Rick Lubrick, or Ricky as we knew him, was about 16 years older than I. Ricky's mother was Tilly Lubrick, who became famous for her running of the campus thrift shop. Dubbed the "Tilly Shop", it sold all manner of used clothing, household wares, shoes, hats and everything in between. There were usually line ups waiting for the little shop to open. Items were sold for a mere pittance which at the time seemed like a king's ransom to us. I'm sure that my first several pair of ice skates and possibly some of my hockey equipment were procured at the Tilly. I recall the skates having so little ankle support, if you didn't learn quickly to skate on the blades, you were scooting around on the inside of the boot. Hundreds, if not thousands of students, staff and staff kids were clothed from Tilly's domain.
Tilly was the summer cook at Camp Silversides. I first became acquainted with her when she insisted that I finish my porridge, which quite honestly, I didn't recognize as such. Haute cuisine aside, Tilly was another of those staff members who worked hard and had a true servant's heart. She and her husband Steve served on staff where he fixed small appliances and helped out in several other departments during their tenure on the campus.
Ricky was an outgoing, athletic type of a guy and as I recall, quite popular with the lady folk. He and some of the other college students ran a program for us young kids in the west gym of the campus. Someone must have recognized that there was a need among the dozens of young staff boys to have some type of outlet for all their energy. They organized a quasi Boy Scouts or Boys Brigade, type of club. We would meet once a week in the gym and play dodge ball, floor hockey, learn a little bit about wrestling, have some type of lesson and generally have a great time.
Ricky had something that no one else in our town had. He owned a monkey. A real live little monkey! This tiny primate who Rick christened, Buster, looked every bit like one you might see with a hurdy gurdy man. Cute as a button, with big eyes, little ears and a long tail, said monkey could be found much of the time sitting atop Ricky's shoulder. Some of the college girls even knitted Buster some sweaters in an attempt at keeping him warm in a foreign climate.
Several years ago, Rick's Dad and I were having a visit and I asked him what had become of the little monkey. Steve told me that one summer Rick had gone to the province of British Columbia to work in a lumber camp. Somehow the monkey got loose. A light bulb went on in my head and I believed I may have solved a long standing mystery.
I think what happened was the little monkey escaped into the forest, got some good meals under it's little belt and grew... and grew... and grew. In fact I believe it grew so big that if you ever happen upon what is known in British Columbia as the Sasquatch, it is non other than Buster, Rick's little monkey!
© 2010 Stephen J. Rendall - All rights reserved.