Archive for April 9, 2015



 9 April 2015

“Hi Chuck, I see the rain has held off.”

‘For a while anyway.”

“I notice that you’re not using your new vehicle.”

“No, I’m going to wait until the weather is warmer. Otherwise I’d be sitting here in my walker. It doesn’t have a cushion and without a blanket I nearly froze the other day.

“Did I ever tell you about my brother, Bill? He died about four years ago. We got really close towards the end. He used to work at the Canadian Forces Station in Churchill. It was part of the Canadian Forces Supplementary Radio System. He was a weather-man in what was known as the polar bear capital of the world. It was very isolated. One time they ran out of food, cigarettes and liquor. When the plane finally arrived with their supplies, the entire base went on a three-day bender. It’s a good thing there wasn’t a national emergency during that period.

“Bill had squandered most of this armed forces pay, but one thing he did was buy a Gibson twelve-string electric guitar. He’d go to a bar, play his guitar and never have to buy a drink. He didn’t make any money, but what he put away in drinks was worth a fortune.

“After he split with his wife he really got into the booze. He wasn’t even coherent. I had him stay at my place, put two sofas together so he wouldn’t fall and hurt himself while sleeping. It took a while, but I gradually weaned him off the beer. He was grateful to me for doing that and we remained close until he died. I always thought that I’d die before him — actually I did, but they revived me in hospital.

“Sometimes people ask me why I’m out here. I could stay home, collect my pension, but I wouldn’t have any quality of life. I’d barely scrape by and I’d be bored to death. I’d probably be back on the booze.  In a few months I’d die. I need to put money away for next winter.”