Remembering Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister found a cache of old photos during her isolation house cleaning & sent a jpeg of this one of me as a very wee lad in Wales. I have very vague memories of the several months I spent there but it was pre-kindergarten years. I was an only child, we were living in Winnipeg – where I was born. We were visiting my mother’s huge family in Merthyr Tydfil. By huge I mean at least 10 bothers & sisters. I had lots of aunts, uncles & even some cousins.

How did we get there? I vaguely remember spending time on a liner – The Franconia II (?). We did have a photo of the boat for many years & my sister may yet find that 🙂 as she digs though decades of papers.

It must have been a cool day in Cardiff as I’m wearing top coat & well wrapped in a scarf. Anyway the most telling thing about the photo is the rather wide belt. I was a hyper child & the only way my mother could keep me from climbing light poles was to keep me tethered. I’ve marked the actual tether & its shadow in one of the pictures. I remember the tethering but have no memory of the cause 🙂

 

The other pictures are of a more mature me – all unearth by my sister several years ago. On the beach at Broad Cove along the Cabot Trail. I loved that hat & stuck feathers in it. The shirt had blue stripes. I also love what we called ‘pit socks’ thick wooled, not exactly summer wear. The child I’m dragging might be one of my sisters but looking closely at it I doubt think so.

Next is me in a nice white shirt, possibly one of my Dad’s. The car was Prefect that my dad bought me to teach me how to drive. We’re at Memorial Gardens so I could drive around the road there. Despite the nerd look I never did learn to drive 🙂

 

The final ‘remember me’ is early 70’s in my almost hippy days 🙂 US draft dodgers had bought & started a farm in vape Breton. We became friends & I visited them a few times. I had a crush on a couple of the guys but didn’t know how to go from thought to action. Other than hair (& weight) I haven’t really changed much, have I?

Odds 

these days if I don’t know 

I’m willing to step up and say so

I no longer waste time 

with bluffing and postulating

on what I thought it might be

wasting time 

on half right information

that gets no one anywhere 

except back to blame

blame an easy place to get trapped

it means not going forward 

but is the ideal excuse

to look for what went wrong

that might have been avoided 

if i had been willing at one point

to say 

I don’t really know

my guess 

isn’t going to be close enough 

let’s get the right info 

then see where that leads us

because sometimes 

even knowing isn’t the solution

I have the right fact for the wrong situation

I may have no idea 

what the fuck is going on

so it is better 

to make that clear from the start

let someone else 

with half right information 

take the lead

so we have someone to blame

though sometimes 

there is no right or wrong way to go

it’s just important to go

to not stay stuck 

waiting for a clear sign

for verifiable facts 

to present themselves

but waiting can be 

such comforting thing to do

a great place to be

in which nothing gets done

and no one is to blame

we may not get ahead of the game

but at least were still in it aren’t we

I don’t know

there see I’ve admitted it

I don’t know 

if we’re in the game or not

I don’t know 

how to find out either

does it matter

is it all really a game 

or is that an allegorical handle

used to make things 

seem more manageable

one that does really work

because rules shift so fast

it’s impossible to keep up with them

impossible to repeat 

them make them work

we have to keep plugging 

away on available information

be prepared for change

take another step 

in some direction

think we get the clear sign

step up 

and get flatten 

by an on coming car

I hear that can happen

that’s why I’m afraid 

of winning the lottery

42 million dollars at last 

& a piano falls on me

as I go to the bank to cash the cheque

no I’m not a fatalist

a pigeon could shit me 

on the way to the bank

but that’s the worse 

regardless of how big the cheque is

or is it a cheque 

an automatic bank transfer

a few click of keys 

it’s in my account

I don’t know

I’d love to find out 

I’m willing to learn

I am open to suggestion

to new information

but this is postulating

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees – thankspaypal.me/TOpoet 

August Recap September Sneak Peek

August was my best month yet for this blog – one day getting 100 hits – severals days over 60. Canada at the top of the hit list, India 2nd place, USA 3rd, with !! Kenya 4th. The blog now has 345 followers (up from 298 at the start of the year). 216 Twitter followers;239 Tumblr followers. Steady increase is best. Managed to keep plugging away on Coal Dusters while I was in Cape Breton with 126,000 words posted so far – maybe another 15,000 to go to wrap things up.

The visit to Cape Breton was leisurely & energizing. Spent time with some old friends, got to some AA meetings, drove all over the area – the furthest was to Baddeck. Took lots of pictures, many of which I have been used here. Blogged everyday while I was gone, some days twice. Who knew I had so much o say, right. My favorite pictures have to be the big blue sky shots. But the ones of objects from my past are sweet as well, in particular the cover of the Oxford Dictionary.

Hot Damn! pulled of a bonus round 🙂 with an open stage as part of the Bricks & Glitter Festival. A Monday night show that was full to capacity. That’s right Monday night. It makes it clear the the show serves as valued opportunity for the community. The season 6 launch is September 24 at Buddies in bad Times.

Also coming up in September are a couple day-trip theatre outings. First to see Mae West’s “Sex” at Niagara-on-the-Lake. This is the play she went to prison for because it was lewd & immoral. I’ve done a bit of research & it was more because she was an amazing successful woman. The following week we’re off to Stratford to see Little Shop Of Horrors. I’ve seen different productions of the musical before, as well the original film & the movie of the musical. It all depends on the romantic chemistry between Seymour & Audrey 2.

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy ice-cream in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Cape Breton Reflections

My visit to Cape Breton had me living in many worlds – my memories, my sister’s memories, the present day & the fictional worlds of Emile Zola’s amazing Au Bonheur des Dames, & Aliette de Bodard’s Servant of the Underworld, set in the fifteenth-century Aztec Empire (which I was reading alternate chapters from on my Kindle.) Both of which I’d highly recommend.

The weather was perfect – hot, sunny & not overly humid. The Travelodge was the right distance from the downtown – I could walk where I wanted in 40-50 minutes – which is my usual daily walking routine so I certainly got my steps in. I deliberately didn’t use my iPod so that I was present for the walks. Only listened to my airmac iTunes when I was writing & even then I enjoyed working in ‘silence’ most of the time.

I did a couple of my school walks but retracing those steps wasn’t the point of this trip. The same with meeting up with a few old friends – it was more about today than reflecting on the times we spent together. Though the past did provide a few highlights in my sister’s house, which is the one we grew up in. The old dictionary was sweet to leaf through, the silver set was similarly sweet to see & handle. The chest it was in was enough at first then we opened it up! The Singer 🙂

Visiting the Fortress of Louisbourg is always fun, taking pictures was even more fun. Seeing the wind turbine farm at Lingan was a totally new memory. Finding a bunch of original Whitman YA novels on my last full day was a treat too. I can’t wait to read them 🙂

The flight back to Toronto was trouble free, as it should be right? There was a team of young athletes from the Ontario Track & Field association heading back on the flight – wearing red, white jackets. I had opted to wear the red hoodie I’d bought so I did get some interesting reactions as they wondered why they hadn’t seen this guy at their events.

I didn’t get to do everything I set out to do, which is a good things – I’ll have stuff to do on my next visit.

Cape Breton Day 9

A fun day of driving & dining that started with a morning walk to a great recovery meeting. Did my first Tim Horton’s stop of the trip. The coffee is no longer stronger than than Toronto’s. I like morning meetings as a way to start a day. Familiar faces are comforting. All the meetings I went to turned out to be topic-suggested-by-members meetings. I suppose there are some that discuss the literature. All started with the serenity prayer 🙂 & all ended with the Lord’s Prayer :-(. No hand holding to deal with.

Walked up to my sister’s & took the Terrace St. hills I used to walk to Sydney Academy. They seemed much steeper then. My sister had dug out some old photo albums, one that included some toddler pics of me. After a few minutes of looking though them & taking pictures of pictures we headed out on the day’s real adventures.

 

My Dad was fond of taking us kids for country drives and my sister has the driving bug in her blood too. our first real stop was in Sydney Mines so I could get pictures of the Municipal Region Police Station that was once a Customs House. An impressive building that dates back to the early 1900’s. It certainly stands out amidst the endless aluminium sided boxes that abound everywhere. Why does progress mean lack of architectural character?

 

 

Next we went to North Sydney. I was hoping to find out information about the German U-Boat that surfaced in the harbour – the local citizens jumped dirtier boats to defend out shores. North Sydney was a major communications hub & thus targeted by the Nazis.

Blank faces were all I got from the staff. I did get lots of pics though included some of a 1918 fire engine. We had a decent lunch at The Black Spoon. I was hoping the name referred to some naval jargon or iron smelting but Black was the last name of the owner.

Tomorrow Fort Petrie.