Lawrence David Lederman is an old friend. When I first moved to Cleveland in 1990, he was the Canadian Consul-General to Cleveland, and we became friendly. After a few years, when he returned to Canada, we lost touch until a few years ago we realized we had good mutual friends. Since he comes to Cleveland often, we always go out for dinner, drinks, football games, etc. He often invited me to visit Ottawa (that’s the national capital city of Canada, FYI), but other things got in the way.
Last spring, his invitation struck home. Needing a step back from a precipice on which I teetered, a trip to another country sounded like fun. I’d visited Toronto before, but never Ottawa.
I had no idea how beautiful a city Ottawa is. The ancient Parliament takes one’s breath away with its gothic beauty, the rest of the architecture exists in a fascinating marriage between gothic and ultra-modern, the Canadians are friendly and open, the women are beautiful, and there are so many ambassadors from foreign lands who make Ottawa their home that I never stopped being impressed, having greeted ambassadors from Vietnam, China, Cuba, Croatia, Serbia, Guatemala, Albania, Estonia, and a few more I couldn’t keep track of—-PLUS the recently retired Canadian ambassadors to Russia, Ukraine, Ireland, Chile and Peru (I spoke at a rollicking dinner-and-drinks party for the lot of them), and everyone else Larry Lederman knows. And that means EVERYBODY.
There are beautiful parks, rivers and canals close to downtown Ottawa, there’s a Chinatown and a Little Italy, there’s good music, good theater and good art, spectacular food, and people from all over the world speaking different languages. Washington D.C. is naturally like that, too—but beautiful Washington is not quite as warm and friendly.
Larry is one of the most delightful guys I know—smart as hell, funny, knowledgable about his government and mine (he got us invited to the “Question Session” in Parliament where each side demands an answer from the other party, which is required to come up with a GOOD answer. I realize the U.S. Congress argues with each other, but this looked more to me like a bar brawl in a John Wayne western.) Larry kept me entertained and amused for five solid days.
Several people, Larry Lederman included, suggested I come back to Ottawa next spring with my recorder, and take notes about a novel they all want me to set in Ottawa, maybe as an eventual sequel to “WET WORK.”
Well—you never know….
Get Blog Updates via Email