Jack Couture – the legend that lives on
Following the publication of my article, Phantom-Memoir of the legendary Jack Couture, in this newspaper January 15, and entreating readers who had known or had stories of Jack to get in touch, I received a call from Jack’s grandson Pierre. He greatly contributed to furnishing historical material that went into Jack’s biography, Poolroom and Politics written by Michael P. MacDonald.
Also one of our readers, Cheryl Byrne, dropped off a priceless memento of Jack’s writing at our offices in the Galeries Aylmer.
The precious artefact is a 16-page copy of the Western Quebec Reporter, Scrapbook Edition – Local History and other stories; circa 1965, with a 25¢ selling price. This treasure, says Cheryl, was found among her father Brian Boucher’s possessions after his passing.
Except for Jack’s name on the front page, none of the nearly 40 articles it contains have a byline, which leads one to conclude that every word was written by this prolific author. What’s fascinating about this collection of his stories is that it contains no advertising, but urged readers to “subscribe now”.
Articles about Fierce Raccoons, Frustrated Bees and “The Dog With Nine Lives” and myriad historical oddities mingle. And we learn that Canada’s iconic strongman Louis Cyr was a regular visitor to Aylmer who, however, lost a $10 bet that he could twist any horseshoe into a pretzel. Alas, some of the savvy local blacksmiths made a massive horseshoe fit for an elephant that indeed Cyr couldn’t twist and he lost his bet!
The newspaper, full of photos and so diverse in its articles, surely was a winner with Aylmer readers and shows up Jack’s wide range of interests and deep knowledge of area history.
Thanks Cheryl for sharing this important memorabilia with us.