Amy is away in Adelaide, doing what she is good at: French professoring.
I said, I’ll let you know when I grow up.
We chatted back and forth, and then came the advice I had heard from my father and uncle: I don’t care what you do, but be really good at it.
I told Sorenne mom was really good at the French professoring thing, I was really good at the food safety thing, and she could decide what to be really good at.
My uncle Larry is in this pic (below, left); he worked the railroads and played hockey in the Huntsville-north-of-Toronto-but not-too far-north leagues; settled in Barrie and when I was a kid, about 1970, on those every other weekends we would visit from Brantford, would go watch what I thought were giants of the neighborhood on a sunday morning pick-up, and then watch them drink beers.
I keep this amongst my hockey memorabilia.
In his later years, uncle Larry drove a truck for Molsons brewery out of Barrie.
That plant is long defunct, I don’t know who owns Molsons, but I do know that in 1982, uncle Larry would be delivering a load to Guelph and would honk at me as he passed by.
He also gave me a ridiculous supply of beer returned from the stores.
Larry and aunt Shirley also let me and my high school girlfriend, Sue, sleep in the same bed.
That was awesome.
So when the free beer allotment for Labatt retirees — which was part of the workers’ pension benefit package for more than five decades — will soon go flat, I thought of Larry.
Labatt has announced the long-standing perk will be phased out by Jan.1, 2019 because it’s too expensive. But workers call the cut petty when compared to the company’s ballooning revenues.
Labatt said the allotment for existing retirees would be cut in half in 2018 and cut off completely in 2019.
“I just think it’s nickel-and-diming of our retirees that put in a lot of work for many, many years,” said local union president Jim Stirr. “In the cost of doing business, it’s such a small, small thing.”
Labatt, a formerly Canadian beermaker, is now owned by Belgium-based global super-producer Anheuser-Busch InBev. That’s a publicly traded company that owns more than 400 beer brands worldwide and reported $55 billion in revenue in 2015 alone.
“The reason for the change relates to the rising overall cost of maintaining a full benefits package, including health care coverage for retirees,” Labatt vice-president Lindsay King wrote in a letter to employees dated Oct. 28.
As in hockey, as in life, Some talk, some do, some play hockey.