My unlikely friendship with Tim
“Do not glad-hand me!”
Do you remember your first spoken words to me more than five years ago at the gas station on Par-la-Ville Road?
Apparently, still extremely irate at a comment I made about an editorial you wrote a few weeks earlier.
Wow, how was I to know then that you actually read the comments section?
So that was the start of our unique relationship.
The next time I heard from you was in August of 2014. You had e-mailed me about having a column in The Royal Gazette.
Initially, given our first encounter, I wondered if this was some sort of perverse joke you were playing.
You know, as a form of revenge for my earlier comment.
We met in person at your favourite spot, Bermy Cuisine. You know, the old Donut House.
You asked me, again, this time face-to-face, how would I feel about having a weekly column in The Royal Gazette .
My reply then, was something along the lines, that if I were to do so, I won’t be changing my political stances one bit.
Sort of shockingly, at least to me, was your reply.
“That is precisely why I asked you. Just submit it 48 hours in advance, so we can make sure you do not get yourself sued.”
Thus began my second stint as a columnist in print, the first being at the Bermuda Sun from 2012 to 2014.
There were many days that I looked at my name next to John Barritt and under the weekly cartoon of the legendary Peter Woolcock, and smiled to myself.
You see, despite vastly differing sociopolitical views, when one peers into the world of a columnist, there are legends among us.
There is an unexplained camaraderie and respect among those who are prepared to put their thoughts and viewpoints into the public domain every week.
Persons such as Tom Vesey, LaVerne Furbert, Alvin Williams, Ira Philip, Larry Burchall, Al Seymour, John Barritt and Bryant Trew.
So when I can see my name next to theirs, it lets me know I am among giants.
Meeting Tony McWilliam and yourself, gave me the ability to speak for thousands of other Bermudians who need their voices to be heard.
You see, Tim, many of our breakfast/lunch chats turned into historical and philosophical debates or disagreements.
We did not see eye to eye on many issues. Yet we both loved history, even though we had differing views on historical and present-day issues.
Along the way, you were helping to mould my writing style without knowing it.
Many nights, I found myself sitting down in front of a blank screen, wondering how can I begin my piece with historical context, then pivot into current affairs.
Well, really how to do it with the optimum 500-word limitation of a good column.
As you can tell, as of late, I have been breaking that cardinal rule and submitting 700 to 800-word pieces.
Somehow, less and less about politics and more about historical or community-related topics.
Truthfully, the world will never run out of political capers and blunders for someone to write about.
You, yourself, were the master of the pen — or was it the sword — when it came to the cut and thrust of local and international politics.
There are very few people that could spend hours on end debating those topics with such glee as you.
Yet, somehow, your passion as of late was your daily “Bermuda Shorts” series to be found on Facebook.
Your legions of followers tuned in daily to see what tidbit of Bermuda history you would enlighten us with.
Your penchant for remembering when top models and actresses graced our shores was beyond measure.
Last week you told us that you were going on hiatus for a few weeks.
I do not know what you call a few weeks, but it seems like it may be a bit longer than that before we hear your voice or read the latest “Bermuda Short”.
In the meantime, I will be here perfecting my craft. You know how it goes.
A quote in the beginning, facts in the middle and dashes of history and wit sprinkled throughout.
We hear there is an opening for editor at “Kingdom Times ”. No doubt, you will get the post.
Feel free to send us notes now and then. We will be in need of your satire during the long winter ahead.
• Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at email@example.com
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