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Born 1949, the youngest of 12, in Callander, Ontario, Canada.  I came to Toronto in 1968 and joined Toronto Police as a civilian, retiring in 1999.  Over those years and onward, I’ve written a number of poems and decided to share some of them, along with my art. As for my artwork, I never started painting, drawing or sketching until my later years.  I do not consider myself to be an artist, nor a poet for that matter, just creatively inclined.  I dabble in the arts - writing, painting, drawing, woodworking, singing, poetry; anything I set my mind to ... a jack of all trades, a master of none! 


I started out writing my first book, relating to my poetry and my artwork, just for posterity, nothing more, but then I published a second book and now my third book ... refer to BOOK ORDERS tab for insight. I am now in the process of writing a 4th book, encompassing just my poetry (it was successfully published on September 18, 2019).


Each day on this earth is a blessed day, a creative day - the ability to paint, to write, to sing, to share, is a gift, no matter how good or bad the end result might be.



“Dream your dream, move some mountains, believe in yourself, be amazed at what you can accomplish, what you can make others accomplish; age is irrelevant"


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(sit back, relax, my story is a long read)

I was born and raised in Callander, Ontario, Canada, on December 11, 1949. I was the youngest of 12 children (some say 13 but I only remember 12; one died at birth I believe, never been sure). My Mom was Evelyn, my Dad was William (Bill), my brothers were Lloyd, Louie, Leonard, Jack, Rolland, Billy (Deke) and Edward; my sisters were Leona (Daniher), Isabel (Whittaker), Reta (Oglestone) and Joan (Windsor). We lived up on whats now called Eglington Road North; don’t think it even had a street name back then, it was just ‘home’.


It sure wasn't much,
But we called it home,
Mom and Dad had twelve kids,
So no one was ever alone.
We all got by with what we had,
Times were hard but also quite glad,
We all shared what there was,
Hand-me-downs on top of all the love.
Yes, poor we were but love was always there,
Respect and admiration everywhere,
It sure wasn't much, no prosperity as such,
But we called it home,
Mom and Dad had twelve kids,
So no one was ever alone.

I went to public school (M.T. Davidson) in Callander and went to high school in North Bay (Algonquin Composite).  I was not the brightest crayon in the box back then but I survived and managed to color a respectful path to where I am now.  As a teen, I’d go ‘downtown’ and hang around the corner with a number of friends (if only I could remember their names), just making chit-chat, singing, laughing and whatnot (!?). We’d always get home before dark (well most of the time!). And, believe it or not, we never got into trouble or caused trouble (okay, maybe I went too far saying that, ha ha -- yes, there are a lot of stories to be told but I think some are best left unsaid). I do remember however, doing a lot of singing (hey, we thought it was singing...). Up and down the streets we’d go blaring our voices for all to hear and then we’d end up standing, leaning, on the corner for hours (there was a restaurant there across from where the bank is now, but I can’t remember the name of it). When I’d get home, my Dad use to ask me if the corner was still okay and I’d dumbfoundedly ask him why, to which he’d respond with something like ‘well it might have fallen down since you are not there to hold it up anymore’, (ha ha Dad). There is one other memory I maybe shouldn’t divulge here but what the heck. One night we got booze from the local bootlegger (can’t remember his name or maybe shouldn’t divulge it here anyway). After consuming quite a bit of that cheap wicked wine, I attempted to go home. I jumped a white picket fence to cross over the railway tracks (some will remember the railroad use to come through Callander) and I tripped flat onto my face and basically passed out on the tracks. Luckily and thank God, no trains were scheduled to come through, north or south. When I awoke, I continued on my merry way home, never ever mentioning this to anyone, well, at least not until now. As a side note, I never drank wine again for years and years.  Anyhow, having finished high school, I left Callander at the young age of 17 and went to the big city of Toronto (1968) and that’s where I reside to this day.  When I got to Toronto, I went looking for a job. The people at the manpower center (that’s what it was called back then) told me I was over qualified for the jobs they had available (go figure; I didn’t even know where I was or what I wanted to do, let alone somehow be over qualified!?). As I was leaving though, a nice lady told me there might be jobs available downtown at 590 Jarvis Street if I was interested. I asked her what that was and she told me it was the Police Department. My jaw dropped when I heard that but I mustered up the courage and went down there (hoping to land a job and also hoping not to get myself lost in the big city or even perhaps arrested).  I went through an interview process right away. They took my height, my weight, checked my eyesight, and so on. They then asked me to fill out an employment record sheet with family details and so on. Near the end, I had to list my family members but there was only space for three. I told them I needed more room and they told me to write smaller and squeeze them in. I said I had 7 brothers and 4 sisters so maybe another piece of paper would be nice; their jaw dropped at the size of my family.  Anyhow, they told me I should hear something within a week or two. I waited it out for a while but made plans to head back north and go to Cannadore College to take computer sciences. It was a Friday of the second week and I was heading out the door when the phone rang. I answered and was told I had got the job and to be there on Tuesday morning. They also told me I’d be making $102.00 a week doing whatever it was I was hired for (I did not know what I was getting myself into, whether I was becoming a cop or something else and I didn’t know what my hours of work would be either – boy was I ‘green’, but the money sure sounded good – for back then!).  I arrived on Tuesday morning (August 13, 1968) and was taken to the 4th floor at 590 Jarvis Street, which was Police Headquarters. I was ushered into the hub of what was called the Records Bureau, into an office called Master Index. I was told that I would be classed as a Civilian and work 3 shifts. Yes, I was so green, all this went in one ear and out the other, as all I was hearing were phones ringing and ringing and ringing in the background and people scampering back and forth on some big card file machines that loudly whirred when rotating (no computers back then). There were 10 of these machines, alphabetically placed around the room.  I was really quite innocence back then I guess. While growing up I never had a phone, didn’t even know how to use one. When I looked at the phones they had, they were different than anything I’d ever seen. Each one had 5 lines to them and I was totally amazed, if not in shock. Each individual phone had 5 buttons – Line 1, 2, 3, 4 and the last button was called the Radio Room Hot Line (apparently no one liked to be assigned to that one). So that you fully comprehend what I’m talking about, let me explain:  Police Officers would phone into Records to get people checked out to see if they had criminal records, warrants or whatever (lines 1 to 4 would be constantly ringing and each person answering their particular line would have between 25 to 40 name checks a shift), and this was ongoing, 24/7. The Radio Line was the toughest because usually you’d get 10 names to check out at a time and you had to be quick with your response. There was also two other phones at a desk called the Arrest Line where each division’s booking officer or case investigator would call in arrests or report major occurrences that took place. All this information had to be typed onto cards and filed accordingly. Each major occurrence, be it a robbery, arson, homicide, traffic fatality or whatever, plus any major arrest for high profile crimes, had to be typed perfectly onto stencils and each night/morning (around 2:00 A.M.) printouts given to the duty staff sergeant to approve and release to the newspapers, television and radio stations.  Well, I was green for a while but I found out I was a fast learner and eventually became a Supervisor. I worked shiftwork in the Records area for about 19 years and then went on straight days working in an office called Quality Control (looking at card files and computer files for inaccuracies, invalid entries, etc.). Then this office expanded, became attached to another part of the service, Professional Standards, where I became an information security examiner/analyst. For the next 13 years, I sat on numerous committees and wore many different hats (having to do various job functions from minute to consequential). This included, but was never limited to, systems development (going from manual to online computer access systems), investigative police support, help desk duties, user code and password creation, approval and issuance, building security card access approval, network and technical support duties, lecturing at the Police College (which I dreaded) and so on, and so on (oh so many hats!). And, I even sat on a committee to develop and design the present day phone system the Police use here in Toronto. During my last tour of duty, I was attached to Internal Affairs, still basically doing the same job, but more hats to wear - meetings with all the big wigs, the Chief, the Deputies, Superintendents, etc. - there are a lot of good stories there, but I shall refrain.  With that all behind me, at the young age of 50, I happily retired (it was 1999 or maybe it was 2000, can’t really remember, but I know I stopped working in 1999, if you know what I mean).  Now to backtrack a bit, I was married in 1972 in Callander at a church up on the hill (can’t remember the name, but it was north of Ben Bullock’s butcher shop, I think, if anyone can remember that). We had over 200 friends and family at the Callander Legion for our wedding reception. We later left for our honeymoon suite which was at the Lookout Inn (thats long gone I guess) and had to sneak in because half of the attendees were also staying there. It was a great place to stay, such a great town, my hometown, great people, great memories always. We bought a house in 1975 in Toronto and over time, had two wonderful children, my son Kyle (Jessica = 3 grandkids, Austin, Sydney & Jake) and my daughter Melinda (Bruzlin = 1 grandkid, Nathaniel).  Anyhow, a lot of things have happened, both good and bad.  Sadly, my wife Marie passed away in 2005.  Shortly after, I started singing karaoke, doing artwork, woodworking, making websites, something, anything, to keep me sane and occupied. I was a jack of all trades, yet a master of none.  Regardless, retirement has been really good to me; it has now been about 20 years (and counting...).  As for karaoke, I was 55 at the time and only went on the insistence of my children.  I’m not a social butterfly or whatever it might be called; hated public speaking and the like, although I had little choice while working. The first song I sang (in front of mostly drunk people), was Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley. I was so nervous, the microphone was shaking and my legs were shaking too - they thought it was all part of the act!?  After a few outings, my good friends at Starlazer Entertainment asked me if I wanted to record all my songs on a CD.  I was sort of hesitant and taken aback, guess they thought I could sing, ha ha.  I thought it was just another sort of bucket list thing I could do, while I can, and so I did. The CD is not for sale but can be made available for free if requested. Oh, and, believe you me, I am no Elvis.  The songs are also on my webpage (see website noted below).  As a side note to this, I sang that song at the Callander Legion a couple of years ago during the Reunion they had, and, yes, I was still nervous as heck, ha ha.  Now, as for my artwork, it just happened, no training, nothing, just by the seat of my pants, some good, some not so good.  I do have some paintings (prints only) available for sale - 8 x 10’s or on canvas (16 x 20) if anyone is interested (see website noted below).  I’ve always dabbled in woodworking, building small garden items like wheelbarrow planters and the like, so that wasn’t just out of the blue.  This has recently expanded however - further explained below.  As for my reference to the bucket list earlier, one of the things I really wanted to do was publish my poetry.  Yes, over the years, I wrote a number of poems (mostly at work, ha ha) and just kept them all in a self-made book. Well, I have now fulfilled my wish and have written and published two poetry related books and also a third book, a short story about me and my grandkids.  

The books are called:

Guilt Factors - Mind Games & Thought Nots!

Lost In The Darkness Of Thought

Searching For Papa’s Star

(under the author name Robert R. Blondin)

Shortly after my retirement, being somewhat computer savvy with a knowledge of computer coding, I created a website called It includes my music, artwork, woodworking and my book intros.  Please visit, stay for a while and enjoy the content.  Recently I started up a small woodworking business (a sort of arts and crafts kind of thing) with my grandson Austin, he is now in his 20's. We’ve been making coat racks and wine racks, using railroad spikes, and plan on making other things like bird houses, bird feeders, wheelbarrow planters, anything you can imagine, all targeted for home and garden use.  I created a website for our use; it is called - basically, we are doing things we thought we would not! Items we make are for sale here in the Toronto area (primarily cash & carry only). We do get out of town visitors/buyers from time to time, which is awesome.  I am also active on Facebook with five (5) pages: The Bobmeister Collection, Guilt Factors, Lost In The Darkness Of Thought, Searching For Papa’s Star, and A & B Woodnots.  Please feel free to visit each page, browse around and click Like. Okay, getting back to Callander, we (my immediate family/friends) use to come up once a year (the week prior to Labor Day) and stay at Prosperpine Cottages on Green Road (my sister Isabel’s place). Always a great time, great memories had by all; it was our cottage, so to speak. With everyone getting older though, it has been, sadly, difficult to keep this tradition up.  Callander, my hometown - love the place, the people and the atmosphere, what’s not to love! Wish I could stay sometimes, who wouldn’t.  Well, that’s my Callander connection - Oh the memories!!


I hope you have enjoyed the read, albeit a long one. Now you know a lot about me, some stuff I’m sure even my family didn’t know, ha ha. If anyone has questions or requests, please visit me on Facebook or email me direct.  It would also be nice if others would perhaps participate and give us a little story about their own Callander connection (but don’t give away too many secrets, about you or anyone else - Lord knows I’ve left out a lot of stuff, some I can’t remember and some I don’t wish to remember, ha ha). And, if people comment about me doing this or that, I’ll just deny it, so there!!


As previously stated, I have now written a 4th book, encompassing just my poetry.  It was successfully published on September 18, 2019 and was most likely the very first and only book I ever intended to publish - iI is called "Time, Only Time", again refer to BOOK ORDERS, or click on below books logo .



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