My maternal grandfather John Eugene McGlade, son of Arthur Joseph McGlade and Catherine Honora McCarthy. I wish I had known him, but he died before I was born. He has always been something of a presence in my life, however, because he has always been very fondly remembered by his children (my mother and her five siblings), who have passed down many stories.
He had a gas station (or service station, as it was then called) at the corner of Gore and Craig Streets (in Perth, Lanark Co., Ontario), where there is now a Tim Horton’s. According to several of my aunts, he was a better person than he was a businessman: if someone had fought in the war (World War II, that is), he could never bring himself to collect on the account (‘Ah, well, now, he’s a veteran…’), and he also had a soft spot for a widow with a family (‘Ah, God love her, and with so many mouths to feed…well, maybe next month…’). He used to refer to my grandmother, Nana Dee, whom I knew very well, as “the Queen Bee,” a nice tribute to her brisk maternal competence (she had six children in just under nine years; and she used to drive the nuns around town in her big boat of a car; and she also belonged to a curling club; and was just a force of nature overall).