What’s in a name?

From yesterday’s fecund rains has blossomed a bouquet of circumstance and events. The effervescence is precisely the mundane fodder of life which cheerfully animates our temporal flavour. Long ago I have surpassed the unrealistic drama of space travel or comprehending the meaning of a myriad of technological expressions.

To begin, today was an inexpressibly lovely day – absolutely clear blue sky, dry air, a cool breeze and of course drenched in a syrup of yellow sunshine. As I savoured my afternoon swim, I floated on my back, gazing into the limitless azure sky surrounded by a margin of green and sage trees and the flashes of sunlight through the palm fronds.

I had recently received a moderately clamorous email from Karen Glassow in which she outlined a peculiar sequel to an erstwhile unpretentious undertaking. This unusual tale began several weeks ago when Karen inadvertently and mistakenly sent notification of the death of David Grant in mid-November to someone whose email strangely and unpredictably included exactly the summary of my own Christian names; viz., lgwilliam (for Lawrence George William).  While it turns out from a simple Internet search that the frequency of that identical précis is not especially singular, it amused me no end to connect through a succession of emails with the unintended recipient.  It was but one more example of the connectivity between people throughout the globe.

Following is a record of this trail of misadventure and its pleasing outcome. I hasten to add – because it is critical to the report – that the unintended person to whom Karen’s original message was sent (namely, Lisa) was kind enough to respond to Karen and to advise of the error. Had it been otherwise I fully expect that the drama which ensued would have remained buried in the annals of cyberspace.  The emails below were sent subsequent to Lisa’s rectification email to Karen.


Hello, Lisa!

I am guessing it is you who has the email address very similar to mine. I was advised of the mix-up from Karen regarding the death of David Grant.

Would you mind confirming that my supposition is correct; and, if you feel so inclined, I am curious to know your whereabouts and maybe how you have chosen to use what is so similar to my own name and email address.  My enquiry is purely out of interest.


Bill (Chapman)


Hello, Bill,

As I said to Karen, I am so sorry for your recent loss.

I use lgwilliam because my name is Lisa Gwilliam. The last name is Welsh thus the Gw, a pairing of consonants which has created many interesting scenarios, this being one of them!

I just moved from New York City where I have been for most of my adult life to New England. The quiet is lending itself to study and giving me more time to work on artworks which, after very many years in the machine of commerce, I am quite enjoying – though it has been an adjustment.

I see you are in the law – are you still practicing? What type of work did you do?

Best regards,

Lisa (Gwilliam)


Hello, Lisa!

Thank-you for your email, much appreciated that you solved this conundrum.

David Grant (the man who recently died) was a colleague of mine at boarding school (St. Andrew’s College, Aurora, Ontario) many years ago.

David was from Kingston, Jamaica but lately lived in Raleigh, NC. Nicholas Glassow (brother of Karen Glassow) is another colleague. Nick’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Frank Glassow, frequently invited boys from school to dine with them.  Dr. Glassow was one of the senior physicians at Shouldice Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario. I mention this because it was through the Shouldice Hospital reference in something I wrote in one of my blogs that I was introduced to a woman (whom I have never met in person) on Hilton Head Island. The serendipity of these on-line acquaintances amuses me. By further coincidence my partner and I have spent many winters on Hilton Head Island in the precise arrondissement (Sea Pines) where this woman lives.

Shouldice Hospital (formerly Shouldice Hernia Centre) is a private hospital at 7750 Bayview Avenue in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada. The hospital specializes in hernia care. Its location is the former estate of George McCullagh, a publisher who created The Globe and Mail newspaper in 1936.

I am intrigued to know what your artwork is.  I fully understand that the switch from New York City to New England is an atmospheric change. The “machine of commerce” is reminiscent of the Industrial Revolution (and not in a good way, if I perceive your intention correctly).

I retired from the practice of law in 2014.  I was the proverbial “country lawyer” in a small town (pop. 4,500) called Almonte, Ontario which is now part of a larger municipality called Mississippi Mills, Ontario. Mississippi Mills consists of the former Town of Almonte, Township of Ramsay and Township of Pakenham (the latter two being primarily rural farming communities which include the bucolic Villages of Appleton, Blakeney, Clayton and Pakenham). I began practicing law in Almonte in 1976 when I was 28 years old. Because I consumed much of the practice of Raymond A. Jamieson, QC (who retired at age 82 after 54 years of practice in the Town of Almonte) the bulk of my practice involved the administration of estates of former deceased clients. This morphed to a dedication to the perpetuation of wealth from one generation to another. The specific model developed by me involved Inter Vivos Trust Agreements primarily designed to avoid probate fees but also to facilitate the speedy transfer of assets from the deceased to the beneficiaries.

Best wishes to you in your new home in New England!