Monday, August 11, 2008

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, August 12, 2008

“He ate himself to death”.

- Anonymous , said of James Buchanan
“Diamond Jim” Brady, philanthropist and
railroad baron, born on this day, 1856

Well, I have a strange connection to ole Diamond Jim. Which I suspect is basically apocryphal. As many of you may remember, my beloved Nana, Margaret Harker Angell, had a cottage in the Laurentian Mountains, about two hours north of Montreal, on a beautiful lake. I spent all the summers of my life from age Zero (I was 6 weeks old when taken there) to about 16. It was idyllic. It became a mythic “place” in my Life.

I remember hearing that Diamond Jim had once owned either the cottage or the land on which it was built - or owned something in the area! Whether or not this had anything to do with the CN railroad, by which many of us without a car got to Montfort, I don’t know. But it is kind of “magical”, yes?! All I remember is that his name would come up every now and then.

Diamond Jim Brady was enamoured of Jane Russell, the actress. A movie was made about it, in 1935. I’ve not seen it, but will research that! She didn’t marry him, and he apparently had an unsuccessful romantic life. But the legend is that, seriously ill, he sat down to a scrumptious dinner, the richness of which killed him. Hmmm.

Most of the things I write are “factual”. But occasionally I “fabricate” ….. for literary effect. Writers have that right. That’s the way the Bible got written, along with all other Holy Scriptures. Creative minds take flight, in order to make the message sparkle!

Don’t die until you have taken a moment to write a short (or whatever), brilliant, charming, gussied-up account of what your Life has been. Use every little bit of inventiveness to enhance the loveliness! Hopefully this will counter the “enhanced interrogation” methods used to torture people by our government. With all the sordidness in political Life today, you can bring a little healing and delight to our wounded World.


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