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20150903_144018-1-2Canadian.  Professional.  Retired.

People say that I am intelligent, opinionated, and too outspoken.  Who am I to disagree?

They say that I am impatient with people who use poor grammar.  Yes, I am.  I am fanatical about writing and editing.

I believe in a liberal arts education which inspires an appreciation for cultures, beliefs, and a reach ever higher for fresh ideas.

I am a vociferous debater.  Small talk isn’t one of my strong points.

I adore intelligent women.

I am Christian in a moderate Anglican tradition.

I am a Red Tory Monarchist by natural inclination and temperament.

I am not affiliated with any political party.

I am passionate about music, particularly swing, big bands, blues too, and classical pieces but today’s rap irritates me. Early Rod Steward, Bee Gees, CCR, Eagles, and early Beetles are fabulous. A cappella groups like Nylons and Pentatonix are wonderful. British television dramas, particularly those based on fine literature, are favourites. For me, Casablanca is the best movie ever made, though I enjoyed War and Peace (the Russian-made version) too.

Interests include photography, journalism, writing, politics, theology, ethics, law, philosophy, history, literature, computers, and gardening.

At heart, I am an incurable romantic.

Pet peeves are bad grammar and the deplorable state of the English language.  People who add Coke to fine single malts should be banished from polite society everywhere.  American spelling and grammar are destroying our language.

Fine wine, William’s chocolates, Macallan’s single malt scotch, Innis and Gunn beer are treasures.

B.A. English and History, Trent university 1970-1973.

img001I have been married to Vera (Shepel) for 40 years.  We have two sons, Colin 34 and Jason 30.

Vera is a retired educator with 36.5 years experience teaching students from challenging backgrounds.  She trained as a concert pianist and qualified as a teacher in elementary and secondary panels in public education.

B.Mus, A.Mus, 1976, B.Ed, 1977, University of Western Ontario.

In this picture, she is 23.  We were together at a wedding.  In those days, we were invited to several, most enjoyable affairs.

I met Vera at 4:30 pm, 30th June 1976.  We were ‘set up’ by a friend (thank you, Ursula) at work whose wife had been Vera’s roomy at university.  Like finding a jewel on the beach, I knew that I was living a moment in time that would be unlikely to happen again.

20160223_213031-1-1We dated every day that summer.  Our first dinner, at The Old Mill in Toronto, was special.  We danced to a live orchestra and dined on Chateaubriand and Baked Alaska.  We talked and danced to closing. I was elated for the first time in years to have such a fine time with a lovely woman!

I proposed in October and we married in September the following year.

DSC07232Vera’s parents, Ivan (Ukrainian) and Aniela (Polish), were immigrants at the end of the last great war and, despite their humble origins, I was always well treated.

They trusted their daughter to decide whom to marry; an act of faith I had not found with other families and they never interfered with our relationship as it grew; both passed away years ago and we think of them often.

When the children were born, life was complicated with two busy careers.  Ivan and Aniela always made themselves available.  We were never refused.  It was an extraordinary commitment for which we are forever grateful.

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In the picture below, Colin is flanked on his left by brother Jason and Vera on his right.  Jason is wearing the same red blazer that I wore at Colin’s Christening more than 30 years ago.

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Holodomor, Ukraine 1932-1933

Great Famine, China 1959-1961

Holocaust, Europe 1939-1945

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