Crossroads!

After a little over seven years researching for and writing this blog, I find myself ignoring other things that I should be doing. Most importantly to me, that means writing my memoirs. To that end, postings will be drastically reduced except whenever some event happens that I feel demands alternative attention.

I have said this once before, but now I mean it.

My sister and I went to great lengths to try to persuade my mother to write down her memoirs, particularly her war experiences in the WAAF. She worked underground in London, performing duties which she never divulged, and was almost killed twice. She was assigned to “detached duties” which meant she worked odd hours and had her own room.

As with all girls performing such duties she was made a corporal, as the girls performing regular duties lived in a barrack room, and could be very mean to those who had their own quarters and other privileges; the rank was for protection, and my mother was not a part of any chain of command.

We told her we could arrange for university students to record her thoughts and transcribe them for her approval, but she never took advantage of that. Then dementia set in, and whatever she could have left to posterity was lost.

In my case, I was one of the last people to have a good, solid Church of England primary school education, plus four years of Grammar School. Then, I was a boy soldier in the British Army during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Being taught how to use a dosimeter to learn how much radiation you have taken, at the age of sixteen, can really concentrate your thoughts on life in general and the importance of world affairs.

Then came Canada, and I soon joined the conservative, anti-communist, street-fighting Edmund Burke Society, serving for a while as the Press Officer. Although not really a “tough guy” I got into plenty of scraps, and was arrested on a number of occasions.

The cops didn’t really know what to do with us. We were involved in many public disturbances, but always supported the police. They tried to send us home rather than bust us, whenever possible.

Then came almost six years as the bookkeeper/paymaster for a then-local Toronto trucking company, which carried way more status than I have ever enjoyed before or since, followed by twenty-five years working for the Metropolitan Toronto Treasury Dept. and the City of Toronto Finance dept. following amalgamation.

I became active in CUPE Local 79, representing the Toronto inside workers, primarily to find out what they were spending my dues money on. I didn’t like what I saw, and served as a shop steward for an aggregate six years, plus an aggregate fourteen years as an at-large elected member of the Executive Board.

I spent as much time scrapping it up with the union over political issues as I spent fighting grievances with management, until I was finally fired for whistle-blowing by Mel Lastman and his incoming North York lackeys in June of 2000.

I received a really generous settlement in exchange for going away and promising to never come back again.

Item number one of the Memorandum of Settlement for my dismissal grievance states that I was not fired, and in addition, I received fifteen months leave of absence with full pay until I qualified for a pension, plus full medical and dental benefits until age sixty-five.

I was fifty-four at the time… how sweet it is!

I have done odd work since then, up until June 2012, mostly part-time bookkeeping. And there were some unusual adventures doing security work, first at Conrad Black’s headquarters at 10 Toronto Street not long after he scored major press for removing boxes of incriminating evidence contrary to a court order, then with the Commissionaires at Oshawa’s Ontario Revenue building and then the Whitby Landlord & Tenant Bureau.

The latter wasn’t exactly Judge Judy, but it certainly had its moments…

And now I want to get it all written down before old age, a bad fall, or (heaven forbid) the dementia that struck down my mother, render me unable to do so.

My efforts might not please anybody else, but they will certainly please me. And if I can sell them, the revenue will not do any harm at all.

Onwards and upwards!

Jeff Goodall.

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