Oct 07, 2017 12

A Night to Remember

"I’m in the Caribbean trying to patch our St. Maarten operation back together with chewing gum and bailing wire, so sorry for the delay.  Here is my testimonial:

I was out in Toronto of all places, wearing a tweed DQ suit that we intentionally made to look like a tweed shooting suit.  I had just sat down with a friend for dinner at Canoe, and this older gentleman with a much younger woman on each arm comes up, apologizes for interrupting us, and says “you have to tell me where you got that fantastic suit."  I told him I got it from Duncan Quinn and explained what the inspiration was, and after a bit of chatting we found ourselves invited to eat with him.  Never one to pass up a chance to meet someone new and obviously interesting, I accepted the invitation and joined him near the back corner of the restaurant.  He ordered a great bottle of wine and told us a story of how he hitch-hiked across Egypt in the 1960’s.  We found we shared a love of old mechanical things and Caribbean banana politics.  The guy was a blast.  

We found we shared a love of old mechanical things and Caribbean banana politics. The guy was a blast.

Despite my objections, he picked up the entire tab and invited us for after-dinner drinks at his estate near the 'Bridal Path' (whatever that is, I’m not from Toronto).  After we indicated we didn’t have a car at our disposal, he said “that’s ok, you can take mine back or I’ll have someone take you.”

We meet downstairs, hop into his chauffeured Phantom, and drive for a while until we get to this enormous gated estate.  Upon entering, he and the two women head up the stairs, and we are shown by a butler to the “game room.”  This room turns out to be a hunting trophy room that would have made King Francis jealous.  This guy had shot and mounted everything that could be shot and mounted — bears, elk, a lion, etc.  Our host walks in with one of his companions (not sure what happened to the other one), and pulls a 2005 Chateau Margaux out of a mini wine refrigerator that turned out to be stocked with the stuff.  He continued to tell stories about his adventures around the world, I told him stories of my mishaps in Russia and Asia, even our companions chimed in (his with a great story about a party-gone-arwy on some Oligarch’s yacht; mine about her Enfield breaking down somewhere near Goa, getting left behind by her boyfriend at the time, and getting picked up and driven to town by — no shit — a mariachi band.  In India).  

Many bottles, many stories, and many cigars later, as the sun was coming up, we suggested it was time to leave as I had to catch a flight, and my friend had things to do.  He offered to let me take another of his Rolls Royces (a Ghost)  back to my hotel and that he would have his man pick it up later, but I couldn’t bring myself to put him to so much trouble after such a legendary evening.  He would not hear of a cab, and so we ended up having his car take us back to Toronto, where I showered, changed, and headed straight for the airport.

None of it would have happened if not for the suit."

None of it would have happened if not for the suit.