Of the many things I learned from Godfrey, most significant to me is the memory of being completely absurd. His ability to remain straight faced through the most ridiculous situations, is part of his legend.
Our dusty old luggage shop, (and leather repair) was a fine wee business, though customers rare. When Godfrey stayed with us, on Mondays we oft left the store in his care. For he would talk to anyone, of anything but beets, at the mention of them would retreat in his mind to beet free, peaceful places, but as a poet he’d a certain flair, he was a charmer at selling suitcases.
“Will this carry turnips”?, I heard her hoarse bellow, from my desk hidden rear of the store. “I must cross the country for decent turnips, to Ontario, can’t get them here anymore” Godfrey suggested a sturdy set, of luggage with wheels, rugged handles and zip- “suitable size and volume said he, perfect choice for transporting the Ontario turnip.
“What was that all about?, I asked as he joined me for biscuits and tea, after seeing the satisfied customer out.. “She was steadfast that no turnip grown here, beats the tasty Ontario one” “Eats them like I would apples from the wide Okanagan, and the Saskatoon Berries, when we first met, by the river and the wheat and the prairie sun.
“Oh bring me home turnips”, rest of the day Godfrey whistled, “Bring me home turnips, while cooking dinner I hummed”, “Bring me home turnips, Godfrey tuned his guitar key of “G”, all the way to Ontario seeking the turnip I journey”. “Bring me home turnips, I tipped my long suffering husband, from my turquoise chair to the setee’, for he had brought home turnips, how did he know?? locally grown turnips, not from Ontario.
” Bring me home turnips, oh come dance with me, bring me home turnips, long miles by train, dance with me dearest and afterwards I will explain. “Well Godfrey played his guitar, we danced and we laughed until late. “We all had a guffaw at the days only customers passion for the turnips she ate”.
“In the silence of sorrow, when it slips in uninvited, to join me now in times when alone, I remember the laughter, the teasing we shared…”I sing bring me home turnips, oh bring turnips back when you roam, bring me back turnips, all my lost darlings,oh bring me those turnips home…