I’ve never been a fan of facial hair as a means of self-expression, nor of punny plays on the names of months, but the ‘Movember’ movement (a well-intended yet goofy media gimmick aimed at getting men to embrace their inner Tom Selleck and people talking about men’s health issues) called to mind an unusual discovery I recently made while cruising the shelves at my local used book store.
What I stumbled upon was a copy of Edward S. Caswell’s Canadian Singers and Their Songs: A Collection of Portraits, Autograph Poems and Brief Biographies, published in 1925 by McClelland & Stewart. There is nothing particularly noteworthy about the production. But as I was leafing through I decided to look up a local poet, Charles G.D. Roberts. My jaw dropped when I saw his portrait. Holy jumping schmoly!
Perhaps my mind was playing tricks on me. I turned to the clerk and said, “Okay, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see this picture?”
I flashed up the book up at her and her response was spontaneous.
“Would you believe it’s a pre-war photo of the Canadian poet Charles G. D. Roberts?”
I suppose Roberts would have looked pretty dapper at the time in his spiffy uniform and twitchy little bit of lip hair, but all I could see in that photo in 2011 was the unwitting foreshadowing of evil. I guess it’s possible for one man to ruin a look – forever. Let’s have one more look at that, close-up.
Oh yeah, that’s creepy.
I turned to the entry for E.J. Pratt hoping against hope that he would be sporting a Groucho Marx look, just then arriving on the silver screen, but was disappointed.
This morning, I shaved.
ANDREW STEEVES ¶ PRINTER & PUBLISHER