My intellectual mentors were two of the most unlikely characters you can imagine. They were both immigrants to Peace River Country from Europe. They were both well read and primarily self-taught learned men, who knew the classics and were prepared to argue politics, religion, or literature with any man walking the earth.
Todd or Tadeusz Podbereski, a huge Pole who stood six foot six and weighed well over 300 pounds, was a devout Catholic who brooded over Homer’s Illiad and could recite several of Shakespeare’s plays and most of the bible from memory. He could never resist the opportunity to assume the role of Falstaff, Shakespeare’s irreverent, glutton, bawdy, profane, drunken, mooching, liar monk: he would abandon his thick Polish accent and employ the overly theatrical method of a Shakespearian actor, in country stores and humble cabins, he’d quote passages that pertained to the daily discourse of almost any situation. Even the most stoic and unromantic watched in silent awe as Todd applied his thespian skills to illustrate an obscure point of conversation.