Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Tim, Mike and My Gap Year

It wasn't really a gap year. Not in the sense that I took a year to travel and hang out between high school and university. I had to work and accumulate funds if I were to head to university in the next year. I did that and saved enough to fund my first year: a feat which I find somewhat remarkable in retrospect.

My immediate supervisor in that job was Mike. He was only a few years older than me, and neither of us saw a future in the office jobs that we were doing. After about a year, I went off to university, but he had departed for the provincial police even earlier.

(an apparent digression, but not really)

There was a hockey player who opened a few donut and coffee shops. His name was Tim Horton. Although some thought that it was ridiculous to try to make it in business selling donuts, his franchise became wildly successful to the point that it now dominates the Canadian coffee shop and donut scene. For example, we have two franchises in our town, and there is also an express (just drive-though) outlet on the highway, so make it 2.5 franchises. There are more than 4600 franchises across the country.

He had played for the Toronto Maple Leafs in his heyday, but in 1974 he was 44 years old and was winding his hockey career down by playing for the Buffalo Sabres. On this day, February 21 1974, he was killed in a car crash somewhere between Niagara Falls and Toronto.

(sometime earlier or later)

Although I don't recall for certain, I think this next incident occurred earlier, even though I get to it last in this post. However, in being reminded of Horton's accident on this anniversary morning, I was, in turn, reminded of Mike.

I was home either from university or later visiting my parents. The late news was on the TV, and I heard about a fatal accident and Mike was the casualty. It was the on the same highway between Niagara Falls and Toronto, and I believe they were both closer to the Niagara end along the south shore of Lake Ontario.

It was pure chance that I happened to be home that night and that I had the news on and that Mike's name was mentioned, but now Tim, Mike and My Gap Year are all connected in my mind.


Marie Smith said...

The shock of a young person’s death when you are young does make an impression, especially when you know the person!

troutbirder said...

It is strange how our mind sometimes works. My mind works in somewhat similar fashion. I connect sometimes seemingly disparate events very often. And use a lot of historical analogies to explain myriad events. That, unfortunately, leads to my reputation for rambling on in conversation often forgetful of the point I was trying to make when I started. Ah! to be a retired history teacher...:)

MARY G said...

I remember Tim Horton's crash. I think at the time we were in Hamilton and had a Timmie's on the corner next down from where we were living in Dundas. And I think a lot of us link events that way ... before and after The Ice Storm, for instance.
And speaking of weird weather, we just got our first paper delivery in two days. Iced gravel roads, and fog and ... phooey. This weather is not supposed to be here until March. Neighbours are madly tapping, just in time for it to freeze up again, of course.

Joanne Noragon said...

Memories that cling to us have no rhyme nor reason, only importance.

Kay said...

Oh gosh! So much sadness and tragedy. I didn't know Tim Horton was a hockey player. We did go to a Tim Horton's when we were traveling through Canada many years ago.

By the way, congratulations to Canada on your successes at the Olympics. Wow!

Jenn Jilks said...

It is amazing how memory works.
It's very important in sexual assault issues, etc. We don't remember accurately, although the details are fuzzy, the events are true.