It is with deep sadness that I read in the Kincardine Independent this morning that Bob had died. I have vivid memories of Bob as a teenager being left in charge of the enormous Chapman variety store on
He manned the till at Chapmans standing behind the counter where all the candy and 'naughty' magazines were arrayed. He was like a hawk surveying his domain, his eyes glued to our slightest movement. We were only a bit afraid of him, but we knew deep down he and all the Chapmans were the most generous of people, to a fault!
For although he was regularly in charge of the Chapman 'wealth', those many aisles stacked to the ceilings with eye popping treasures, he had a heart of gold. I am ashamed to say that I tested him out on this very weakness. One hot summer's day in July 1955 arriving up from the beach in mid afternoon with only towel and swimsuit, I marched up to the candy counter, and knowing Bob was watching me closely, lifted up a variety packet of lifesavers, held them to Bob's face and boldly declared, "I got these at Stedmans", then walked out of the store. Somehow, I knew that Bob would not give chase. I still puzzle in my mind this tolerance that the Chapmans had for us kids. They were truly amazing people, and for me Bob stood there at the top of the list as one of Kincardine's nicest.
His death is truly a loss to the community and certainly many of us who were around at the time will have fond memories of how well we were watched and generously treated as children. My heart goes out to the Chapman, Robinson, and Hughes families at their loss of such an interesting man.