written by Mike Sterling for Canadian Community News
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Archie's Birthday Cake
One of the people who make Southampton special has gone on a long journey. He loved to travel. He was his own travel agent. Now he has a free ticket to eternity.
Archie Gillies was a charming man. Going for a coffee at Armand's Cafe was always a showcase of his charm.
I learned to just go in and order because Archie would meet and greet every passerby sometimes taking a half hour to get from car to chair. Everyone knew Archie, if ever they laid eyes upon him.
Every day was a great day for Archie. I'm sure he had down days, but he never hung those bad days around a friend's neck.
Oh, how he could charm. One night about 4:30 am, I got a call from him. He said he had fallen and could not get up. I dashed over and managed to drop into his dark basement without breaking any expensive treasures.
It was a potentially a treacherous drop because Archie collected rare and unusual objects. I could be impaled on some treasure from Damascus or a Narwhale horn, but then again there were more books than sharp things by a 10 to 1 ratio.
Archie had managed to pull on the phone chord and drop the phone to where he could dial my number.
When I came upon him, he was on the floor and there was some fresh blood around him. "How are you Arch?" "Just fine, Mike. I need to get back into bed though."
Oh my! There was a red light flashing in my mind. Don't move an injured person. I called 911 and a woman and a man arrived. "How are you Sir?" asked the woman in charge.
"Oh I'm just fine!" said Archie. "What would you have us do?" said the lady. With a broad smile, Archie asked to be put back in bed. saying he was tired.
The crew placed him gently in his bed and wished him goodbye. He was bright and happy, I thought, but they were gone and I was his lifeline. Something is wrong here!
I surveyed the situation. There were two factors at work. There was a still unknown source of blood and a great deal of charm and reluctance to cause a fuss.
Archie was beginning a down day, but to others, he would profess that he was just fine. Very typical of him to not want to trouble others.
I called 911 again and this time they took him to the hospital. He was 8 days there curing some sort of dire infection.
He was well known at the hospital. having been a patient more than a few times as he aged. He was head of the building project on the new clinic. He was very proud of that.
They also knew him for bringing roses on special days to the nurses. He knew how to charm.
He and Bob Trelford made charm a common thing in my life. It was natural for both of them. I will miss Archie like Bob very much.
By the way, Archie had a dream and Bob fulfilled it. Archie wanted a glass bottom boat to explore out beyond Chantry Island. Bob built one for him It took one journey. For that story go here Archie now you are free to explore.
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Saturday, December 03, 2016