Jack Timbrell was a special man to me. He was fun and funny, intelligent and intellectual with business smarts to spare. Jack had a first-year university education (almost unheard of in his day) and he was an entrepreneur. He was my grandfather.
Jack owned the family business, a butcher shop, with his brother Tom. The butcher shop, inherited from their father and his father before him, was known as Timbrell’s Meat Market and was located at 255 Dundas Street in London Ontario. They were well-liked and respected in the community. Growing up I could go almost anywhere in London and toss out my name and someone would know my grandfather or his brother and welcome me. It was a comfortable shadow to grow up under and it explains my tendency towards entrepreneurship as well.
Jack was a visionary with no outlet so he put his thoughts and feelings in writing. He wrote mostly poems in blank accounting books often capturing his intimate feelings about his situation and the people around him. I cannot speculate on some of the content but the first poem posted below was written about me and it brings me to tears every time I think of his smiling face now knowing the great love he had for his then 4-year-old granddaughter.
Here is his poem of my grandfather, the entrepreneur.
Who am I that such beauty should smile on me.
That this exquisite lady should find pleasure in my company.
Who am I that her flashing eyes should play havoc with my heart
And should return my love with genuineness, not as an actress plays a part.
Why do I find such pleasure in her eyes, her voice, her ways
When other moods would better suit my age.
The time will come and t’will be said
So many men have sought her,
But to-day she’s mine and I confess Great love for my Granddaughter.
– Jack Timbrell July 1969 –
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