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Mourning the loss of a friend (October 01, 2002)

My column was all done for this month, not a bad piece, time to move on to other things.Then the phone rang and it was one of those calls you can tell just by the tone of voice that you won't like wha...


My column was all done for this month, not a bad piece, time to move on to other things.

Then the phone rang and it was one of those calls you can tell just by the tone of voice that you won’t like what you’re about to hear.

“Ted, I have bad news, Red died.”

To me this came as a real kick in the gut. Red, Aurele Mailloux, the president of Quality Truck and Trailer has left us.

For those of you who unfortunately didn’t get to know Red, let me tell you a little about my good friend.

Red is not an easy man to describe, he was singular, one of a kind, marched to his own drum.

The only man I know who could move from a saint to a genuine S.O.B. and back in a matter of minutes.

I first met Red in the mid-eighties.

His office was better described as a shack, lamp for a thermostat, beat up oil heater, cats everywhere, old tin desk, and Red, phone at his ear, roll your own in his mouth, empty Molson’s on the desk.

The man cursed well in both of Canada’s official languages.

I’ve spent most of my adult life in the trucking industry and I’ve learned a lot from many people, yet few have taught me more than Red.

From the captains of industry to the ex-cons he helped out, Red knew them all, and treated them equally.

Each of us would sit in the chair beside his desk, often with a beer in hand, discussing whatever he had an opinion about, which was usually everything.

A master at telling you that you were full of —-, he’d disarm you with his charm, then skewer you with his wit.

A proud family man, he talked often and at length about his wife Martha, referring to her as mother, and his three sons, Scott, Mark, and Adrian.

Quality Truck and Trailer will now be run by Adrian, who has worked there for years, he dragged Red kicking and screaming into the 20th century, faxes, computers, electronic mail, you name it.

Adrian, you know your dad is going to be proud of you as he looks down from above.

That’s right Red, you’re looking down not up; and quit chuckling at this pretty picture I’ve just painted.

I can almost hear you now telling me I’m full of it.

I’m sure going to miss you my good friend.


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