Visited mom in Vancouver and she made me go through my big precious box from childhood that she has been lugging around so many years while moving from place to place in Vancouver and paying for the storage. Most of it was photographs, but I did manage to greatly reduce the box of sentimental paraphernalia and following are my favourite pics of the ones I saved. Lets take a journey down memory lane.
Following is a collage of my favourite pics on mom’s red Persian carpet (click on any of the pics below to see in full size).
What ever happened to this “nice boy”, as my mom constantly refers to me back then?
… when he turned into this?
Perhaps it is due to my evil twin sister!
At start the world seemed my oyster and anything was possible.
But life has a habit of playing little tricks on you.
Launching with smashing success in my educational career. It was actually amazing. I was learning origami at the time and also experimenting with various paper airplane designs. I felt I had mastered it, but the one I made for this competition was by far the best. We all made our planes together and then, on the teacher’s command, launched them into the air. I threw mine straight up and it almost made it to the very top of the gym. From there it straightened into a horizontal flight path, slightly tilted to descend in a very slow circular motion to the bottom. It seemed to take an entire minute while we were all gawking upwards. All the other planes were long dead by the time mine gracefully skid onto the floor.
With these stellar academic achievements in primary school, I now looked forward to a bright future, all decked up in a lawyer’s outfit at this private school on Vancouver Island.
But again, life likes to play tricks on you and I befriended this devious fellow, now still a good buddy, Dean.
Then it was off to university, where I befriended more devious fellows, who I liked to refer to as “The Pigs” (long story).
Graduation night at Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario.
The university boasted the second highest alcohol consumption of all universities in North America, second only to some small town college in the United States where I believe the hillbillies were intermarrying in the boondocks.
What you see here is “froshweek”, or freshman’s week. Where first year newcomers are publicly abused for a week by the veterans. It is a fantastic week of the sweetest debauchery.
Here is one of my university friends as we drove together westward across Canada prior to one of my treeplanting summers.
In Moosejaw, Alberta, we decided to go out dancing. The local pub had a big square dance floor where everyone, wearing cowboy hats, were square dancing. It was bizarre to watch. Finally there was a break and we hit the dance floor to something remotely resembling disco, but I noticed a lot of glares at my friend. Obviously her style was simply too riske for this little pumpkin town.
This is Linda my housemate during second year of university. She is a social worker upping her education and a totally cool person.
But life is spicy when you keep moving on. This is the end of my last year when I decided to shave my head to symbolize a new beginning and before I launched into my longest treeplanting season prior to beginning some career, whatever that was supposed to be.
But before I went treeplanting, a distant voice called to me in an effort to get me back onto track. My little brother here in Boulder, Colorado.
I made the greatest effort, in this case accompanying my sister on the piano while my brother stood suspiciously in the background.
And his suspicions were founded as I soon found myself back in Vancouver with the dope boys, shortly before heading out for a new life in Toronto.
During the summers at the private highschool at Brentwood on Vancouver island, I spent them up in the Yukon. It was a wonderful time of my life and I made some great friends. We’d go on three day camping trips in the wilderness of the Yukon or Alaska, and often fell asleep on the roof to watch the amazing northern lights. This friend I visited in Winnipeg during my two years in Banff, Alberta (coming up).
Now I’m in Toronto in an attic I renovated myself, thinking about what to do next. Simplicity is nice.
The streets of Toronto. In this city many people get offended if you look into their eyes while walking by or on the subway metro. It was hard for me to do because I love people watching.
On this street was a super cheap movie theatre where we would like to watch 4 b-rated movies in a row for two bucks. They were often so terrible it was hilarious to watch. Or there would be couples making out, maybe even having sex, as the place was usually mostly empty. Or some bum would snore sleeping in his chair, waking up once in a while to holler obscenities at the screen, to which we joyfully always responded, “Aaaaah, shatup!”
Toronto was also a cool place to meet James Dean types.
This is when I was working in a sexy bar.
This is a good friend who also moved to Toronto and who I first met in Banff. She has since then moved to Sweden, has two sons and we are still in touch.
A girl model I befriended while a security guard at an apartment building. With my master key we would rotate through the different storage rooms or penthouse roof to stir some mischief. Rumours circulated throughout the building concerning my misconduct with this tenant and eventually the manager caught us chatting in the security office room. I was instantly fired from this location, but the security company knew I was reliable and simply shifted me to another location. It was actually quite an interesting job for six months in Toronto as I worked in many locations.
Alas, I contemplated for yet another change. After two years in Toronto living in several locations and working various jobs. Will have to be part of some future book!
Should I move on to some fancy place, perhaps Europe?
Or get back to some nitty gritty roots in the country?
Decided on Banff, Alberta. A wonderful roughly three years of beautiful nature.
This is the village itself. Mostly for the tourist season but not a far drive to several ski villages and a vibrant local community.
Excellent hiking all over.
And also the proud home of the famous Banff Springs Hotel where the Shining with crazy Jack Nicholson was filmed.
And it is in this beautiful town that I met the beautiful Cherokee Patricia, who became my best friend for a very long time.
Well, I also met other people.
But Pat was special. I think in this case she may have even done my laundry!
We’d go on frequent hikes…
… but in this case, while she was waiting for me below, I decided to crawl up as high as I could. Once I finally reached a point where it was getting too difficult, I turned around to see this. Took me about 15 minutes to calm down, my knees were shaking. Thankfully I found this lone ledge to stand on. The first bit was the hardest descent, to find where to place my foot, but then it got easier. In any case it was one of my closest near death experiences.
Pat also introduced me to her best friend and girl-of-my-forever-dreams, Vicky.
And lastly she also introduced me to treeplanting, another fantastic chapter of my life. Here I believe I might be in Hyder Alaska drinking 190 proof (95% alcohol) moonshine. Feels like gasoline on the tongue!
She eventually became a foreman of our company, but we still remained the best of friends..
It was the hardest job of my life and I learned that suffering is all in the head and that one can overcome or achieve anything if they simply set their mind to it.
Planting 700,000 trees over seven summers mostly in British Colombia, which they call “God’s country” here, I witnessed some utterly breathtaking scenery.
And made some great friends for life.
And explored some beautiful terrain, although in this case I think this is back in the Yukon during my highschool years.
This is Keith back in Vancouver from the Yukon and I think it was him standing on the left in the previous photo. A good friend and we were just screwing around with my flash and camera in his basement flat.
But after that crazy adventure during my young years, what did I decide for the rest of my life? Well, to be a regular hillbilly of course!