The Gladstone Cowboy: The Passing of an Icon
Hank Young, the "Gladstone Cowboy" was the charismatic operator of the Gladstone's meticulously restored Victorian elevator. Hank first set foot in the Gladstone as a young country and western musician from Halifax in 1961. Over the years Hank had become a well known neighbourhood character and familiar figure on stage in the Gladstone's Melody Bar. His first gig as a musician was here at the hotel. For more than a decade he's been a favourite during the Melody Bar's weekly karaoke nights. He regularly brings the house down with his rendition of "Hey Good Lookin". He's sung it more times than he can count! During the daytime, dressed in his trademark cowboy gear, Hank shuttled guests between floors in the hotel's hand-operated Otis elevator. Hank considered himself to be an official ambassador of the Gladstone and proudly regales guests with details of the past (his own and the hotel's)!
The Gladstone Cowboy
It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Hank Young our beloved Gladstone Cowboy on Saturday October 24, 2009.
Hank began his career at the Gladstone Hotel singing Karaoke in 1961. Since then his signature song “Hey Good Looking” has been a staple of Saturday night karaoke. In 2005 Hank became the pilot of our historic hand operated elevator and began his unofficial career as the ambassador of the Gladstone.
Charismatic, caring and 100% committed to anything that he took on, Hank was not only an ambassador of the Gladstone; he was an ambassador of Toronto. He had the capacity to make everyone feel welcome. Visitors to the Gladstone would delight in his stories and sought him out as a treasure of our city. He was adored locally and internationally and was constantly the recipient of gifts from his fans all over the world. He conducted popular tours of the hotel on Sundays that included a visit to room 414 which features Gladstone Cowboy wallpaper. He made sure wherever he went people knew how much he loved the Gladstone.
Hank also loved the staff at the Gladstone. He was always in a good mood and had a story to tell. He was generous, always giving us presents: portraits of him that have been created by various artists or his CD recorded at the Gladstone that he was very proud of.
It is slowly sinking in that our Cowboy won’t greet us when we walk through the doors of the hotel but he lives on in our hearts and will be there with us, always.
Services will be held from 5-9pm on Wednesday October 28th and Thursday October 29th at Bates & Dodds Funeral Services, 931 Queen St. West Toronto, with a special service on Thursday at 8pm.
Please join the family and the Gladstone, on Thursday October 29th at 9pm on the second floor of the Gladstone Hotel, after the service, where we will celebrate Hank’s life.
Organizing is underway for a Gladstone Cowboy Tribute Night in November. Please check our website for updates.