27 Jul A Tale of Two Timpsons ~ 60th Anniversary Edition
Have you ever held a book in your hands and felt the energy of the story literally flow out of the pages and into your very own soul? It lingers deliciously within you as you exhale to gaze off into the magical world of, “if only.” While logic may suggest rich emotion can never appear in form, you can almost feel how each chapter has left droplets of gold on your fingertips. These beautiful nuggets somehow, just as magically, weave themselves into a golden cloth, so elegantly textured, that as you hold it in your hands, it feels like love itself. The texture of what great love is and its power to heal, inspire and sustain is truly our birthright. The blessings are abundant as the ripples reverberate into eternity.
Bev and Bill Timpson are living their love story. As I sat in their forever home at 3387 Avondale, I was honoured to be there on a Wednesday to visit, since this was their standing date day. They chose my curious mind and blank writing pad over a jaunt out to Cooper’s Hawk or a seasonal cottage search in Colchester. Happy hour, a glass of red for Bill and maybe the same for Bev if she didn’t prefer a Coconut Water wasn’t until 5pm. Once Bev gathered momentum however, I was wondering if I was going to become an incidental loiterer. I might have even blended in if the besties since the 50’s joined over Zoom. Roger & Carolyn, Pat & Syd, Pam & Ed, Linda and Joan are just a few of the lifelong friendships that are as strong as the Walkerville Collegiate walls that wish they could talk. Lynn and Harold, the Guardian Angels of the gang, likely toast in unison to lives well lived.
As I watched the Bill and Bev kibbitz over my questions, I saw their admiration for each other fill the room. Whatever life had blessed or challenged them with, without a doubt, they had faced it together. I was eager, maybe even selfishly eager, to dip more than my toes into their story and breathe in the goodness of their shared twinkles.
Beverly Hull came into this world on Sept. 18, 1941 likely cute as the same button she remains. Her stories of gratitude for the kindness she’s be blessed with in her life made perfect sense to me. She is a ridiculously adorable, creative, inquisitive and insightful sweetheart always seeking out the next clue on how to share the music of her gentle heart. Bev is quick witted with undeniable intelligence. This has served her greatly throughout her life except when she wanted to remain in the Hugh Beaton Kindergarten sandbox as a 6-year-old. She was certainly owed that after waiting a whole darn year to get there. Bev was a spark and oh did her light shine. Before she knew it, she was in grade one. Grade four never saw her hand raised either as it was straight to grade 5 for this tiny tornado.
Meanwhile, Bill Timpson, a lean and lanky old soul from Kirkland Lake made his debut into the world on Dec. 19, 1938. By the age of 2 his family had made their way to Emeryville, over to Tecumseh by age 3 and then finally to Pillette Road where he would soon be enrolled as the only Protestant in a Catholic grade school. And while we can be comforted to know that Bill likely did enjoy many sandboxes, in many locations, we may never know the reasoning behind him being chosen to play the serpent in the school play about Adam and Eve.
With Bev on the fast-track and Bill becoming a Loblaws icon, 1955 went in Bev’s diary likely as a pinnacle year. One day when Bev was attending a party with her best friend Pat, she would have her first encounter with Bill. Bill, also Pat’s friend, had popped by invite her to arrive his upcoming New Year’s Eve Party. To be polite Bill is extended a, “Hey, bring your friend if you want to” almost indifferent invitation. Really neither Bev or Bill cared if she went or not. No love connection there. How could there be? Bev was dating Sydney, Bill’s cousin.
The transition into 1956 was celebrated at the Bunny Hop Restaurant with a gunshot salute at midnight!
While the unspoken mandate was to achieve perfect attendance in Socializing 101 at Walkerville, Cupid’s clandestine work proved successful. A formal date was planned on Jan. 27, 1956 between Bill and Bev so they did a little personal reconfiguring ahead of time. Sydney, Bev’s beau, must have been quite an insightful teen as he initiated the suggestion that perhaps Bev should date Bill. Bev returned the favour by suggesting Sydney date Pat. It was a win on every level because not only did the girls remain best friends, marriage turned them into cousins.
The ground breaking date was a basketball game at W.D. Lowe where Bill would arrive late to pick up Bev in his Dad’s aqua 1955 Oldsmobile due to nervous knees causing him to knock over a water bucket at work. The game was great fun but the burgers and fries at the Hi-Ho afterwards were a true delight. Was there a smooch at the end of that night? The Timpson’s remain tight lipped.
As Bev and Bill recanted their fun, I could sense them travelling back in time just as they did at reunions. The beautiful lens of blissful youth is always just a blink away. There were rides out to Leamington to roller skate, lunch at Willistead or fast walks to Peerless for a quick ice cream. It was cheering on the Tartans at every sporting event offering the chance to act goofy in the stands. It was dreading swim class, especially those poor boys in their birthday suits! The bonds were and remain unbreakable. Bill even stayed an extra year just to make sure Bev got to English class okay. Or so the story goes…
John D. Rockefeller once said, “The road to happiness lies in two simple principles find what it is that interests you and that you can do well, and when you find it put your whole soul into it. Every bit of energy, ambition and natural ability you have.”
Bev and Bill have always been intimately connected to their passions. Right after high school Bill engaged his remarkable left-brain and became a Certified Chartered Accountant with Cox-Hyatt. A privilege offered to him by virtue of his graduation from Queen’s University in June of 1962.
The early 60’s had these two with every spoon they could find in the pot it seems! Not only was Bill crunching numbers but Bev had already been a school teacher for two years at Gordon McGregor. Their beautiful nuptials were shared on July 21, 1962 which, in a sign of those times, perpetuated a demotion for Bev. The not-so-subtle hint of where a married woman’s priorities should be. It seemed the extra time did help though. Bill was soaring within his career. Revenue Canada was blessed to have him for a couple of years before he transitioned to George Smith as a Chartered Accountant from 1963 to 1967 only to return back to a Public Accountant and work magic with his calculator for with Jeff Sterling at CKWW. In the meantime, Bev was feeling the delightful flutters in her tummy as Susan was preparing for her debut. Bev, following the expected protocols of the era, resigned from teaching at Christmas before her baby bump became too obvious. Within those 4 months leading to Susan’s arrival on April 22, 1964, Bev’s extremely talented fingers danced over the ivory keys as her vocal harmony soothed both Momma and baby girl. Bill, although incredibly grateful for his new bundle of pink, was sensationally aware that April is by far not the month for Accountants to be distracted so he schmoozed the doctor into extending Bev’s April 29th release day until May 1st. Bev, likely wasn’t too distraught over this. Susan, due on Mother’s Day, had been born with ABO incompatibility. At just 3 days new to the world, baby Susan received a blood transfusion. As baby recovered, so did Mom who was reflecting on the sage old advice from her friend Barb advising that childbirth was “just like shitting out a watermelon.” In this case, the watermelon was 6lbs 6ozs.
The threesome hung out for just a short time after Susan’s arrival in their first home on top of a house at 3550 Howard until it was time to embrace Avondale. The neighbours stopped short of organizing a parade to celebrate the arrival of a tender little family assuming the postal code of what had been housing 11 kids and two exhausted parents. Move in date was Oct. 31, 1964 and Bev still agonizes about being “that person” who gave out apples for Halloween.
The summer of 1965 was humming with excitement keeping Bev and Bill all smiles in the knowing that another bundle of love was on its way. Linda was due on Feb. 16th 1966. Bev was doing her best to manifest a Valentine’s Day baby arrival but Linda was enjoying her surroundings so much, she stayed the full term. When she did decide to join her family, Linda didn’t any time at all. From the first warning at 6pm, Linda made her debut within 45 minutes. Her Dad’s second bowl of soup was surrendered to the flurry.
By 1969 Bev was working at All Saint’s Church giving up to 50 children from infants to 6yrs old stimulation, play and rest. Once a nurturer, forever a nurturer. Bev, a woman of beautiful faith and the wife of a husband of incredible belief in her one day, while meditating in the backyard, had a discussion with God. God told her, “Go back to school.” Bev told God, “Are you kidding? Bill will not like that idea at all.” The sacred conversation resonated within her so deeply that she approached Bill to perhaps prove herself right. Which is a more polite approach than insinuating God was off his game. Bill, without hesitation not only encouraged her but suggested she return fulltime!
From 1985-1989 and being so, so done with night school, Bev slid across the graduation stage as a beaming Dean’s List recipient of St. Clair College’s ECE’s Program. Soon thereafter she became part of the faculty, and yes, most prolifically, Bev was returning to the sandbox!!
Bev and Bill, now with two lovely and successful daughters growing their own families, continue to grow their own lives embodying the treasures of their talents. As Bill was practicing retirement then returning to easy 1200 hours a year positions with Hyatt Lassaline, Bev was building task forces such as the Home Childcare Providers Network and singing “You Take The Highroad” at Huron Lodge resurrecting the most precious years of Alzheimer’s patients who would soon become confident Prima Donna’s coaxed out by music.
Whether it was their 5-week adventure through the Blue Mountains of Vermont to Nashville, Bev giving Lindsey a big goodbye hug after adoring their Montessori teamwork, transitioning to the sticky note designed Co-Ordinator position with St. Clair’s Drop-In Centre, Bev & Bill’s sun, moon and stars remained in steady orbit around their family. Their pride pulsed out of them as they spoke about Susan and Linda who have created wonderful lives for themselves and how their grandchildren, the 1993 arrivals Maggie and Ben along with the beautiful 1996 arrivals Sydney and David have grown into such impeccable adults. As a super special treat, David is always able to celebrate his birthday alongside his grandfather as he was born on Dec. 17th, making Bill’s 58th birthday one of his best celebrations ever.
When they first met each other, Bill & Bev couldn’t have known how they’d fall for each other’s laugh and their sense of humour. They didn’t know that they would soon start skipping sleep just to listen to the other breathe. They didn’t know they would get to know each other so well that it would just take one look to read the others mind. They didn’t know the other one’s arms would become the safe haven from sadness. When they first met, Bill & Bev didn’t know how lucky they had just become. And when they realized it, they nurtured their love each and every day thereafter.
July 21, 2022 marks 60 years of great love that has recreated itself over and over again. It is that magical gold cloth that links these two hearts together and glistens with the love of every soul sharing in their happiness.
To Mr. and Mrs. William & Beverly Timpson. The world is a more beautiful place because you spend time here. Today, we celebrate 60 chapters of great love and can’t wait to witness the next chapters unfold.
Author – Kelly Meloche. Just a gal that loves to tell beautiful stories!