Turning Archive 2005
Jim Shaver - Oakville, Ontario
I am just back from a week’s vacation back to my home town, Montreal. One of my favourite places to eat when I was a younger man was a chicken and rib place called the Bar B Barn on Guy Street in downtown Montreal. It was famous for their ribs, and during the 70’s and 80’s it was a popular place to see local and visiting National Hockey League hockey players as well as Canadian Football League players, depending on the season of course. One tradition there is to place your business card on the shingled walls that are through the restaurant.
Well at the end our meal the very entertaining waitress gave me back my credit card and the receipt, along with a pen. My eyes caught the image of the pen and I knew in a second it was a home made slim line. I used it to sign my receipt and when she returned I asked her about the pen. She indeed had made that pen and many others in the restaurant. She was a grandmother of 6, widowed and her husband had had a wood shop she never worked in. Upon his death she took up turning pens in his honour and now makes over 50 a year. She was very delighted that I recognized her work and we engaged in a wonderful conversation. Dana grabbed one of my pens from my pocket and showed her what “Dad” makes..She told me that she was totally addicted to Lee Valley and she needed to be careful or her whole pay check could easily go to making pens.
It was a great way to finish our meal, knowing that two turners in a small way connected, I never caught her name but it was one of those moments in life you’ll never for get.
If you ever are in the Bar B on Guy, ask for the grandmother who makes pens, she’s from Dieppe New Brunswick, a totally awesome lady!