Kawartha Lakes Public Library - Digital Collections
Looking Back: Elmer and his chewing tobacco

Hooper, John, Author
Media Type:
Item Type:
Written: 24 March 2000
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.35012 Longitude: -78.73286
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Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rightsholder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Lindsay, ON K9V 2Y6
(705) 324-5632

Full Text

Back in 1947, Gwen Lindop and a close girlfriend, whose name also happened to be Gwen, enrolled in Robertson's Hairdressing Academy in Toronto.

While attending Robertson's they stayed with a couple by the name of Helen and Elmer Puffer. They knew the Puffers through the former Gwen's father and they were frequent visitors to the Minden-Haliburton areas.

At the time, Mr. Puffer had become stricken with diabetes and took his insulin on a daily basis. Eventually Elmer had to have his legs amputated as a result of the diabetes and was confined to a wheelchair. His dear wife looked after him like the child they never had.

She gave him his shots, lit his cigars for him, fed him and yes, even saw to it that he had his chewing tobacco.

It was more common for him to chew when she would wheel him out on the veranda where he didn't need to be overly careful where he spat. And she would often roll the wheelchair down three steps and onto the street where she would take him for a walk and a little fresh air.

One day the latter Gwen and her husband drove up to the house in a beautiful new car to take the Puffers out for a ride.

Insisting on helping down the steps in his wheelchair, against Mrs. Puffer's wishes, they accidentally tipped the wheelchair and Elmer rolled out on the lawn. Seeing that he was not hurt, they placed him in the back seat of the car, folded up the wheelchair, place it in the car trunk and went to take their seats in the care and take off on their little pleasure trip.

As they opened the car doors, there sat Elmer, quite contented with arms folded and spewing his tobacco juice out the rear passenger seat window of the car. At this point all Hades broke loose; the rear window hadn't been turned down and the results of his spitting was running down the car's upholstery!

As time passes, all was forgiven and the Puffers did get to enjoy a ride in the new car, sans Elmer's chewing tobacco.

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Looking Back: Elmer and his chewing tobacco