|Robbie Robertson - July 5 1943 - August 9 2023|
At my age, about to be 81, the constant death of people I have photographed, who many times are younger than I, unsettles me.
What is worse for me to learn about the death of Robbie Robertson today and the fact that I photographed him on October 1994, makes me think, “My Rosemary was alive then.”
It is also a sobering reminder of my soon to reach (I studied statistics in university) oblivion.
It was at about 1994 that my eldest daughter Alexandra started my filing system and she did it in wonderful alphabetical order. When I removed Robertson’s file today I instantly thought of her and I had to call her (she lives in Lillooet) to thank her for making me organized.
Mr. Robertson and a few other men I photographed smoking a cigar enabled, me to connect with them, because in those days I smoked cigars. You might have been poor but you could still buy a foot long Montecristo Claro for $15.
With Robertson we discussed three brands that were then unavailable in the US and how lucky we were, that we could smoke the Cuban-made Cohibas (his choice), H. Upmanns and Montecristo Claros (my choice) in Canada.
I may have told him the story of Montecristo cigars. It seems that when women were rolling the cigars (on their thighs) in Cuba they had a reader. Their fave author was Alexandre Dumas and their novel of choice was The Count of Montecristo.
I do remember telling him that author Len Deighton in his Cookstrip
Cookbook had something to say about smoking a cigar with or without the paper
band. We both agreed that a good deal of the pleasure in smoking a cigar was following the protocol and tradition.