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Showing posts from June, 2013

After The Flood

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As we bused back north up Highway 2, the military vehicles streamed south. I was with some ATB Financial colleagues who were finishing up the first leg of a province-wide tour to mark the 75th anniversary of the financial institution born in a disaster of too little water. Now, a disaster of too much. 
The camouflaged vehicles presented both a welcome and an eerie prospect. Yes, the uniformed men and women were bringing their engineering skill and sandbagging brawn, but the movement of those same vehicles whispered that this was, maybe, a state of nature (and not of the tourism variety) they were heading toward. 
Back moving through Edmonton on that Friday afternoon, a scheduled drink at Latitude 53 just ahead of me, the scenes through the bus window were jarring. Not because they were hard to see. They weren't. They were the easy images of friends talking on the steps of the Hotel Macdonald. And of a businessman running to get a waiting cab. And of green lights and red lights an…

Rush Of Memories

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I was bored out of my mind for most of 1981.

It was Grade 11 and I had some good friends, but high school was pretty much a loss for me. French class was good, but, basically, I got through thanks to an underground newspaper I was part of (it was a beta version of ratemyteacher.com with some liberation theology and Solidarnosc theory thrown in; it got our editor-in-chief thrown out) and the debate club, which taught me about Winston Churchill, my own voice, and the necessity of actually responding to interlocutors and not just making sound toward each other.

And Rush.

Rush got me through.

My buddy Bruce, whose passion for I forget her name was matched only by his devotion to Neil Peart, installed me in the mysteries of the Willowdale power trio. We were the only Rush fans I knew of. Kind of a secret society. In his basement (he lived down the lane from us in Delwood, which was then a frontier neighbourhood in northeast Edmonton) we listened to this band that sounded like nothing else.…

Bow Tie

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We finally met and tied one on tonight. The encounter had been years in the making. I just didn't think it would involve me and the mayor of Edmonton and my wife with a video camera in front of a washroom mirror in an artist's colony on 118 Ave.

The Nina Haggerty Centre is a wonderful hub of hope in the Alberta Avenue neighbourhood. Tonight it hosted the Alberta Artists With Brain Injury Society on the happy occasion of its 10th anniversary. Shelagh serves on the Nina board, so I get to hang out there every now and then. Tonight, artists, board members, community leaders met to celebrate the event and there were beautiful words spoken by those who help artists with damaged pathways get around their obstacles and to a place where they again, in paint, plastic, glass, fabric and ink, can make their voices heard and imaginations felt.

Mayor Stephen Mandel dropped in again and praised the work of all involved. When he and I had a chance to talk, I took the opportunity to ask him t…