Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I was visiting my hometown of Levack this past weekend and was disturbed to see on the front page of The Sudbury Star, a picture of an old childhood friend, Jeff Mason alongside an article entitled: Concern growing for missing man.

Jeff was last heard from on November 15th, and early on the morning of November 16th, his home in Dowling was broken into and set fire to. Around the same time, his car was found abandoned and set ablaze in nearby Sudbury.

Nobody has heard from Jeff other than a voice mail message left on that Tuesday and a single bank transaction on the Wednesday.

Sudbury Rainbow Crimestoppers is now offering a $2000 reward for information leading to the location of Jeff. For the sake of Jeff and his family, I hope that he IS safe somewhere.

But while in Levack, I heard a rumour that the fires might have something to do with the Hell's Angels. For Jeff's sake I hope those rumours are just that. Because if there's any truth to them, it's likely that the only place they'll find my old childhood chum is buried in an anonymous grave somewhere. Every time that Francine and I drove past the home on Highway 144, charred and abandoned and surrounded by yellow police tape, my heart sank, and emotions ran high.

I've been thinking a lot about Jeff and about the fun we had as kids growing up in Levack, playing street hockey, riding our bikes, building log fort cabins in the woods behind his house on First Avenue. I was also reminiscing with another buddy who was even closer to Jeff when they were young, laughing about one of his first memories of Jeff as the snotty faced younger brother with the wild long blond hair, chasing his older sister all the way to school because he wanted to kiss her goodbye.

I remember spending a lot of time laughing with Jeff when we were younger. And then, in our high school years we slowly drifted apart. Sure, we occasionally saw each other and did share some laughs and fun, but over time, the day to day interactions were less and less frequent as we grew in separate ways. Isn't it strange the way someone that was so much a part of your life and daily activities can one day be moving in a different direction than you. I sometimes find myself marveling in sadness at the thought.

Some of my last memories of Jeff are when I was working at a summer job at Alo-Tech in Onaping -- this was back in the summer of either 1990 or 1991. I was working as an assistant lacky/go-fer, low on the food chain with the actual qualified guys like Jeff who were certified welders. I think that was the last time I'd ever had a conversation with Jeff, in this atmosphere of hard work and fun masculine ribbing, and I'll never forget the proud smile on his face as he showed me his recently acquired welding certification. A smile not unlike the one that the newspaper is printing in the articles in the search for Jeff. Jeff has aged well, grew up to become a handsome man, and I imagine that he still enjoyed laughing with his family and friends just as much as when we were kids.

So I'm saying a quick prayer for Jeff's well-being, and hoping against hope that his family will find him safe and sound, far from harm, far from the dark rumours of the bad people who might have had something in for him. And as I think and pray for Jeff, I'm hearing him call me "Lefebvre" in the derogatory way we started calling each other by our last names some time during our high school years, and as I think of him I'm finding myself speaking the words aloud: "God be with you, Mason."


lime said...

oh that is terribly disturbing news. i certainly pray the worst imaginings are not true and that he will be returned safely and soon to the loving arms of his family and friends.

Anonymous said...

my thoughts are with him and his loved ones.

keep hope Mark. that's all you can do.

Regal said...

TAG - you're it - c'mon over and read my blog and see what's in store for you - hope you have the time to participate. Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

That is disturbing. It got me thinking about the friends I grew up with... and the different directions we all took.

Anonymous said...

Wow...that one hit me in the throat.

Anonymous said...

My Prayers are with him and his family. May he return safe and sound.

Mantaray Ocean

Anonymous said...

I was going to comment on your HNT, but this one caught my attention more. I hope your friend is found safe and sound I guess this is a reminder to keep our loved ones close. Best of luck

Franny said...

That's not good at all...don't know what to say because it all looks a little grim.

I hope I'm wrong.

You never think stuff like this happens to real people.