John Hull and I met as architecture students at U of T in 1965 and have stayed friends ever since. After graduation, while I went off to work for a Toronto architectural firm, John moved to Rimbey Alberta where his uncle was a homesteader. He's lived there on and off ever since.
An event that has brought us together is the annual Lamb Roast held at the Hull Farm. Now in its 30th year, it has become a major community and family event. In the initial years John arranged to have one of his lambs slaughtered for the occasion. However, now that he has given up the Farmer John role to run an architectural practice in Red Deer, the lamb has come from a variety of sources (including Costco one year in an act of desperation) . This year, John picked up a whole lamb from a nearby farmer, trussed it up and slowly roasted it over charcoal in a makeshift oven .
One of the things that has always astounded me is the diversity of people I meet at the Lamb Roast. While there are some local farmers and residents, many of the people I meet are not that different than those I might meet at a Vancouver party. Indeed, many of them have moved from other parts of Canada and the world.
There was one exception this year, however...Joe Anglin an American-born Canadian politician currently living in nearby Rimbey. The leader of the Alberta Greens from 2008 to 2009, he was recently elected as the local MLA for the Wildrose Party...yes, the Wildrose Party! (I did have to tell him he didn't look to me like a Wildrose Party Candidate. But then again, what does a Wildrose candidate look like?)
The Lamb Roast is a wonderful family event with many three-generation families in attendance. John and Judy's three kids came from Vancouver Island, Canmore, and just down the road. They all brought babies or dogs.
John has built his distinctive home over many decades...and both the inside and outside represent a very different architecture than what he experienced growing up in Toronto or when he lived in Vancouver. But then again, John is the only person I know who once complained that his Kitsilano home had got an overnight parking ticket!
Hopefully I'll be invited back next year! (Yes, that's Claudette Whiting with John in the kitchen.)