyond relevance. It is a perfunctory mandate of the simplest instruction.

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Looking over the railing

I have just returned from my ritual afternoon automotive drive and purge. The car performed smoothly and reinvigorated my plaudits for General Motors. I’m now in our apartment blankly staring out the drawing room window. The black metal balcony railing is conspicuously covered in shimmering blobs of rain water. The railing is directly ahead of me as I sit at my desk, intermittently writing, glancing at the flourishing fields and the sallow river. It is a misty damp summer day. The railing is parallel the edge of the grey flooring of the balcony (the outer lip of which I can barely see); and, likewise parallel the upper edge of my mahogany desk. It affords a uniformity to the spectacle, framed by the triple perpendicularly configured balcony posts which are also black metal.  The balcony armchairs as well are black and covered in shiny blobs of rain water. Between the two chairs is a small grey foldable table smeared with pools of rain water and upon which we set whatever we wish when inhabiting the marvellous view.  I customarily frequent the balcony in the morning or early afternoon for a discrete moment of sunbathing; and, in the evening we foregather for dental flossing and cultivated private after-dinner conversation.

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Garage rumble

The disparate congregation this morning on the dry concrete floor of the subterranean garage was as you might expect not unlike the collection of old fogeys who live here in the apartment building. Over the course of an hour, as I mechanically pedalled on my tricycle from one end of the garage to the other, people drifted in and out. Some were of course removing or parking their automobile; some were attending to conspicuously noisy matters in their caged locker; all of them said hello and some paused to chat.

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Rainy day

A lonely cow is mooing plaintively in the wet grey distance, somewhere beyond the burgeoning crop of verdant soy beans, somewhere on this side of the drizzly foggy river, somewhere perhaps beyond the distant trees that separate the feudal swaths of land from the Quarter Sessions road that tumbles down to the river’s edge.

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The good life!

Lucan’s daily routine consisted of breakfast at 9:00 am, coffee, dealing with the morning’s letters, reading the newspapers, and playing the piano. He sometimes jogged in the park and took his Dobermann for walks. Lunch at the Clermont Club was followed by afternoon games of backgammon. Returning home to change into black tie, the earl typically spent the remainder of the day at the Clermont, gambling into the early hours, watched sometimes by Veronica. In 1956, while still working at Brandt’s, he had written of his desire to have “£2m in the bank”, claiming that “motor-cars, yachts, expensive holidays, and security for the future would give myself and a lot of other people a lot of pleasure”.

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