Jack’s Stories

These are the stories told by Jack Hunt, to his son, David Hunt

1. Jack was born in Renfrew, Ontario on July 10, 1910.  In the 1920’s, Jack’s parents, along with their 8 children moved to Detroit, Michigan. His father and older siblings were keen to work for Ford Motors, but Jack was home sick for Canada, and moved back to Ontario despite his family staying in the U.S.A.  During the depression, when he arrived back in Canada, he went to his Aunt Ethel Kennelly, who lived in Mt. St. Patrick.  Jack announced that he was going to Ottawa the next day to get a job, and despite many chuckles and laughs from family and friends – Jack proved them wrong and got a job at a grocery store on Bank Street.

2. Jack married the love of his life, Lois Raymond, on June 15, 1938. They moved to Brockville where Jack worked in a small grocery store.  A prominent woman came into the store to buy meat and butter – both items that required rationing coupons (World War II).  She had forgotten her coupons but was adamant that she would be leaving with the groceries. However, Jack was equally adamant that she would be leaving empty handed.  In the end, the woman left the store with only an angry scowl on her face.

3. Jack had been keen to join the military, but due to poor eyesight, his application was denied.  He was instead asked to volunteer for the Wartime Price and Trade Board, and thus began his job as an Inspector during World War II. Jack was diligent about following rules and had a strong morale compass. 

4. Jack often told a story about a maple syrup factory in Lyndhurst, Ontario that had been the subject of complaints about the quality of the maple syrup.  Jack was tasked with investigating and asked the owner to see the books.  “Do you know who you’re talking to?  I helped to bring in the legislation for the maple syrup industry, and when you leave here, I will be talking to your boss.”  Unable to access the books, Jack notified his boss in Brockville, and the factory owner was already on the phone with his boss.  Jack’s boss told him to stay put, and in less than 30 minutes later, two RCMP officers arrived and accompanied Dad to close the factory. The owner was later taken to court and convicted of selling watered down maple syrup.

5. Another time, Jack was called to the home of an elderly spinster, who complained that she thought her best friend had turned her in for a crime…hording potatoes in the basement!  Jack asked who had taken the 50lb sacks to the basement and she remarked…”why the grocery boy”!     

6.  One day, as Jack was sitting in his vehicle across from a gas station, a farmer pulled up in his truck. After filling up, he shouted to the owner to put it on his bill.   Dad entered the store and identified himself as an inspector with the Wartime Price and Trade Board.  The owner asked if they could go to the back room and said that he was a Sunday School Superintendent and would be highly embarrassed if it became known that the owner wasn’t collecting his coupons.  Jack warned him to be sure to collect all the coupons in the future.

7.  One day, as Jack was sitting in his vehicle across from a gas station, a farmer pulled up in his truck. After filling up, he shouted to the owner to put it on his bill.   Dad entered the store and identified himself as an inspector with the Wartime Price and Trade Board.  The owner asked if they could go to the back room and said that he was a Sunday School Superintendent and would be highly embarrassed if it became known that the owner wasn’t collecting his coupons.  Jack warned him to be sure to collect all the coupons in the future.

8. Jack’s family in Detroit was often a topic of conversation, in particular his nephew Don Hunt.  Jack would tell the stories of Don, who had a way with animals and started a TV programme called “Bwana Don” (similar to Captain Kangaroo), and became a TV personality.  Jack was most proud to tell anyone who would listed about “Hunt’s Travel” and the “International Animal Exchange”.  Don and his brothers set up drive through zoos around the world, most notably the National Park he set up and lived which was situated at the foot of Mount Kenya.

9. Jack enjoyed taking his children on drives north of Brockville, Ontario and reminiscing about his years growing up.  He would often drive down the old country road with a small stream that flowed nearby, where Jack would stop for a drink and a break.  Something about the flowing water and beautiful rolling hills resonated deeply with him. 

   

         

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