When I got back to the apartment after visiting with John Hawley Kerry on his front doorstep for an hour late this afternoon, Denis gingerly asked, “So how was he?” to which I unhesitatingly replied, “Good. In fact, terrific!” Indeed I reported the same intelligence to His Lordship when he, his daughter Lisa and I foregathered. By way of qualification I mentioned only that John appears to have lost some weight. He confessed by his own account he eats like a bird; and, for the moment we agreed that without an appetite, even a premiere meal is missing a requisite sauce. Otherwise John maintains a sylphlike figure and is as always well turned out. His affection for proper attire is I know a fidelity of deep and everlasting history.
John H. Kerry – as I have so often observed – is my lifeline to Almonte business and society. After 45 years he and his equally buoyant family continue to inspire in me a love of Almonte and community. It wasn’t long after my arrival in Almonte in 1976 that John exercised the scrupulous imperative of speaking frankly. It was an occasion reminiscent of such popular examples of entrepreneurial success as Phineas Taylor “P. T.” Barnum of Barnum & Bailey fame. And the polish unquestionably lingers to this day. For example, upon my arrival on John’s doorstep this afternoon his first gesture was a knowingly cautious curled hand-knock with me by way of welcome in strict pandemic style.
Before I met up with John today I was on the road for a Sunday drive to the hinterland of Renfrew County. I called Denis and asked whether he wished me to collect him to join John and me for our scheduled conflab. Denis categorically declined, saying, “You two will just repeat the same old stories I’ve heard so often before!” Hardly a magnanimous view of our communications but nonetheless shamefully acute. Seemingly I am surrounded on all sides by penetrating scholarship!
It is naturally quite impossible to dignify our casual conversation other than to observe it was an unquestionable success. Clearly John and I rejoiced to have fallen into the vernacular of conviviality which we once daily observed at the Superior Restaurant with our erstwhile cronies.