There are still a number of [Leonard Cohen’s] classmates around, as well as his former babysitters [in 2012]. I only ever saw him twice in Westmount, once eating a banana outside of a fruit shop. The other time was at a bead emporium 25 years ago, where teenage girls gathered every Saturday to buy beads. Leonard was standing there as an indulgent father and Westmounters, being so polite, we pretended not to notice. I worked as a men’s clothing salesman in high school selling the Freedman line, which was the Cohen family’s topcoat and cashmere overcoat brand. Leonard came back here to raise his children and in the local alternative high school, you had Adam Cohen, Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright in the same class. You didn’t want to say much if you knew Leonard. The line went: If you were a friend of Leonard Cohen and told people you were friend of Leonard Cohen, you were no longer a friend of Leonard Cohen.
From Leonard Cohen: Portrait of the artist as an older man Ben Kaplan National Post: January 31, 2012. Terry (T. F.) Rigelhof is a Canadian novelist and academic. Photos by Johann Agust Hansen.