This is a small story celebrating the life of a man you have never met and likely will never meet. It is unlikely you have even heard of him and after reading this you will likely never hear about him again.
He has led a small life performing an undemanding task that could be performed by just about anyone. He has not sought fame or glory and is astonished now to find himself being noticed.
Chances are you don't live in the Scarborough area of Toronto, but if you did and if you had ever been to the movies you would have met James Loader.
You may not have known his name, but you sure know his face. Linda and I remember him from the Cedarbrae Theatres where he collected our tickets and directed us to our theatre for over 20 years.
After Cedarbrae closed he could be found working at Fairview or $2.00 ticket days at the massive Scarborough Mall. For the last seven years James has been ripping our ticket at the Cineplex Morningside and 401 theatre and without anyone knowing it, he has become one common denominator that unites us all.
In a world where human relationships become more and more impersonal and you never get the same waitress no matter how many times you visit the same restaurant, James has been working for the same theatre chain for over 40 years. And now, thanks to Gus Saurer of Port Union, James is finally getting a little appreciation.
Gus is the creator of the "Old Man Who Rips Your Tickets at the Morningside Theatre Appreciation Page" on Facebook. Since putting the page up a couple of months ago, over 11,000 local residents have joined to show their appreciation.
Perhaps even more astonishing, over 1500 of them took the time to leave comments and memories of James. All of them are shocked to discover there is one person, one face, one everyday experience, they all share in common. They have all been to the show and they have all had their tickets ripped by James.
There is even a move under way to get James nominated for the Scarborough Walk of Fame. If being instantly recognizable by virtually everyone of the 500,000 people who live in Scarborough counts as fame, James' nomination is a sure thing.
As one Facebook fan puts it, "James is a great guy. He has been working in the cinema's for a long time. I have known him for about 20 years. He used to belong to the same church that I went to. He is truly a very nice person. He has a son, and lives with him. Lost his wife years ago, sad to say. He will greatly appreciate this fan club on his behalf and he really deserves this. He is truly a wonderful man, and is in the right job where he enjoys being of public service."
As local newspapers picked up on the story, the Cineplex chain named him their employee of the Month and featured him in a cover story in their staff magazine.
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