Monday, July 7, 2008

The 'Late' John 'MAD DOG' Bickerton

John 'MAD DOG' Bickerton
Posted by Jim MacPherson on June 14, 2008 at 10:55am.

I spent all of Friday the 13th driving from Cape Breton to Pickering and my biggest worry was perhaps a speeding ticket in Quebec or the never ending highway project delays. When I arrived this morning I checked my e-mails and saw one from Owen Ritchie that caused me and my prior good mood a huge blow. The subject in Owen's mail read...John Bickerton. Nothing else. I didn't need to see anything else. I knew exactly what it was about. Today I am thankful that I was able to track John down a couple of months ago and talk to him at great length. John and I had a lot of history between us and we were having a good laugh about some of the shit we used to do. I tried to convince John to come out to the 'Traders Reunion' but he didn't sound too hopeful. He told me he didn't even know if he would last that long. Profound words. I could not of course really believe that he was as sick as he told me he was. The John I remembered could take out a bar, or a hockey team, if the notion came to him. I can only think about John in those terms. Big, strong, tough and a party waiting to happen. He was the 'Mad Dog' and he earned that name and reputation through a lot of experience. When we were speaking, for the first time in 15 years, John told me about the waiting list for the double transplant and the hep 'c', which I already knew about. He told me he wasn't too hopeful about the prospects of getting the call. He knew he was a 'low' priority because of the hep 'c' and the extreme damage to his organs. He told me about the trips to the hospital, the long stays in hospital and the tole it was taking on him and his tired body. I tried unsuccessfully to talk him into investigating the possibilities of organ transplant in India, where money talks. He just didn't think that he could do it.We talked lots of shop and John told me he was making a killing on gold and silver recently and that it was keeping him involved in his love of the market. He talked about his family and how he knew that they would be 'alright' when he was gone. He talked about his folks and was interrested in checking out my properties in Cape Breton as a possiblility for them in retirement.Although he sounded less like the 'booming' voiced hellion of his earlier days, there was never a sense of resignation to his situation...more like a realistic view of things.When I was at the traders reunion and was telling people that I was in touch with John I got some interresting responses when I told them of his situation. Some rumors had him 'hiding out' from the russian mob because he scammed them out of a small fortune. Another rumor was that he had made a ton in the market and was living in the south seas with a harem. John was bigger than life and his rumors followed suit. Everyone, except those who knew the truth, seemed shocked that he was this sick. They, for the same reasons as myself, could hardly believe that John, MAD DOG Bickerton could succumb to anything. Unfortunately, we were all wrong. John did succumb and we are now left with the memories and the great stories that I am sure will grow in proportion to the man they represent.When I called Rick Walker today to inform him, which he had already been, he said something interresting when I said how shocked I was by this news of John's death. He said, to paraphrase, "I am not really shocked. When you consider the life we all lived and the age we all are at now, there will be a lot more of these calls comming sooner rather than later. Sometimes I feel like I am on borrowed time already and one of these days the shoe will hit the floor" or something to that effect.For those of us still dumb enough to take ourselves and our friends from the TSE for granted, Rick's words will become very relevant...sooner rather than later. John Bickerton was a love him or hate him guy...much like myself, I suspect! John Bickerton was a really wonderful guy to me and always treated me fairly and respectfully. Not everyone felt the same way, for their own reasons, but none can deny the effect John had on all of our lives. He will not be forgotten by me, and I suspect, anyone else that knew him. My eyes are welling up now. That's for you John! Wherever you are now has just become a much more interresting place.Rest In Peace Brother

1 Comments Add Comment
"My deepest and sincere sympathies go out to John's family. " wrote Jim MacPherson on June 14, 2008 at 11:00AM.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John Bickerton was my uncle. Thank you for this.

Harmony Bickerton