Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I found a friend

Friends are seldom so numerous that one can lose one without feeling the loss. In my case this truism is truer than it would be if applied to others.

As more and more people have come on line over the past fifteen years I've held a couple of people that I wished I could get in contact with again. One of them was a friend of mine during my late teen years called Ken.

Ken's father was the pastor of the little church we frequented at that time of my life, the Yellowknife Pentecostal Tabernacle. Ken was smarter than me but he liked me and I had something that he didn't seem to have: an ease of rapport with people and a determination and surety of destiny. I didn't know a lot but I was sure of a few basics. It was a primitive and childish form of charisma because I found myself a natural leader — not in form but rather in fact.

In turn I liked Ken because he seemed to know hundreds of things that I didn't know and was good at them. He knew history; I merely liked history. He excelled in maths; I merely tried. After graduation we both got a job as Supervisor at the local Correctional Institute. Later on we took a train across Canada to attend Expo67 and generally did quite a lot of things together because we were complimentary.

My brother Bryan tipped me off last week to a web site of lawyers that listed someone of Ken's name (last name withheld to protect the innocent — him) because he'd heard that Ken was working out there.

I crawled the site and came up with both a photo and an email address for this man and thought I'd give him an electronic shout. This morning I heard back from him, a warm letter letter of understandable surprise asking for my news.

Instead of giving him the address of this blog as I should have I rambled on about a few things I remember him for to see if I could jog up some reciprocal recollections. Then I told him briefly what I have been up to recently (the last forty years condensed to a paragraph) and invited him to do the same.

After sending it I realized it would have been a nice idea to have sent him a recent photo of myself. Well, I can always do that next time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Snaps from Raph

Today Raph & Camille and Jonathan & Debbie went out for a bite to eat together with their five children. Here are a couple of pictures from the occasion that I thought you'd enjoy.

Dave's first frogs' legs

Gummy reclining at table

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


We live, of course, in a republic. Lately I've been thinking a lot about different forms of government and doing a little analysis of the whole spectrum, trying to rid myself of emotive terms void of real meaning and reduce things to their basics.

One of the things we are consistently treated to on the popular media is the idea that France is a democracy. It was hearing someone on the radio casually assume this idea that started my recent thinking in this direction.

I'm inclined to post a very succinct quote from a British professor Alexander Fraser Tytler who wrote,

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can exist only until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess (defined as a liberal gift) out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a dictatorship."

It seems to me that a great many people in America also have the idea that their government is a democracy and are busy acting like it. It is certainly to be hoped that France can shake off such ideas and learn from mistakes others are making and keep to its republican base.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The wedding

Those of you who haven't asked yet have been thinking so hard that I've heard you: What about the most important wedding of the year?

So much to say and words just won't do. After much deliberation and even more hesitation Nathalie married Gérard today here in Marçon. I almost said "Gérard, Romain, and Céline" for lest you not be aware, Gérard was a widower and was coping as best he could raising the two children, ten and twelve years old respectively.

The Lord graciously provided the perfect weather they needed to make the day a hundred percent success. After the civil ceremony we were all invited to participate in the celebration of their union in the church just next door.

Gérard is a municipal employee so had a lot of well-wishers present. Nathalie's family was all present and accounted for. Everyone went to a lot of work to provide her with a happy and memorable day.

And so the wheels turn and enmesh with other gears and we all enter into another epoch.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An old photograph

Without looking for it I found this old photograph of myself with little Ammi this morning in a box in my office. It's a Polaroid print and dated on the back "March 19, 1977 — Malta" which was thirty-three years ago last month.

As I remember it was taken outside the place we were staying in a village on the south coast called Birzebbuga. I'd never seen such warm buildings in the intense sun reflecting off them making everywhere bright, even at that time of year.

Friday, April 09, 2010


Thoughts on my birthday

• Well, I made it. Thank you, Lord Jesus.

• At my age you're not too interested in balloons, cakes, and candles. Every birthday becomes a grateful milestone. Thankful to be alive and thankful not to be sick.

• First thing upon arrival at the office this morning an email came breezing in from Raphaël, who is in Bordeaux this week wishing me a happy birthday. I thought that was very considerate of him.

• A few days ago I received a card from my brother which said "The secret of a life well-lived is not in counting the years but in making the years count." which was well put. Enclosed was an old photo of myself playing an electric guitar and singing on stage. Bryan guessed on the back that it dated from 1968 or 1969 but I think he was off by a couple of years. The photo was of me with the Red Mountain Guitar Group in Aklavik which was in 1964-5. By 1967 we were in Yellowknife — the year of my senior matriculation.

• For the past sixty-one years I can never pass a ninth of April without thinking of my birthday. For me there is something wonderfully special about the month of April. April is Spring, sun, flowers, and light.

• In the mail this morning was a pretty card from my sister Cynthia. She was born while I was playing the guitar in the Red Mountain Guitar Group — in 1965. I'm amused by her scribbled note on the outside of the envelope saying, "Sorry this will be late ..." which, of course, it wasn't. Thank you, Cynthia.

• Every ninth of April for the past 32 years Sarah and I have eaten strawberries. Little traditions like this are meaningless in themselves but give a semblance of stability to the fragility of our lives.

• Aunty always sent me a card, every year, and it always arrived on time. That's how she was.

• Later on in the afternoon Rosemary wrote with greetings and then in the evening (my evening, her morning) Ammi called and we had a nice chat. Anything that helps people keep in touch is a good thing and it sure was good to hear from her and to get news of Zack and the children.

• It shouldn't be possible but I am now older than my daddy ever was.