47 Glencairn Ave.
Sunday p.m. [31 Oct. 1954]

Dearest Claire:

We have just finished phoning you and I am 'penning a short epistle.'

You would have been interested in the party last night. Two weeks ago a woman named Mrs Parker telephoned us an invitation out to her place for an evening's chat. Your mother thought the name was Jane Parker – a former student of mine. She was going to have a number of my old students. I imagined it was 2T6 and I looked up the list of the year and found a Janet Parker. 'That's the girl,' I said. Then she phoned yesterday to say her husband would call for us in his car bringing along with him Marshall and Mrs McLuhan. We didn't want to give ourselves away in our ignorance and we waited until Parker gave himself away in the conversation. He talked about Varley, Schaefer and Lawren Harris. I remarked to myself – 'Ah, ha! an artist.' Then he remarked, 'It's a hobby, for I teach for a living.' Oh, I ruminated – a teacher in the High School. 'Well, you have two months in the summer for your hobby.' 'No, I have four months.' Hence a University man. After his many references to architecture I thought he belonged to that Faculty. No, he didn't. He was a teacher in the College of Art.

Then who was Janet – if that was her name? I kept mum until I came to the house and the person meet[ing] us at the door was Mary Gibson Parker, my student of 4T0 (Class of 1940). We saw Margaret Avison looking as wan and chalk-like as ever, Isabel Fraser and several others. It was all cleared up now and we spent the evening until 2 a.m. which accounts for drowsiness this morning.

Margaret Avison said she would love to come and see you when you got to our house, and talk over old times. Parker himself I had never met before though he claimed we did meet at McLuhan's three years ago.

That's the daily news.

I am looking forward to Thursday, thankful that Peg has a room for me, and what a delight to see you. I am going to read to you anything you can get from the Library or anything you wish me to bring down. I shall practise up my graceful gestures and intonations to get the correct sense of poise and emphasis – understand.

Much love,
Father


2T6
The class of 1926.