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Who’s The Guy in the Big White Hat Talking to Sam?

June 13th, 2014
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By now, everyone has seen the picture. The dog is by the coffins, a ramrod straight Mountie standing to attention in front of them. My Facebook page lit up with this picture Tuesday afternoon, half-a-dozen Facebook friends posting it within’ minutes of each other. The combination police coffins and Police dog was too compelling for people not to respond, so they posted.

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What did you see when you saw it? The Coffins? The Dog? Me, I saw the at attention Mountie in ceremonial uniform. But then, I’m getting used to seeing pictures of Rob.

That Mountie is my friend and former neighbour, Rob (no your not getting his last name). Every once in a while you get the morning paper and there he is. “You’re on the front page of the paper today,” I’ve texted him at 7:00 in the morning before. The Blue Jays opening night ceremonies once, saluting President Obama coming off the helicopter another time. One November 11th at the cenotaph I looked to my left and was standing beside him in full red serge.

My two favourite Rob stories involve my son. One day when the boy was about 10, Rob came over and knocked on the door on some neighborly business or another (likely borrowing a tool). He was just getting home and was in uniform.

“There’s a policeman at the door! There’s a policeman at the door!” my son came running into the room.

Answering the door I turned to him, “It’s Rob!”

“Oh,” he says, and walks away pleased that nobody in the house will be going to jail on this day.

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The other time happened last summer, when the Mounted Police were in England as part of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. A picture (above) hit the Facebook page of a mutual friend. Rob, about three feet from Her Majesty, engaged in a formal salute. It’s a close up, Rob’s from the shoulders up, the Queen’s head. We passed it around the table when it first appeared. “Who’s the old lady with Rob?” my son, now 16, asks.


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