COLUMN: A fine gentleman, gone too soon

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Tim Mifflin

Rest in Peace, Tim. We will miss you.

Retired Chatham-Kent police Insp. Tim Mifflin passed away recently, yet another death in recent years that hits too close to home.

I had known Tim pretty much ever since I arrived in Chatham in 2001. Our interactions began when I was a reporter and he was, well, a cop.

I soon learned of his involvement in the Chatham Goodfellows, and I’d like to think a mutual respect quickly developed between the two of us.

It evolved over the years into a strange friendship. One would check up on the other periodically, chat sports, policing, beverages, you name it.

Not once did I visit him in his home, or did he come to our place. And I shall always regret that.

Normally, the words flow from me as I type columns. This time, if my writing appears choppy, it is because this one is not easy.

Few people I’ve met were prouder helping others than Tim was. He loved his time with the Goodfellows. I lost track of how many Goodfellows AGMs I attended seated beside him and his amazing wife, Deb.

They did so much together.

When he was still an inspector with CKPS, we’d talk on a host of subjects, but when the pleasantries were done in such conversations and it was interview time, you could almost hear him swap out hats, from friend to police supervisor. His casual tone turned police-formal (trust me, so many cops do this) in terms of giving out information. He pulled the emotion out of the conversation and delivered facts, something I would always rib him about. He could change with the flip of a switch.

After their retirement, Tim and Deb enjoyed their time down in Florida once Goodfellows wrapped up for the season. They’d suffer through the cold and the wet Decembers to help other people before heading to the sunny south.

He’d take photos of a cold can of Yuengling (my favourite American beer) while he was in Florida and send me a text in the middle of my workday. It always generated a laugh.

Or I’d get a phone call from Tim on a beautiful summer day. He made sure to tell me he was in the middle of shooting a round of golf at Maple City Country Club, where he was a member. It was friendly ribbing that he was retired and I wasn’t. These calls made me smile too.

He and Deb always stayed current on events in Chatham-Kent when they were away. Texts and calls would come over various stories we’d covered, regardless of where the Mifflins were.

Tim, I will be sure to have a glass or two of single malt in your honour this week, and will track down a few cans of Yuengling when I am able (you can’t buy it here or in Michigan). The world is a little worse off with you no longer in it.

I expect you’re on the great big golf course in the sky right now. I’d give anything for one final text or call.

 

Those darned birds

Following days of high wind and horizontal rain, we Corcorans were reminded not everything hunkers down in that kind of weather.

Long-time followers of this column will know of battles I once waged with a robin years ago. A dedicated momma robin used to try to nest above our side porch light. I’d catch it early on and pull down the scraps of twigs and grass she had put up there.

It was a daily fight until she realized it was time to move on.

Well, what I can only guess are newer members of her lineage performed a brilliant commando raid on the porch light this year. I don’t think anything was underway in terms of nest construction last Thursday and Friday. But on Sunday, my wife told me they had not only established a beachhead, but the invaders had built their bunker, er, nest.

Sure enough, I went out to take a look and a nice completed nest sat atop our lights. With the potential for eggs to already be in it, I’m not pulling this one down. That will have to wait until after the little ones hatch and fly away.

Sneaky birds.

It is said the early bird catches the worm. I guess the lazy human fails to catch the nest.

The robin has taught me that I had grown complacent, thinking the war was over. Fair enough, little bird, fair enough.

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