Wayback Buzz - news from the buy and sell community
Openings, closings, retirements, obits, special events

 
 
Got some Wayback Buzz? Give us a call at 705-696-1833.
Or e-mail your brief Buzz notes to Editor Sandy.
 
A big welcome for two new advertisers: The new Aurora Antique Show, April 30 in support of the Alzheimer Society of York Region, and the inaugural Orillia Comic-Con on May 21 at the Geneva Convention.
A reminder: The popular Toronto’s Nostalgia and Vintage Toy Expo and related auction are now at a new location in Pickering, at the Pickering Recreation Complex, 1867 Valley Farm Road.
.
Another welcome to two new names for the WT: Mark Oldfield, who covered the Kingston Cabin Fever show in early February, and author Les Bowser, who contributed information about the historical map we used on page one of our January/February issue.
We will soon have an update regarding Southworks Antiques' big move this year to a new location... stayed tuned.
The Westport Show is alive and well and living in - Westport, of course. It will be held June 3 and 4.
We will be revising the Wayback Times website in the near future and hope to have it all set up for early summer. In the meantime, keep visiting waybacktimes.com for articles, columnists and events scheduling.
And, a fond farewell to John Cosway, who is retiring from the WT. He was responsible for thinking up this Buzz column way back in 2006. Sincere best wishes in all your new endeavours.
Aurora will host a new show April 30 in aid of the Alzheimer Society of York Region. The 1st Annual Aurora Antique Show will be held in the Aurora Seniors Centre, 99 John West Way, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show will include a silent auction. Info: 289 380-0156 or email sutton.shar@gmail.com
Welcome to our newest advertiser: The new two-day Thamesville Sertoma Club Antique Show & Sale to be held on April 29 and 30 at the Good Shepherd Catholic School. We wish them the very best.
On the move: Southworks Antiques in Cambridge. Owner Laura Harding says Southworks' home for almost 25 years is being re-designed for an alternative purpose. It is business as usual for now. Stay tuned for a move date.
A reminder: The Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival will be running the first weekend of March break as it has for 31 years, but there is no longer an antique show.
The hunt is on for some antique lamps stolen in the Brantford area. See the Wayback Times posting on Facebook for photos and details.
Welcome to four new advertisers in our November/December issue: The Kingston Antique and Artisan Marketplace in Kingston; Mercatus Events' new Nostalgia & Pop Culture Show & Sale in Picton; Cookstown Antique Market in Cookstown and OldThings.ca, a new website making its debut on Dec. 1.
Gery and Walt Wilson, organizers of the Bracebridge Show held last August, offer their sincere thanks to all the vendors and show attendees who made their first year as show organizers a truly great one. They will be back next year for a show at the same location Aug. 25 through to 27.
Farewell to the Midland Antique Centre, which is closing, but they will still have an online auction at MidlandAuctions.ca All the best.
A big welcome to WT's newest advertiser - Bayside Antiques and Collectibles at 987 Old Hwy. 2 in Quinte West. The Trenton/Belleville area store is near the new Pretty Old Things location.
Break-in at Karen Brown Antiques in Deseronto: Karen is asking anyone with information about the break-in at her shop in the early hours of Aug. 7 to call her at 613-396-6888 or contact the Napanee OPP at 613-354-3369.
The Commons Market Antique and Vintage Fest, a brand new antique show, launches Oct. 2 in Niagara-On-The-Lake. Visit commmonsmarket.ca for details.
It is farewell to the Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival Antique and Nostalgia Show, held every March for almost 30 years. Due to very tight restrictions to be imposed by the Board of Education regarding usage of the small rural school used for the show, its organizers have regretfully decided it is no longer a viable option. The Maple Syrup Festival continues.
Another farewell: The Bobcaygeon Marketplace folks are retiring and closing up shop. We wish them wonderful adventures, good health and much happiness.
Muskoka Retro in Gravenhurst is moving to a new address around the corner from the Gypsy Market Mews. Follow them on their Facebook page to keep track of how the move is going.
A big thanks and warm welcome to five new advertisers in the July/August issue: Lang Pioneer Village; Ron’s Furniture Revival; The Commons Market, a new Niagara-on-the-Lake show; Canadian National Antique Pedal Car & Pickers Swap Meet in Belmont, and Kettlewells in Collingwood. Welcome aboard.
Norwood auctioneer Mark Stanley has announced he is retiring the gavel after 32 years. We thank Mark and his wife, Susie, for the excellent service provided. They will be missed.
Congratulations to Roadshow Antiques on their 21st anniversary season. Their recent addition of an online auction makes them available to WT readers any time, anywhere.
Warm spring welcomes to 12 new WT advertisers and two returning advertisers in the May/June issue: Ottawa: Ottawa Nostalgia Show; Smiths Falls: Gallery 15/Early Bird Auction and Heritage House Museum; Apsley and Lindsay: White Pine Antiques and Collectibles outlets; Orono: Cove Antiques & Art: Fenelon Falls:Blue Oak Gallery and the Fenelon Falls Antique Show; Gravenhurst: Gypsy Market Mews and Muskoka Retro; Creemore: Creemore Caboose B&B: Campbellford: Hidden Treasure Chest Flea Market; Ontario Model Soldier Society (OMSS) and the return of Collectivator.and Craftworks at Fowlers Corners.
A reminder that A&A Antiques recently moved to 8542 County Rd 2 (Hwy 2) in Napanee and their other shop, Mari-Anette’s Shabby Chic Painted Pieces & Antiques, has moved to 188 Main St, Picton.
This and That Flea Market on Taunton Road in Whitby has welcomed Old Whitby into its weekend market. You can also visit Old Whitby Antiques Art & Collectibles at their downtown Whitby shop.
In the market for an antique market? The 4,000-square-foot Main Thru Church Antique Mall in Orono, Ontario, is for sale. The market, in a former hardware store, has been a going concern for 15 years. Info: Call 905-983-9588.
Condolences to Bruce Huff, our Off the Cuff columnist, for the recent loss of Carolyn, his wife of 61 years. She was 79. Carolyn died at Marian Villa, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care.
A big warm welcome to four new advertisers in the March/April 2016 issue; Eclectic Lady in St. Thomas; Queensville Antiques in Queensville, Vintage Marketplace in Port Perry and Rock Classics in London.
Being revived by Ken Feakin, the Thornbury and Meaford antique shows. The first show in Thornbury will be held August 20 & 21. Visit thebluemountains.ca for further information
A fond farewell to Gabrielle Antiques in Bowmanville, owned and operated by Claudette Thom for many years. Claudette is retiring and we wish her and her husband all the best. Thanks for being part of the WT for such a long time. We’ll miss you.
Another fond farewell to Gallery 59 in Morrisburg, which has closed its doors.
Congratulations to Inglewood Antiques in Caledon for being nominated by the Hills of Headwaters Tourist Association for their Taste of Tourism Best Customer Service Experience for 2015.
A&A Antiques in Napanee is settled in at their new location, 8542 County Road 2 (Hwy. 2). And their new Mari-Anette’s Shabby Chic Painted Pieces and Antiques outlet at 172 Main Street in Picton is offering monthly painting classes.
A sincere welcome to our new advertisers, Just South of Seven Flea, Tweed, and Claire’s Dress Up Box, Belleville. Thanks for joining us.
D.K. Stewart (aka The Brooklin Antiquarian) is moving from Manchester (near Port Perry) to Oakwood, just west of Lindsay. We wish him all the best in his move to 1167 Hwy. 7, just down the road from Country Sampler, 954 Hwy. 7.
After a decade of excellent management by Bill Gerbrandt, the Bracebridge Antique Show promoter has handed the reigns over to Geri and Walt Wilson of Geri Wilson Antiques. The 32-year-old show is held every August in the beautiful Muskokas. A fond farewell to Bill, you will be missed.
Another change of the guard: Michel “Hoss” Bertrand of Global Assets Solutions has announced Bev and Doug Jarvis’ long-running Toronto Toy Collector Shows have been added to the growing Global roster.
A fond farewell to Barbara Brayshaw of Beaver House Antiques & Collectibles in Beaverton. After 32 years, this Beaverton landmark is closing its doors. The stately Victorian home was stuffed to the attic and beyond with antiques and collectibles gathered by Barbara and her late sister, Thelma Willis. Barbara and Thelma were also enthusiastic promoters of the annual Beaverton Antique Show every year in June. All the best to Barbara in her new home. We will miss you very much.
Check out the Wayback Times' online Display Advertisers Directory, which lists all of the websites and/or e-mail addresses and telephone numbers for our regular and seasonal display advertisers, show promoters, stores, markets, auctions etc.
 
Milestones
 
Obit: Tom Logan, retired Loyalist College professor and a greatly respected antiques dealer, died Jan. 29, 2017, at Belleville General Hospital. He was 74. Tom, who specialized in historical lighting, was always willing to share his extensive knowledge with anyone who had a question. He will be missed by many. Donations to the Alzheimer Soiciety in Belleville would be appreciated.
 
 
Obit: Phil Arber, of Vanleek Hill, Ontario, died Dec. 14, 2016. at Ottawa Hospital General Campus He was 78. Phil was an active and well-known member of the antiques community and will be greatly missed by all who enjoyed his camaraderie. Donations can be made to the Phil Arber Foundation for Vanleek Hill & Environs.
 
 
 
Obit: Neil Trembley, an avid London, Ontario, antiquer, died Oct. 14, 2016. He was 79. Neil is survived by Ruth, his wife of 58 years, four children and their spouses, and eight grandchildren. While working as an engineer, he had refinished furniture as a hobby and to help his wife with her "antique picking" business. Rather than move with his employer to the U.S. in 1970, he decided to take over her business as a full-time dealer. Ruth says he really enjoyed finding Early Canadiana furniture, stained glass windows and doors, old art glass, primitive tools and fine china. There are items from the business in a few museums and fine collections now. Neil enjoyed the associates he met in the world of antiques and counted many of them as friends. In 1996, he was told he could expect only five more years with his bad heart. He maintained his determination to keep active, enjoy the fun of buying and selling and interacting with people and it kept him going for 20 years. He will be missed.
 
Obit: Don Grant, a veteran sheep breeder widely known with his wife, Mary, as Eldonview Farm antique show vendors, died Oct. 24, 2015, following a lengthy battle with cancer and kidney dialysis. He was 82. Born in Bolsover, Ontario, he lived his entire life there. He worked as CEO at Eldon Township County of Victoria for 42 years. In private life, he was a sheep breeder for over 50 years, He travelled extensively to the U.S. showing and judging sheep in New York, Maryland, New Hampshire and Kentucky, as well as many local fairs in Ontario. For the last 20 years, Don and Mary were vendors showing a wide variety of antiques and collectibles.
 
Obit: Derek Dalton, longtime antique dealer and Toronto Postcard Club member, died from cancer June 3, 2015, just shy of his 79th birthday. The TPC member, who sold vintage postcards and antique paper items online and at shows under the Barrie-based Derek's Collectables, also had a passion for bridge, Scrabble, animals and gardening. Derek Anthony William Dalton, a native of Croydon, England, is survived by Sandra, his wife of 53 years; a son John and his wife Cris; a daughter Alison Dalton-Osmond and granddaughter Sarah. Predeceased by daughter, Janet, in April, 2014. Condolences to family and friends.
 
Obit: Wayne Curtis, one of Canada's most important collectors of Canadian antique postcards, died from an aneurysm on April 28 at St. Michael's Hospital. He was 85. The Oakville resident, a long-time friend and collaborator of collector and cataloguer Mike Smith, will be remembered for his kindness, knowledge and good humour. Wayne not only put together one of Canada's great postcard collections, he eagerly shared this collection, along with his extensive library, with any other collectors interested in learning more about the hobby. Wayne, who was a member of the Toronto Postcard Club and Vancouver Postcard Club, is survived by his wife, Ivy. Our condolences.
 
Obit: Jessamy Johnson, a Wayback Times contributing writer since 2012, has died from breast cancer. Jessamy, a native of Bristol, England, worked as an editor in England. Before moving to Canada in 2009, she was general manager of Miller’s Publications, publishers of Miller’s Collectibles Price Guide and Miller’s Antiques Price Guide. The Cobourg mother of four, including triplets, also worked at Penguin Books in England. Jessamy's freelance articles in the Wayback Times focused on glassware. Condolences to her family from fellow writers and Wayback Times staff.
 
Obit: Paul Murray, a former southwestern Ontario manufacturing company owner whose second career was antiques, died Jan. 28, 2015, in his 90th year. His collecting interests were militaria and scientific instruments in which he had expert knowledge. He was a perfectionist who spent hours setting up his booth in the living room of his home prior to a show to make sure it was to scale and perfect. His advice and expertise were sought after on many rare and unidentifiable items. A great loss to the business and his many friends.
 
Obit: Donald Charles Corneil, longtime Little Britain auctioneer, died suddenly Jan. 9, 2015, while vacationing in Florida with his wife, Sheila. He was 73. His family was at his side at the Regional Medical Centre Bayonet Point in Hudson, Florida. Don and Sheila held their first auction in the sales barn on June 27, 1975 Over the decades, Don earned a reputation as an honest and fair auctioneer. His son, Greg, became a full partner in the business in 1997. Corneil's Jan. 23, 2015, sale will be in Don's memory. Our sincere condolences.to family and friends. Read full obituary
 
Obit: Janice Loreen McKenna, formerly featured with Vera Clark in the Wayback Times' Travels With Vera and Friends. Janice died from cancer on November 1, 2014. She leaves behind many loving family members and friends. We at the Wayback Times were privileged to have had the pleasure of her friendship and offer our sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Obit: Alfred Walter "Fred" Spice, former promoter of the Prince Edward County Crystal Palace Antique Shows in Picton, died Sept. 16, 2014, at the Hasting Manor Nursing Home in Belleville. He was 73. Fred and his wife, Freda, promoted the show for years until his health forced him to retire about four years ago. A celebration of life service has been held. Donations to the Hospice Quinte, Hastings Manor, Christ Church Belleville or charity of choice would be appreciated.
 
Obit: Mike Birkett, a regular fixture at the Orono Antique Market since it opened three years ago, died suddenly on July 3, 2014. He was 66. The Orono Antique Market says Mike had a passion for all things glass and it showed when he shared his knowledge with customers and colleagues. He was extremely friendly, liked by all and always up for a laugh. Mike will be missed by family, friends and customers. His wife, Arlene, died in March of 2013.
 
Obit: Janet Dalton, former postcard show promoter, died suddenly at her Fenelon Falls home on April 28, 2014. The self employed web designer and local travel booster, was 48. Janet, affectionately called JD by friends and family, was known as being passionate about antique and collectibles, music, photography and the arts. Online condolences can be left at jardinefuneralhome.com
 
Obit: James Alexander Bisback of Jonny's Antiques in Shakespeare, Ontario, died unexpectedly of a heart attack on March 5, 2014, while in hospital. James was one of the major dealers in fine ceramics and historic glass in Canada. James and Jonny Kalisch began their antique business in Toronto in 1964 and a few years later moved to the small village of Shakespeare. He will be missed by many, including those who care about ceramics and the decorative arts in general. (Bill Gladding photo)
 
Obit: Anna Louise Haney, well known in Prince Edward County antique circles, died January 25, 2014, at Lakeridge Health in Oshawa after brief illness. She was 83. The Stirling resident often set up at antique shows as a vendor. Knowledgeable in the business, she had a good eye for quality. Our condolences to family and friends.
 
Obit: John Douglas Norris, teacher, antiques collector, published author and Wayback Times antiques writer, died January 21, 2014 in Toronto. See the tribute below.
 
Obit: Shelley Ann Robb of Treasure Shelf Antique shows died suddenly as a result of a fall at her home on November 30, 2013. Shelley, mother of three, was 63 and was predeceased by her husband, Ian Robb, on August 6, 2013. We offer our sincere condolences to Shelley’s family for their two recent tragic losses. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. Donations to the Hospital for Sick Children would be appreciated by the family.
 
Obit: William "Bill" Davenport, husband of antiques dealer Carol Davenport, died suddenly Sept. 13, 2013, in their Norwood, Ontario, home. He was 76. If you were fortunate enough to know Bill, you were familiar with his ever-present smile and his kind good nature. Although he was a frequent assistant to Carol, his wife of 56 years, at the many antique shows they did through the years, Bill’s passion was golf. When the retired CBC propsman disappeared from an antique show, we all knew exactly where he was heading. We'll miss Bill’s laughter and his jokes. Our deepest sympathy to Carol and her family.
 
Obit: Peter Sperring, retired antiques dealer and a friend of the annual Maple Syrup Festival in Warkworth, Ontario, died suddenly on Sept. 28, 2013. He was 83. When Peter and Fran, his wife of 55 years, were in the antiques business they were known for their top-notch inventory and a willingness to share their knowledge. As a Maple Syrup Festival volunteer, Peter would serve up pancakes to the hungry masses at Sandy Flat Sugar Bush before browsing the antiques on display at the Warkworth Antiques Show, his clothes spattered with flour. Peter and his assorted hats, great sense of humour and British accent will be missed. Our sincere condolences to Fran and her family. Donations to the Canadian Diabetes Association would be appreciated.
 
Obit: Ian Alexander Robb of Treasure Shelf Antiques died Aug. 6, 2013, at the Stedman Community Hospice in Brantford. He was 71. Ian was a devoted Lions Club member who gave freely of his time and effort to his community and was honoured for his services with many awards. He and his wife, Shelley, organized and ran many antique shows in the western Ontario region and also the Bracebridge Antique Show held each August. In Ian's memory, donations to Lions Foundation of Canada would be appreciated by the family. Visit Ian's condolences page.
 
Obit: Thelma Elizabeth Willis. We are greatly saddened by the passing of Thelma Willis of Beaver House Antiques in Beaverton. Thelma was 76 when she died from cancer on Aug. 2, 2013. Thelma was genuine, hospitable and passionate about antiques, Our condolences to her friends and family, including sister/business partner Barbara Brayshaw. She will be missed in the antiques industry. A memorial donation to the Canadian Diabetic Association or a charity of your choice would be greatly appreciated by the family. Visit Thelma's condolences page.
 
Sincere condolences to Vera Clark-Kavanagh, our “Travels with Vera” columnist, on the recent (2013) death of her father, Allan W. Page. Mr. Page, a WW2 veteran, was a special resident at the Sunnybrook Veterans Residence, which Vera recently wrote about.
 
Obit: Arlene McGuigam, a regular fixture at the Orono Antique Market each weekend, died in March, 2013, at the Bethell Hospice after a brief fight with cancer. She is survived by her husand, Mike Birket. She will be missed by all.
 
Obit: Grant Hoy, a longtime member of the Canadian decoy collecting community, died Jan. 14, 2012, in Durham Region following a brief battle with cancer. He was 80. The retired General Motors employee had a deep-rooted interest in the works and life of legendary decoy carver Billy Ellis of Whitby, Ontario (1866-1963). Grant's passion for decoys found him on the hunt throughout Ontario, sharing his knowledge with like-minded collectors. In the months before his death, Grant provided a number of photos and information for an article he co-authored called William M. Ellis and His Mail Order Decoy Business. It was published in the July-August, 2011, issue of Hunting & Fishing Collectibles Magazine. Tim Potter Auction Service in Odessa will be assisting with the disposition of much of Grant's collection. Our condolences to the family.
 
Obit: William "Bill" Ross McGee of Lady Hawke Antiques in Woodstock and a participant in Thornbury Antique Shows, along with his wife, Carolyn, died Dec. 21, 2011, after a brief illness. He was 68. Friends and fellow dealers say Bill readily shared his knowledge about antiques and collectibles and always had a good antiques story to tell. Bill, who worked for 41 years at Timberjack as a systems analyst, will be missed. Our condolences to family and friends. His obituary can be read here. Condolences can be read and left here.
 
Obit: Janis Louise Glanville, retired Scarborough school teacher and antiques dealer, died Aug. 20, 2011, from cancer at the Lakeridge Health Hospital in Port Perry. She was 61. She will be fondly remembered in her many circles of friends. Janis enjoyed attending auctions and second to that, loved to be entertained at casinos. We will all miss her smiling face and gentle ways at the shows she and husband Bob were often set up at (Prince Albert Antiques). Our deepest sympathy is extended to Janis’s family. Donations may be made to the Scugog Memorial Public Library Expansion (Buy A Bookshelf), or to the Port Perry Hospital Foundation.
 
Obit: Madelyn Patricia Hughes, known as “Maddie” in her very large circle of friends, died Aug. 4, 2011, from cancer. She was 64. Maddie was an antique dealer for many years, based in Prince Edward County. She was always happy to share her vast knowledge and had the most interesting collectibles to offer when she was selling. The former eBay seller loved to research antiques and had a huge library of research books. In recent years, she resided in Belleville and worked at the Belleville Walmart. Our sincere condolences to Maddie’s family and friends. Memorial donations may be made to the Quinte Humane Society.
 
Obit: Donna Johnson, formerly of Donna’s Antiques in Carrying Place, died June 19, 2011, in Cobourg. She was 80. Donna will be remembered for her depth of knowledge and willingness to share it. She was a happy and amicable person, with a wonderful sense of humour and an enormous love for auctions, Swiss Chalet and McDonald's "Happy Meals" - she loved the prizes. Our condolences to her husband, John, and family.
 
Obit: Roy Gray of Patriot Antiques in Orono died April 26, 2011, after a lengthy illness. He was 61. His wife, Annette, says Roy, a quiet and unassuming man, was a "straight shooter who lived and breathed antiques." His presence will be missed at many antique shows and auctions, as well as in Patriot Antiques, the shop he and Annette built together. Annette says she will continue to run the shop. Our condolences.
 
Obit: Peter A. Sutton-Smith, husband of deceased antiques writer/collector Barbara Sutton-Smith, died suddenly of a heart attack in Penngrove, California, on April 16, 2011. He was 84. Peter and Barbara, who shared a passion for antiques, were married 58 years when she died in April 2010. Peter, a British army vet and former co-owner and editor of the Antiques Showcase magazine in Ontario, was an antiques dealer for more than 35 years and promoter of the annual Bala Antiques Show & Sale. He was also an authority on antique china and furniture and co-compiler of numerous Unitt’s Canadian Identification & Price Guides. A memorial service is planned for June in hometown Orillia.
 
Obit: Irene Priscilla Markvart, a successful Ontario antiques dealer for 35 years, died April 4, 2011, at Wellington Terrace in Elora. She was 85. Her family says Irene was well known and respected for her vast knowledge of art glass by dealers in the antique shows she attended in Ontario and Quebec. She lived in Trenton and Batawa for 45 years of her life. Our condolences to the family.
 
Obit: Clarence LeRoy Tinline, a Toronto-born auctioneer and antiques collector, died from prostate cancer March 11, 2011, in Bowmanville. He was 65. Clarence wore many hats over the years, but the antiques community knew him for the antique clocks he repaired and collected, as an antiques show vendor and from the auctions. He got his auction start in the 1960s as a holder at Cliff Pethick's auction barn in Hayden. After moving to Orono in the 1970s, he learned from auctioneers Norm Maple and Frank Stapleton before holding his own weekend auctions on Simpson Avenue in Bowmanville. Survivors include his son, Adrian Tinline of Adrian Tinline Antiques in Bowmanville. Our condolences to the family.
 
Obit: Harold Carlaw, founder of the Memorial Military Museum in Campbellford, died Dec. 2, 2010, at Campbellford Memorial Hospital. He was 80. Harold was an Out to Lunch guest for a Peter Neilly interview a couple of years ago. He told Peter the museum, with free admission, was a labour of love launched after he retired almost 30 years ago. Our condolences to the family.
 
Obit: Antiques dealer David Mann died June 15, 2010, after losing his battle with cancer at age 76. David and his wife, Frances, owned and operated Cold Creek Antiques since 1990, initially located in Frankford and then relocating to Grafton in 2003. For most of his life, David was interested in antiques and had a passion for architectural iron. In addition to many long-time established customers, he was set up in a number of multi-dealer shops and was frequently at auctions. David will be missed in the antiques community.
 
Obit: James "Jim" Miller, a highly respected collector and purveyor of vintage art, classic automobiles and fine antiques, died from cancer on Nov. 25, 2010, at Stratford General Hospital. He was 58. Family members say Jim's passion for history was shown through several preservation initiatives in his community. Our condolences.
 
 
Obit: Ken Petro, well known in the antique community for two decades, died Feb. 7, 2010, after losing his battle with cancer. Over the years, Ken was active at Scotties Market in Carrying Place, Bridgewater in Tweed, Quinte Antiques in Belleville and at many local shows. He will be missed by all those who knew him.
 
A tribute to John Norris, a Wayback Times writer, who died early in 2014.
 
Larry Foster of Napanee, Ontario, writes:

This is my personal tribute to John, whose friendship encompassed 35 years.
 
John was a brilliant man who taught drama, English and French at schools in Saskatchewan and Ontario, latterly Toronto for many years. He wrote and had published short stories, poetry and, of course, was known well in antiques publications for many years both in Canada and the United States.
 
He enjoyed teaching, yet was compulsively drawn to the arts.
 
Always a student and collector of photography, contemporary art, Inuit art and his favourite, folk art, John also was a student of the human condition and would send me almost weekly tales of humanity and behavior of characters in downtown Toronto where he resided.
 
Most dealers knew John only as an impulsive collector, scurrying through shows stating, “I’ll take it,” when he spied a piece of his greatest love, folk art. John adored the Christie Classic and Bowmanville. Those were the shows that heightened his excitement to acquire, and that he did!!
 
John haunted art galleries, shows and markets for the thrill to calm a keen eye. His one-bedroom apartment was chock-o-block… like a gallery on steroids, yet well organized. The art world grew there.
 
A personal anecdote: When I left Cobourg in 2002, my home for 28 years, I had a three-day auction and John was there. As I greeted him, he stood looking at my home and the antiques placed about the yard with people milling around. Tears were rolling down his cheeks. I exclaimed, “John, what is wrong?” He said, “It is sad as your love of antiques and your history here is being sold, and your life will never be the same,” and he was right! It was the only time I saw John cry.
 
John had a heart of gold and a love of humanity. The demon of acquisitions will smite many, including myself. John was helpless at times and had a folly to spend without restraint, clouding his sensibilities at times. I want all to know that John was honorable and any commitments left undone were innocent of ill intent.
 
He never married, never owned a car, nor did he smoke or drink. He was quite fond of some ladies in the antiques circle. He signed off most of his emails to me with “hugs and kisses to Carol,” my partner. He confided explicitly to me and Peter and Helen Vernon. We were his extended family. His encouragement and empathy were comforting to me on many occasions.
 
John touched all the bases in the world of art, photography, literature and antiques, particularly folk art. He embodied great passion in a search as few I have known and left aside fiscal balancing. He filled a room with his enthusiasm and loved a repartee with many dealers.
 
“Gone, but not soon forgotten,” is the abstract in the definitive. For everything, there is a season - yet often the season is regretfully shortened.
 
“So long great friend….I hope we meet again.”
 
Return to top of page
 
This Is Livin' Publishing © 2015
581 8th Line West, RR1 Hastings, ON, K0L 1Y0
Phone/Fax: 705-696-1833