Saturday, February 18, 2006

Bob Hawkins memories

Hi Folks,

I had to write this as therapy for myself but also to let you know that there are good, caring people in this world no matter what their position in life is.

In the early 60's my cousin Diane (Hawkins) worked as executive secretary to Bill Pollack. Bill is the originator and owner of Office Overload and Drake Personnel. I first met Bill shortly after Diane and he married in 1964. They lived in a penthouse here in Toronto. Head office for the corporation was in the same building.

Bill was already a member of the 40 million club in 1966, an exclusive group of entrepreneurs who have accumulated wealth in excess of 40 million dollars. Bill and Diane were the epitome of what we call jet setters. Bill and Diane walked amongst the riches and most influential people in the world from Prime Ministers, Presidents to a private audience with the Pope at the Vatican.

They eventually moved to Monaco. Diane was unhappy, she wanted children but Bill did not, eventually they divorced and Diane arrived in Montreal with her little Parisian boy toy. The divorce was an amicable one and when the little Frenchman would not find work and refused to move out Diane called Bill in Monaco and he flew over simply to evict the leach.

Diane had always loved Toronto and all her friends were here so Bill suggested she move back. Diane felt she could not afford to live here on what she was getting in alimony so Bill bought her a home in a very exclusive area of central Toronto. Bill and Diane have remained close friends in spite of the divorce.

Diane is a recovering alcoholic and has been dry now for some 15 years. She lost her younger sister Joan to cancer some 15 years ago. She herself survived two bouts with cancer however she found out two months ago that it has returned. She is determined to fight but the disease has progressed into her spine.

When we were kids, Diane and Joan are 10 and 8 years older that I, we summered at Mississquoi Bay. They would take me to Gauvins Restaurant and I would watch them dance and they would buy me a Coke and hamburger with fries.

Three weeks ago she decided to have a party for all her friends to say goodbye, people from France, England, New Orleans and co-workers from Drake came to the house to wish her well. Bill called while the guests were there. Diane was so heavily medicated and ill from the radiation treatments that she could not eat or drink. By the Monday she was back in hospital dehydrated and weak.

She has since returned home and has 24 hour nursing care, Bill has picked up the tab as well as all her other expenses. Its just a matter of time now. To think that after all these years and the miles between them Bill and Diane have remained close and in her time of need he is still there to support her affectionately and earnestly.


Bob H
Thanks Bob
Still good people out there

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