A writer for the Vancouver Sun used to drink in the Palace Hotel which is now Funky Winkerbean's Pub. We had the beer business. One day when I was running the pub one of the waiters, Brownie, a great guy, said he had two important things to teach me. First, he said, always carry a cigar in your pocket. People who don't feel comfortable buying you a beer might buy you a cigar. Second, when the Sun reporter is sleeping, don't wake him up. He's writing a column. The writer lived in West Vancouver, near the Presbyterian Church at the foot of 26th. One day he walked down to the beach, tied a bottle of rye around his neck, and swam out to sea. I guess he needed the rye in case he lost his nerve and thought about swimming back to shore. Or maybe in case he started to get cold.
Brownie had an impressive car. I think it was called a Marmon. It was big and fancy. Often he would ask me to cover for him at work so he could make a few extra dollars driving for a funeral company. He would leave the Palace around noon and be back in time for the afternoon crowd.