Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mr. Hill

This morning I read with sadness of the passing of James (Jim) Hill, the man whose store, Hill's of Kerrisdale, has kept me clothed in the manner I have grown accustomed to since the age of ten, when my mother first took me there one rainy Saturday afternoon to purchase my first pair of jeans (Levi's orange tabs, in advance of those super tight French jeans above). This was back when the store was located across the street from where it is now, before it took over the former Woolworth's, where I purchased glue for my models, but only with a note from my mom.

I have fond memories of the earlier Hill's store, particularly of its sales staff, who were much older than the kids on the floor today. One of these staffers was a portly, sandy-haired man who wore around his neck a tape measure and would make my mom weepy with tales of his ailing wife, whom he visited daily, and how good it was to work for the Hills. To this day my mother often makes mention of this man and how he would cook bacon for his wife and bring it to her in a thermos, hospital food being what it is.

Mr. Hill's obituary mentions that a service will be held this Friday at St. Mary's Anglican, where my mother married my father and where I was a cub scout and a boy scout. As much as I would like to wear to this service something purchased from Hill's, the store does not specialize in suits (suits were purchased five stores west, at Finn's of Kerrisdale). So I will wear instead a suit I had made for me about ten years ago at Modernize Tailors, a company that has been in business since 1913 -- a year before the Hills first opened their doors.

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