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Monday, 7 September 2020


Mayhem In The Streets Of America



It has been almost 100 days now since George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police officers. I believe that there is enough proof in the aftermath of that event that the US should no longer allow organized or disorganized large demonstrations at night in US cities. Some would say that that would be an infringement on citizen’s rights to express themselves. My answer to that is isn’t there enough time in the broad daylight to protest? How many speeches are needed in one day to get points across? There is always the next day for the protests to continue.
We aren’t clueless people. There is something very different about the light of day and the darkness of night. In the daytime we are all clearly visible. Not so much at night. In the daytime we can clearly identify what and who are around us. Not so much at night.  At night the darkness can make it harder to have our bearings and because we can’t see clearly in the dark there is the uncertainty of the unknown. At night in large crowds tensions increase and people can be panicked by loud noises like firecrackers.
There are things that are predictable that are going to happen if a black person is killed or beaten badly by the police when the black person posed no physical threat. Crowds of black people will form that evening and some of them will start looting local stores and steal things like TVs and sneakers. It is hard to say whether these actions are fuck the system that did this to our people or simply opportunism or both.
The second thing that will happen is that organized protests will be lead by black leaders. In most cases these protests will include a lot of white people who are sympathetic to the cause. The Rev Al Sharpton will most likely turn up.
The third important ingredient to the protests are the “lookie-loos”, the mostly young people who go downtown to see what mayhem is occurring. Often there are as many of these people as there are protesters. They usually stand around on the fringes of the protesters.
The fourth important ingredient are the pure shit disturbers who want to fan the flames of unrest. They are a small minority but can be very effective in causing mayhem through vandalism and arson. Once they have committed their acts they can fairly easily blend into the crowds of lookie-loos on the fringes of the demonstration.  
Let’s go back to the beginning of the Black Lives Matter demonstration after George Floyd was murdered. MSNBC’s Ali Velshi was out in the street the first night. He was having a hell of time trying to figure out what people were representing what. We could see businesses burning. We would often see guys riding around on bikes and some of the bike riders had large backpacks attached to them. The thought occurred to me why would anyone need a large backpack to attend a demonstration? Were they carrying rocks, fireworks, stuff to start fires? Cops on foot are never going to catch up to a guy on a speeding bike.
Something that is not mentioned very often is the millions of young people who feel betrayed by a system that is never going to give them the opportunity of owning a house or raising a family in a good neighbourhood.  Many of them work at low wage dead end jobs. There are now millions more of them unemployed due to covid-19. A small number of them may be prone to committing vandalism at Black Lives Matter events.
Trump and his Attorney General Bill Barr have identified the hooligans and vandals as left wing anarchists including members of a group called Antifa. They refuse to admit that right wing groups like The Proud Boys, The Bugaloos, The Three Percenters, The Oath Keepers, often turn up at Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Isn’t it strange that all of these right wing extremist groups worship Trump but you will never see an Antifa wearing a Biden hat or waving a Biden sign? The reason is there is absolutely no connection between Antifa and the Democrat Party.
You may have wondered who Antifa are? They are a loosely knit group that started in Europe over 3 decades ago. Their premise was that before WW2 many people in Germany stood by while right wing fascist groups took over the country. They see right wing militia groups in the US carrying out fascist acts and stand up to them even when it comes to physical clashes. Antifa has been in existence in the US for about 25 years. Over that period of time they have never killed anyone. I’m not trying to paint them as being harmless but they don’t come close to being compared to right wing domestic terrorists in the US.
In 1995 right wing terrorist Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people and wounded 680 others when he bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City. Right wing domestic terrorists have murdered 329 people in the last 25 years including killing 12 Jews at synagogues in Poway, California and Pittsburgh, the mass murder of 23 Hispanics at a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas, the killing of 9 worshippers at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina. This year the Bugaloos assassinated 2 police officers in Oakland, California.
There are about 275 militia groups in the US and they are in all 50 US states. Some of their core beliefs may differ but basically most of them are anti-government. Most of them are anti-tax and anti-immigration. Most of them consider themselves to be white supremacists. All of these groups are right wing and all of them love Donald Trump. There are no left wing militia groups to speak of.
You may have noticed that Trump never has a bad word to say about right wing extremists. Fear is something Trump learned long ago is something he can stoke to his benefit. Trump’s daughter Ivanka is Jewish as is his son in law Jared Kushner. When hundreds of white supremacists carrying tiki torches marched in Charlottesville in 2017 chanting “Jews will not replace us.” Trump said that were “good people” on both sides.
A few nights ago 600 cars driven by right wing extremists turned up in Portland. Oregon. Many of them were not from Oregon. A number of these people would really like to see a civil war in the US.
Several days ago a 17 year old Trump follower killed 2 people and wounded another with an AK-15 rifle in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Instead of the cops getting him off the street they chatted with him and offered him water. Not one of the cops thought of asking the 17 year old how old he was and if he had a license to carry the rifle in the open. It’s no secret that most cops lean to the right politically in the US. It’s also no secret that many of them have lost their jobs for racist comments on Facebook and social media.
In closing I am going to add a couple of personal observations of riots from the past.
In the late 1960s I witnessed a riot in Montreal that involved a St. Jean Baptiste parade in Montreal on Sherbrooke Street. I was a spectator along with many others. I’m not sure what exactly happened. Maybe some people threw rocks or bottles at the police. If so I didn’t see it. All of a sudden the police were coming in our direction with their helmets on and waving their batons. It wasn’t a time to try and explain that we weren’t the rock throwers and a whole crowd of us took off running down the side streets and alleys. I know that was long ago but when I see people running away at the riots in the US it makes me uneasy about how TV watchers could assume that the people running away must have committed some kind of crime.
In 2011 the Vancouver Canucks hockey team was playing the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals. The city put up a few giant screens in downtown Vancouver so fans who didn’t have tickets could watch. A crowd of about 75,000 turned up on the streets for the 7th and deciding game which Vancouver lost. Moments later, complete mayhem broke out. Over 20 cars including cop cars were set on fire. Stores were looted. There was over 4 million dollars in damage to buildings. The question is why did this happen and who did it? It certainly wasn’t a political issue. It wasn’t a class issue. Pretty well all of the shit disturbers and vandals were white and young in age. It wasn’t a racial issue. Downtown Vancouver is a very expensive place to live even in 2011. It was pretty obvious that most of the shit disturbers were from the suburbs of Vancouver like Surrey and Burnaby. They were in the midst of a huge crowd that was very wired up.  It may be hard for some to understand but there are a small number of younger people who really enjoy mayhem. They don’t really have a cause or strong political beliefs. They just want to watch as the shit hits the fan. They don’t represent the major part of the crowd. In fact, 15,000 volunteers turned up the following morning to clean up the mess the vandals left behind. My point is that a lot of the rioting in the US is fomented by pure shit disturbers and not by political types or protesters.


Wednesday, 19 August 2020


 RACISM AND KEEPING IT REAL

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
 
 
I know that even before writing this that there are people who will not agree with what I am about to say here. I can take the incoming flak. I consider myself to be a liberal and part of my core beliefs are things to do with fairness. Sometimes I agree with people’s general beliefs but I am not a big fan of bullshit no matter who is slinging it.

I am a strong supporter of Black Lives Matter and believe the American cops have killed a number of blacks in cold blood without just cause. I am a 100% in favour of complete civil rights. I also believe that there is a lot of racism in the US and that that country had a horrible past of slavery and Jim Crow laws.
Joy Reid
 

Here is where I take exception to some black voices, particularly show hosts on MSNBC like Joy Reid, Al Sharpton and some weekend black hosts. They all claim over and over that black women are the core of the Democratic Party. They have all applied pressure on Joe Biden to select a black woman as his running mate. Joy Reid likes to say that black voters are not a monolith like they have other options. They really don’t but she keeps saying it. It isn’t complicated as to why most blacks would vote Democrat instead of Republican. First of all the Democrats passed the Civil Rights Bill in 1964. The Democrats elected a black man, Barak Obama, president of the United States twice. Obama had 2 black Attorney Generals when he was in office. There are 52 black Democratic men and women in congress. There is only 1 black Republican in congress and he isn’t running again. Add on all the social programs the Democratic Party is in favour of and it is absolutely a no brainer for blacks to vote Democrat. Oh, and one last thing on this topic, you can be a racist in the Republican Party and still remain in office but you can’t be a racist in the Democratic Party.

Joy Reid is very selective in the data she uses to support her claims about black women voters like something close to 90% of black women who do vote vote Democrat. This is true but all black women and black men for that matter don’t vote. Black people make up about 13-14% of the American population. In most areas of the US a black person can’t get elected without a large white turnout supporting them. There are approximately 50 million black Americans in America. In the last general election Trump won states where over 31 million black Americans live. The math says that close to 60% of black voters had no effect on getting a Democrat elected president. It’s just a fact.

What is rarely mentioned by Joy Reid and others who think like her is that white people are not a monolith either. Back in the 60s a number of whites marched with Martin Luther King. LBJ passed the Civil Rights Act in 64. Millions of white people have stood up to racism over the last 60 years. If you watch the protests and demonstrations on TV you can clearly see many white people supporting Black Lives Matter.
Lots of white people supporting Black Lives Matter
 

Let’s go back to the Democratic primaries which occurred some time ago. Biden was struggling. Progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were giving him a run for his money and had a Democratic party favourability of over 45%. The Democratic “old boys and girls” people behind the scenes were starting to panic. Could the progressive candidates stand a chance against Trump? In stepped the 79 year old Jim Clyburn from South Carolina who threw his total support behind Biden and the rest is history. Everyone knew that Biden was prone to gaffs but he also is a very likable guy who shows sincere empathy for his fellow citizens. Biden is now leading Trump by a substantial margin.

So what else went on at those Democrat primaries? The front runners were Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Mayor Pete who all had their moments. There were a lot of candidates. Two of them were black, Corey Booker and Kamala Harris. Corey Booker is a very likable guy and many had seen former prosecutor Harris effectively go after Republicans in hearings. In the 1st debate Harris pulled the rug out from Biden about bussing. It was a well planned attack that ended with her saying “….and that little girl was me!” What she didn’t mention was that there was no bussing in her high school years because she was living in Canada during those times. In the 2nd debate Harris had the rug pulled out from her by an obscure and weird candidate from Hawaii. It didn’t look good on Harris. She was done.

My question to Joy Reid is if black women voters in the Democratic Party are so powerful why did Booker or Harris have so few votes for them? There were a lot of blacks in California who weren’t big fans of Harris’s because she had a number of them incarcerated.

It took a long time for Biden to pick his VP running mate. He said he was going to pick a woman. This was not good enough for Joy Reid and her friends. It had to be a black woman, not a Hispanic/Latino who are 20% of the US population, not a white woman like progressive and effective Elizabeth Warren who is really liked by at least 45% of the Democratic Party. To me it seemed like Biden was almost being blackmailed. Don’t pick a black VP running mate and maybe black voters would just stay home because there would be nothing in it for them.

I am not saying Harris is a total disaster. She is very bright and had a great laugh. On the other hand she seems to go where the wind blows sometimes like taking back her plan for universal health care.

Biden is 77. He will be 78 in November. A lot of people don’t think he could serve 2 terms if he gets elected and I would agree. Being president is an exhausting job. Normally when a president decides not to run the next person up is the VP.

There is no doubt racism is still a big problem in the US. Personally I would like to see a bit more on TV of black political show hosts saluting white Americans who have stood with blacks over the years. 6% of Californians are black and yet Kamala got elected senator. Also racism isn’t always a 1 way street. Some time ago Kamala Harris mentioned that there were some white kids when she was a kid who weren’t allowed to play with her. I’m not sure what her point was other than show that she too had experienced prejudice. Harris grew up in a middle class family with a well paid single mother. She hasn’t exactly had a hard life. I wonder what black people would say if a white politician said that some black guy stole his bike when he was a kid. Most likely they would say it isn’t fair to label all of us with that. The same thing would be true if white people are generalized as racists. Most of us aren’t.

In the scheme of things what I have written here is not extremely important. To me fairness is fairness. The most important thing at this point in time in America is getting rid of the total asshole that has been ruining the US.  Hopefully the close to 4 year nightmare will come to an end.

 

Thursday, 2 July 2020


Trying To Solve A 65 Year Old Mystery
 
This photo was taken in 2012. Back in the 1950s the driveway was gravel and a Mr. Beauchamin would come by with his tractor with 45 gallon drums filled with water to give it traction and plow the snow away. 4590 and 4592 Harvard Avenue.
In 1951 my family moved into an upstairs flat in the middle class district of Notre Dame de Grace in Montreal. 4590 Harvard Avenue. Back then “flats” were sometimes called duplexes. More often than not the buildings were actually “fourplexes” that housed 4 families with separate entrances. One side of the building “copycatted” the other side of the building. They were kind of like large apartments. Our flat had four bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a separate dining room, a breakfast nook, a pantry off of the kitchen, and a small bathroom. There was also shared basement space and two garages built into the building on either side of the fourplex.
There were thousands of buildings in Notre Dame de Grace (NDG) and other Montreal districts that were similar to the one we lived in. Most of the units were administered by trust companies like Montreal Trust and Royal Trust. Nobody owned their own flat back then but there were a few single family homes dotted throughout the neighbourhood that were privately owned. NDG had a hill in the middle of the community. The more desirous places to live were on the northern slope of the hill where we lived. I think my father paid something like $140.00 per month for our flat in the 1950s. Rent got cheaper the further down the southern slope of the hill one lived at.
Previously to moving in we had lived in an apartment building a few blocks way. The birth of my younger sister in 1952 necessitated the move. We needed more space. We became a family of 6 including two boys and two girls. For some reason May 1st used to be moving day in Quebec. It never seemed to make a lot of sense. The school year didn’t end until the end of June. I can vaguely recall the day we moved in. It was overcast.
The Downstairs Neighbours
We quickly became aware of our downstairs neighbours shortly after moving in. There were 3 of them and we would know them for the next 14 years or so. At the time, in 1951/1952, there was a middle aged woman we called Mrs. Myers, her son Billy who was in his early thirties, and an adopted son named Peter Tellier who was 8 or 9 years of age. There was also an overweight cat named Tippy who was white with gray and black spots.
There were a few advantages to living downstairs. The biggest one was probably the fact that they had a fenced in backyard and we didn’t. For some reason they were also responsible for the maintenance of the front lawn. They also had a bigger basement than we did.
Mrs. Myers wasn’t the friendliest person I’ve ever met. She always seemed to have a scowl on her face. She certainly wasn’t fussy about our family at all and let it be known from time to time. She also kind of acted like we were her tenants and that she wrote the rules.
Her son Billy was probably the first gay person I ever met in life. Billy was gay before I even knew what being gay meant. He was about 22 years older than his adopted brother Peter. They never seemed to have much in common and I can’t recall much interaction between the two of them. Billy’s big hobby was gardening. He would spend hours tending to his flowers in his backyard and could often be seen with a water hose in hand at the back and the front of the building. Billy also had a garden plot some distance away that I think was a Victory Garden during WW2. I think he mostly grew vegetables there. When we first moved in Billy drove a blue and white Willys Jeep station wagon that carried all of his garden tools. One day the car was suddenly gone and Billy was then using a bicycle to get back and forth to his garden plot. He looked rather awkward transporting his gardening tools on a bike and I can clearly remember him having a metal clip at the bottom of one of his pant legs that stopped the cuff from getting caught in the bike chain.
Once in a while Billy would listen to the opera on Sunday afternoons in the summer. He jacked up the volume a bit. My mother used to talk to Billy every now and then while he was gardening downstairs and she was taking stuff off of the clothesline. I believe they shared the same birthday. Something else that they both had in common was the loss of a brother in WW2.
Billy worked for a number of years in the downtown offices of KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) and the last time I saw him and talked to him was around 1966 when I ran into him on the street in front of the KLM offices.
Peter Tellier and I circa 1953. This photo was taken across the street from where we lived. We looked like a couple of Charles Dickens characters.
Peter Tellier was about 4 years older than me and about 1 year younger than my older brother. He was a Catholic and didn’t attend the same schools that we did. He had blonde hair with a little patch of white hair off of one of his temples. From a young age he was a big sports fan. He would often organize street hockey and between houses hockey games in the winter. Chunks of ice were frequently used as the goals and hockey sticks often were missing a piece of the blade. There was a lot of whacking and hacking going on. On any given weekend, in the midst of winter, Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant kids from houses close by could be seen scrambling in a pack for the momentary possession of a grey tennis ball or a hockey puck before some kid would fire a riser at the illusionary net.
In the summers Peter’s attention turned to baseball. I believe he went to a number of Montreal Royals games in the fifties at the old Delormier Stadium. He would organize baseball games on the big field behind the high school I would later attend, West Hill High. Getting enough boys to form 2 teams was a bit of a feat in itself. He would cajole any kid he could find to come out whether or not they had played baseball before. Some of the boys didn’t have baseball mitts and had to borrow one when the opposing team came off of the field. My older brother participated in some of those games.
For a few years on many Sunday mornings Peter would throw a ball against the brick wall of the building we shared and catch it with his mitt on the rebound. I remember my father saying “That damned Dogen is stotting that ball again!”  I am pretty sure that “Dogen” was a derisive term for an Irish Catholic and the verb “stotting” must be a British thing.
From what I can recall I think Peter was a pretty decent pitcher in baseball and he may have played for the NDG junior baseball team when he was about 16. He once told me that he had been scouted by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Peter was the guy who informed a few other boys my age and me about the basics of sex. We were sitting on a metal railing by a small strip mall around the corner from where we lived. The other boys and I were about 6 at the time and were more than a little confused about the information.
Easily the most interesting thing about Peter was the stuff he had in his home. In all the years I knew him I don’t think I was in his home more than 6 times. His bedroom was on the small side and he had a variety of treasures in the room starting with an 18 inch stuffed light brown alligator. He had stacks and stacks of hockey and baseball cards. He also had a collection of Hardy Boy books that I believe dated back to the 1930s. There were some other items that were interesting. Peter had a certificate that indicated he was the owner of 1 square inch of land in the Klondike. It was a promotion put on by one of the breakfast cereal companies in the 1950s. He also had a little stack of photos that were about 2 inches square of some guy’s face. They were held together by an elastic band and when you flicked the photos they became animated because each photo was very slightly different from the other. Peter also had what seemed to be a permanent stash of Kraft caramel candies.

 
There was a big table set up in Peter’s basement (about 8’x 8’) that had a square hole in the middle of it. On top of the table was an elaborate Lionel train set complete with a train station and a tunnel. One of the railway cars had a ramp that led up to it with cattle. I think the engine had a headlight. There were railroad crossings where the barrier poles went up and down. There were trees dotted about and people too. A person had to crawl under the table to the square hole to get to the train controls. On the wall next to the train set were some large posters of WW2 vintage fighter planes. My older brother and I back then both believed that Peter had inherited a lot of the little “treasures” in his bedroom and the train set from an “older brother” who had died in WW2.
 
As time went on and Peter became a teenager he became interested in rock and roll and had a stack of records including one called Born Too Late by the Ponytails that came out in 1958. I can still remember that song seeping through the thin basement walls. He got interested in girls and one gal who was a classmate of mine in grade school visited his basement a number of times. I think her name was Elizabeth. She would have been about 13 at the time and Peter would have been about 17.

I saw less and less of Peter as he got older. He obtained a Honda or was it a Yamaha 60cc motorcycle when he was about 18. I think he started going to college or university. By this time he had almost become a ghost with very infrequent sightings.
The Mysterious Sedan
 
About once a year a black, or was it a dark grey, sedan would pull up to front of our house. A couple of people would get out of the car and walk up to our downstairs neighbor’s front door and ring the doorbell. I vaguely remember that they were dressed well and one of them seemed to be an older gentleman. It is possible that the other person was a woman but I can’t recall for sure. After about 3 or 4 hours they would return to their car and drive way not to be seen again for another year.
My older brother and I always suspected that the people visiting were blood relatives of Peter’s and that they were getting an annual update of how Peter was making out living as an adopted child. It was highly unlikely that the visitors were from child welfare. They just seemed to be too well dressed for that type of job.
The Search For Peter Tellier
Most people my age, 73, have parents who have passed on. For many of those parents their memories of days long ago were old family photographs stored in boxes or a trunk in the basement or the attic. Before the advent of the internet, Google, and Facebook, reconnecting with old friends or acquaintances was highly improbable. Often once someone disappeared they were often gone for good. This is still true today but we now have more avenues to track somebody down if we care to, including old schoolmates.
First Clues

I have revised this section from what I wrote initially a few days ago when I first posted this story.
I find it a bit ironic that I am writing about clues and Peter Tellier considering that I remember playing the board game “Clue” with Peter about 65 years ago. (Mrs. Peacock in the library with the candlestick holder.)
From time to time over the past 10 years I would do an on-line search for Peter Tellier. Tellier is a pretty common French last name in Quebec. I checked out Facebook pages and used Google. About 2 years ago I found an obituary for a Peter Charles Tellier who had died on November 12th, 2016 at the age of 73 in Port Williams, Nova Scotia.

A lot of things matched up on the Peter Tellier obit.

-He was originally from Montreal.
-He was the right age.
-His father was named Maurice which was one of the names of the guy who died in WW2.
-In his obit he looked like an older version of the Peter Tellier I once knew.

It seems that I have found the wrong Peter Tellier however. A friend of a friend e-mailed me yesterday morning and pointed out my mistake. It turns out that he knew the Peter Tellier whose obit I posted and the one I knew and the one he knew are not the same guy. In the obit I posted a younger brother named Ross is mentioned. The Peter Tellier I knew didn't have a younger brother.  
Second Clues

A little over a month ago I Googled “Peter Tellier obit” and was surprised at what I came up with. It was an item from the Canadian Virtual War Memorial. It was in memory of Warrant Officer Class II Maurice Tellier Peter Myers who died in Germany in March of 1943 while serving in the RCAF in WW2. I was shocked. Somehow I had stumbled on Peter Tellier’s “older brother” and things seemed to start to match up.

Canadian Virtual War Memorial
Maurice Tellier Peter Myers
 
In memory of:

Warrant Officer Class II Maurice Tellier Peter Myers

March 14, 1943
 
Military Service

Service Number:
R/77338              
Force:
Air Force              
Unit:
Royal Canadian Air Force              
Division:
138 (R.A.F.) Sqdn 
 
Third Clues

Just for the heck of it I thought I would Google Peter’s older gay step brother, Billy Myers, and see what I could find. Once again I was surprised when I found Billy Myers’s obit. William (Billy) Myers passed away on May 31st, 2016 at the ripe old age of 95. The obit mentions his deceased mother Helene (Mrs. Myers) and his deceased father Charles. It also mentions his brother Peter who died in Germany in WW2 and Billy’s adopted brother Peter Tellier. The obit talks about Billy’s gardening hobby and how he cooked meals for Meals On Wheels later in life. It seems like he was a pretty decent guy.

Billy Myers


MYERS, William
1921 - 2016
William Myers passed away peacefully on May 31, 2016 in his 95th year. He was predeceased by his father Charles and mother Helene Tellier Myers and his brother Peter, RCAF Germany 1943. Bill Booked his express ticket to heaven and now will be happily reunited with his family, and can cook and garden to his heart's content. He touched the lives of countless, throughout his long and highly fulfilled life. He was always smiling and happy to lend a hand to anyone, especially Meals on Wheels where he cooked hundreds of meals in LaSalle. He will be especially missed by his adopted brother Peter Tellier, many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. A very special thanks to all the staff at Ste-Anne's Military Hospital. Visitations will take place at Centre funéraire Côte-des-Neiges on Saturday June 4 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday June 5 from 12 to 1 p.m., followed by a Memorial Service in the Chapel of the Center. Burial at a later date in July.
Published on June 2, 2016    

Fourth Clues

I went back to the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and discovered a few more things about the family member who had died in WW2. A newspaper clipping identified him as flight sergeant M.T. Peter Myers. M.T. probably meaning Maurice Tellier. Apparently he joined the RCAF at the young age of 18 and was called up for active service in 1940. Before that he was a student at West Hill High School and was noted for his cartoons. I went to the new West Hill High but it was built about 9 years after Peter Myers died. The original West Hill High was later called Monkland High School. The clipping also mentions that Peter Myers’s brother Billy was also in the RCAF and was stationed in Halifax at the time of Peter Myers’s death.
 


Sorting It All Out
 
First of all let me say that a lot of the following is conjecture on my part.

Part 1


I believe that Peter Tellier’s “older brother” who died in WW2  was actually his father. Things were different back in the 1940s and 1950s and there was a certain shame about having a child out of wedlock, particularly for Catholics. Famous entertainers like Jack Nicholson and Bobby Darin both thought that their mothers were their sisters when they were growing up. Nicholson didn’t find out the truth until he was in his thirties. In the 1930s actress Loretta Young had an affair with Clark Gable that produced a daughter. Ms. Young secretly went off to England to have the baby and later made it seem like she had adopted the child.
Peter Tellier’s “older brother” died at the age of 21 or 22. That would have made him 21 or 22 years older than Peter. It is almost unheard of for two brothers to be that different in age.
Here is what I think happened. The “older brother” got a girl pregnant. I’m guessing this happened when he was home on leave. He dies in the war, most likely never having married the girl because his obit doesn’t include the mention of a wife. The girl decides that she is not prepared to raise the child alone and wants to get on with her life. Her father steps in and negotiates a deal with the mother (Mrs. Myers) of the dead soldier. The father will pay for the rent and upkeep for the young boy until he leaves home.
Back in 1943 when Peter Tellier was born I think adoption was different than it is today. If the child became a ward of the court I think the authorities could decide which foster home the baby or child would go to without the parent or parents being part of the decision. By choosing Mrs. Myers as Peter’s adopted mother the mothers’s father and the mother would know exactly who would be looking after Peter as he grew up.
It is pretty obvious to me that the mother’s father was paying the rent and expenses in Mrs. Myers’s home. Billy would have been the only one working back then and it would be very doubtful that he would be able to support 3 people and pay the rent.

Part 2
This is just conjecture on my part but I am guessing that something may have occurred at one of those annual meetings that affected Billy. My guess is that Peter Tellier’s mother’s father may have figured out that he was also partly supporting Billy who at the time was in his thirties. The father may have demanded that Billy pay rent. This would explain Billy selling his Willys Jeep and using a bicycle instead to get to his gardening plot because he could no longer afford a car.
Part 3
One of the more confusing things in doing this research was trying to understand the identifications of Billy and the guy who died in WW2. Their obits reveal several things.
Billy is identified as William Myers on his obit. It also identifies his father as a man named Charles and his mother as Helene Tellier Myers. It is quite possible that Mrs. Myers was married more than once. Nowhere in Billy’s obit does it mention that Billy served in the RCAF in WW2. This may have been an oversight by whoever wrote the obit. There may have been another reason for not mentioning Billy’s RCAF experience and that is that he may be have been discharged after being outed as being gay. This is purely conjecture on my part.
I found 2 documents about Peter Myers, who died in WW2 and was Billy Myers’s brother. The Canadian Virtual War Memorial indentifies Peter Myers as Maurice Tellier Peter Myers. The 2nd document looks like a newspaper clipping. It identifies Peter Myers as M.T. Peter Myers. The M.T. would have meant Maurice Tellier. The clipping also states that he was the son of Mr. and Mrs. C.H. Myers who lived at 4465 Harvard Avenue in Montreal. Mr. C.H Myers must have passed away or skipped town between 1943 and 1952 because he wasn’t around when we moved in. .
If you have found this all confusing at this point you are not alone.
Part 4
From what I can deduce Peter and Billy Myers were very close in age. My guess is that they were born about a year apart. It is curious that one of them (Peter) had the names Maurice and Tellier as part of his name whereas Billy didn’t. It is also curious that Peter Tellier was named Peter. Was it a salute to Peter Myers who died at a young age in WW2?  Where did the name Tellier come from? Was he perhaps Mrs. Myers’s first husband or lover?
I guess I’ll never know but it has been interesting trying to sort all of this stuff out even though it is none of my business.
A Few Final Oberservations
When Billy Myers died at the age of 95 in 2016 he was residing at Ste Anne’s Military Hospital In Ste Anne de Bellevue on the far west side of Montreal Island. My father was a captain in the Canadian Army in WW2 and I believe he spent his final years in the same hospital as Billy. My father died in 1981 at the age of 75.

When Peter Myers died in 1943 in Germany his home address was 4465 Harvard Avenue. This is not the same address that Billy Myers, Mrs. Myers, and Peter Tellier lived at when they were our downstairs neighbours. Their address was 4592 Harvard Avenue. When I was growing up in NDG it wasn’t uncommon for some families to hop scotch from one house to another that seemed more appealing.
This was a complicated story to write and I hope that the readers have managed to follow along without having to give their heads a shake.

The long and the short of this effort is that I never did find out what happened to Peter Tellier. I gave it a try.

 

 

 

Monday, 16 March 2020


 
A Mad Man In Mad Times

Within a short period of time all of our lives have changed and at this point we don’t know how long it will be before things get back to normal, whatever normal is these days. In the US on Friday Trump finally declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) to be a national emergency. Right away 50 billion dollars will be allotted to fight the epidemic. A number of corporate executives appeared on stage with Trump and promised to be actively involved in combating the disease. Other than providing parking lots for testing it was unclear what many of the retail corporations could do. It was enough to see a huge swing in the stock market, if only temporary. One thing that seems very evident is that every corporation that was represented on stage stands to profit from the epidemic. Trump insisted on shaking hands with every executive even though every doctor in the US pretty well says that shaking hands is one of the easiest ways to transmit the disease. Trump said that 1700 Google engineers are working on a website that would make it easy for people to detect whether they had the virus. A lady doctor, Debbie Birx, even showed a poster indicating how easy the steps are. The reality is Google is not doing any such thing. A subsidiary of theirs is planning on creating a test site in the San Francisco area. No Google executives were in attendance at Friday’s press conference.

It is interesting who Trump often has on stage with him when he is talking about coronavirus. The dark haired guy with the beard and glasses is Alex Azar, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources. Mr. Azar is a lawyer and not a doctor. In his past he was a corporate lobbyist and CEO for the drug manufacturer Eli Lilly. Under Azar, Eli Lilly tripled the price of insulin. Mr. Azar is second only to Mike Pence to kissing Trump’s ass in public. VP Mike Pence is anti-science in a number of ways including being a global warming denier. To his credit he seems to have coordinated communications between the federal and state and city governments. A few days ago a Democratic congresswomen from California,  Katie Porter, grilled Dr. Robert Redfield, the current director of the CDC (The Department of Disease Control and Prevention). Redfield is often seen on stage with Trump. He is the white haired guy with a beard and glasses. Katie Porter stated that a full battery of testing for the coronavirus could cost $1300.00 or more. She pointed out that over 50% of Americans have less than $500.00 in the bank. She pointed out to Dr. Redfield that he had the authority to make testing free to every American. Dr. Redfield hummed and hawed and tried to avoid the question. Porter was having none of it. Dr. Redfield finally capitulated and agreed to cover the costs of all coronavirus testing.

One doctor who really stands out is Dr. Anthony Fauci. He is trusted by both Republicans and Democrats. Over a period of time he has contradicted Trump’s statements a number of times. Sometimes you can see Dr. Fauci wincing while Trump is bullshitting.

Two Fridays ago Trump stopped off in Atlanta and told a bunch of lies before continuing on to Mara Lago for the weekend where he played golf twice (something he promised not to do as president because he wouldn’t have the time) and held a fundraiser. So far 3 Mara Lago guests have been found to have coronavirus. On average Trump has played golf on 25% of the days he has been in office.

Things move fast in American politics, particularly with Trump as president. Lies are often forgotten or overlooked because there is a new batch of them coming out of Trump’s mouth every day. Let’s look back on Trump’s involvement in the coronavirus epidemic so far.

In 2018 under the instructions of Trump national security advisor John Bolton shut down the office overseeing responses to pandemics. A lot of people with expertise in the field were out of a job.

The current version of the coronavirus disease was discovered in China in December of 2019. It was soon pretty obvious that it would spread to other parts of the world. The first case in the US was discovered in Washington State on January 20th of this year. As more cases were discovered FOX News and a number of Republican politicians scoffed at the deadliness of the disease. Some of these nuts suggested that the whole thing was a plot by the mainstream media and the Democrats to undermine President Trump. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican politician and close friend of Trump went so far as to wear a gas mask to mock those that were in fear of the virus. Matt Gaetz is currently under self imposed quarantine.  Gaetz was recently on Air Force 1 with Trump

As the disease started to spread across the US Trump became more and more obsessed about how the stock market was doing. He seemed to care far more about losing his leverage about a soaring stock market in the upcoming elections this fall than the plight of American citizens. In the past he has always tried to lie his way out of difficulties. It wasn’t going to be as easy this time around.

Here’s list of just some of the lies Trump or his advisors have told the American public in the last several weeks…..

-February 10th. Trump claims that there is strong possibility that the coronavirus will go away once the weather warms up. There are no facts to indicate that.

-February 24th. Trump claims the coronavirus is “very much under control”.

-February 25th. Senior White House National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said “We have contained this. I won’t say airtight but pretty close to airtight.”

-February 26th. Trump claimed that coronavirus cases were going down not up. A total lie.

-March 2nd. Trump claimed that a vaccine would be available in a fairly short time. The reality is that at best a vaccine might be available in a year or a year and a half. Dr. Fauci had already told him this but Trump insisted on lying anyway.

-March 4th. Trump blamed Obama for impeding testing while Obama was in office. A totally false claim.

-March 4th. Trump claims that over 100,000 Americans died of the “regular” flu in 1990. The number was closer to 26,000 deaths.

-March 6th. The Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Azar, claims there is no shortage of test kits nor has there ever been, Trump repeats the lie.

-March 6th. Trump claims the numbers the numbers of deaths and people with coronavirus in Italy were getting much better. This was totally untrue and since then Italy has shut off parts of the country.

-March 6th. Trump claims that the US numbers for those that have contacted coronavirus are lower than most countries. The US is about 7th in coronavirus cases.

-March 9th. VP Pence says that Trump’s priority was to get people off a cruise ship floating near San Francisco. 3 days earlier Trump had said he wanted the passengers to stay on the ship so the coronavirus numbers wouldn’t rise.

It does appear that Trump is more worried about the stock market than anything else. The Fed is talking about injecting 1 trillion dollars into the market. Trump has talked about buying low cost oil from fracking companies and storing it. It has become quite evident that fracking companies are not profitable and even before the coronavirus scare they were severely undercapitalized. More and more it looks like the federal government will be bailing out various sectors of corporate America including the oil companies, the cruise ship industry, and the airlines. The American farmer is already being subsidized by the American taxpayer. Just what about all of this doesn’t make the US a socialist nanny state?

Something else that has become quite evident of late is how badly the American version of health care works. Something like 1/3 of Americans put off medical care due to the costs. Almost 90 million Americans are underinsured and over 30 million have no insurance whatsoever. Viruses don’t choose who is wealthy and who is not. Testing for coronavirus is just part of the potential costs should one be infected. There is no assurance that the health care insurers or the government will pay for hospital stays and continued care. With that type of recipe it is certain  a number of Americans will do all they can to avoid expensive care and debts which will no doubt increase the spread of the virus.

Neither US VP Pence nor Secretary Azar can say how many Americans so far have been tested for the virus. A few days ago it was estimated by sources outside of the government to be around 10,000 tests. South Korea alone has been testing 10, 000 of its citizens daily for some time. Somehow with the shortage of testing kits in the US, 38 rich NBA professional basketball players managed to get tested. Money still talks, even in a crisis.

At the end of last week a bipartisan bill was agreed to between the White House and the Democrats that would expand funds for free testing. The bill would also give some Americans a limited time of paid sick leave. The Republicans insisted on one exception and that was that guaranteed sick pay didn’t apply to US companies with over 500 employees. Something like 49% of Americans work for corporations with over 500 employees. Even in a time of crisis the Republicans chose to favour Corporate America over working people.

Saw Trump briefly on TV today. He was wearing a ball cap that said USA instead of his regular MAGA cap. Someone on his staff must have gotten to him finally. Not enough to clear up the fiasco he has been involved in for the last several weeks.

It is anyone’s guess what the world is going to look like in several months. In the past Americans could go about their daily activities oblivious to their county being involved in foreign wars. Not this time.

The coronavirus outbreak has been a horrible thing. Instead of being a compassionate leader Trump made the whole situation worse by telling lie after lie. Hopefully Trump and the coronavirus will be a thing of the past in 8 months.

 

 

 

 

Friday, 16 August 2019


Pop Culture, TV, Sports, Politics, Movies, Music, History, and Other Stuff

(Don’t read this if you are a cat lover.)

 


Saw an old guy the other day without a goatee….very strange….The most fake person on a TV ad?..... it has to be the bearded guy in the TD Ameritrade TV ads…..just how did he manage to entice his clients into his basement and is it his basement?.....why are the walls and furniture green?.....do all of his clients get to play pool or throw darts in said basement when they buy RRSPs?.....what a suck up!.....Why do some juice companies show a picture of some particular type of fruit on the front of the juice container but when you read the small print you find out other fruits are part of the juice…...they used to call this lying….or bait and switch….. most juices are pasteurized to kill germs so the juice that has been misrepresented might be part apples off the ground that have been rotting……Why does Trump’s wife always look like she is trying to hold a poop in?

 
In 1965 Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson of the girl singing group The Supremes discovered a mixed race soul group called Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers when they were playing a gig in Vancouver…..they told Berry Gordy about the band and Gordy brought them to Detroit and signed them up….. Tommy Chong, later of Cheech and Chong, was one of the band members…..Bobby Taylor was friends with Jimi Hendrix who was from Seattle but spent his summers in Vancouver, BC when he was a kid.....while playing in Chicago in 1968 the band’s opening act was The Jackson Five…..Taylor personally brought The Jackson Five to Detroit and introduced them to Berry….. Taylor produced their first album and then Berry took over……Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers’s only had 1 hit, Does Your Mother Know About Me?, which Tommy Chong co-wrote…..Cheech Marin once worked at the Banff Springs Hotel…..so did singer Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo…..so did I…..twice…..There are programs on TV that tell us about the best places to retire……lakefront houses seem nice but they never show the noise from the many motorboats and seadoos breaking up the tranquility…..houses are built on stilts in US eastern coastal areas for a reason….hurricanes often cause flooding…..white sandy beaches are nice but not so much when there are apartment buildings (condos) in the background…..I tuned in the Toronto Blue Jays on TV and the other team was winning 6-0 in the 4th inning…..I tuned out the Blue Jays…..maybe another time?..... In the movie “Diner” Kevin Bacon plays a young guy who sits by himself watching Jeopardy on TV and answers the questions out loud…..I’ve done that……”We don’t need no stinkin’ badges.”……Treasure of the Sierra Madre…..I wonder how many guys my age saw their first naked breasts in National Geographic Magazine?……A golf announcer on TV today was talking about a pro golfer who had bought the house his family had rented when he was a kid. The announcer went on to say that back then they also had to pay for electricity……my question is…..when did electricity become free?….did I miss something along the way?
 
In 1970 an American movie came out called Zabriskie Point….. the plotline entailed a college activist who gets involved in a college riot and eventually flees to the Arizona desert in a stolen small airplane….. he meets a hippie chick out in the middle of nowhere who is driving an old car…. they roll around naked together in the sand and are later shot dead by the cops….thousands of young men auditioned for the lead male role in the movie and a guy named Mark Frechette was chosen…..at one point his face was on the cover of the Rolling Stone…..Frechette decided to join a commune instead of continuing his acting career…..in 1973 he and 2 others from his commune decided to rob a bank….one of them was shot dead by the cops…..Frechette was sentenced to a term of 6-15 years in prison….one day while in prison he was doing some weightlifting and a 150 weight fell on his neck and suffocated him…..he was dead at 27…..What’s the deal with all the cat photos on Facebook?....it seems to me there are 2 kinds of cats….#1 the ones that are locked inside their whole lives….”What should I do today? Maybe walk over to the bookcase? Maybe I’ll lie on the top of the couch for 6 hours? Maybe I can mark up the leather furniture some more? At some point I’ll have to defecate in that box by the kitchen which I like to think of as my own desert island…… maybe I’ll walk over to the bookcase again after that?”……#2 the ones that are let out of the home for a period of time so they can dig up the neighbours’ gardens and leave a crap or kill a few small birds and watch them slowly die for sport or scream to high heavens in the middle of the night when they are in heat…..”I would never join a club that would have me as a member.”…..Groucho Marx…..How someone uses a fork and knife tells you a lot about how they were brought up….sorry but it is true…..I believe that almost everyone has some dishonesty in them…..here’s an example…..you are selling a house that you have lived in for 20 years…..at this point you have a good idea what is wrong with the house…..maybe the furnace or the water heater needs to be replaced, maybe there has been a few leaks and some water damage or a new roof is needed, perhaps you have discovered termites or mold, maybe your neighbours are unbearable…..of course you are going to tell the prospective buyers all of this so they know that once they buy the house it is going to cost them a small fortune to fix  it…..right?
 
John Turner and Princess Margaret

John Turner was the prime minister of Canada for 2-1/2 months in 1984….. he was a good looking guy but a dud as a politician…..in the late 1940s he was the fastest runner in Canada…..he once had an affair with Princess Margaret…..he also saved former Canadian prime minister John Deifenbaker from drowning in Barbados in 1965….Turner is in his nineties now and still alive and kicking….I’m not sure of this but I think there might be a race between pharmaceutical pill makers and sci-fi writers and comic book writers for new names for new drugs and  strange characters and the places that they live…….Zoloft is the ruler of a distant undiscovered  planet called Prozac in the galaxy called Lipitor. Zoloft’s nemesis is a nasty guy named Motrin whose meanness stems from a lifetime of drug side effects…..Why do people on TV describe men’s balls as cajones?..... The word “ball” is kind of a happy, playful word isn’t it?..... it shouldn’t offend anyone?…..”Gentlemen you can’t fight in here, this is the war room!”……Dr. Strangelove.

Jerry Seinfeld with the late Jerry Lewis
What’s the deal with Jerry Seinfeld?......lose the suit jacket and mom jeans look, and the white runners while you are at it…..it looks so 80s like when you had big hair……I loved your old show but now you act like you were a 1 man genius who made it a huge success…..you had some pretty decent other writers on the show including Larry David, an excellent ensemble cast, and the best supporting actors ever on TV…..your current show, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, has proven that a lot of comedians aren’t very funny without a script, that you are very condescending to people who aren’t famous including waitresses, and that you can be very petty at times…..BTW Jerry…..Sarah Jessica Parker, Mathew Broderick, and Christopher Walz are not comedians in cars getting coffee.

The View is probably the most watched daytime TV program in America today….. it is hosted by some women who aren’t very bright…..Whoopi Goldberg claims  that her taxes are too high and that she can hardly afford to go to the movies anymore…..Whoopi Goldberg is worth 50 million dollars!…..Joy Behar believes that the population of the US is about 200 million…..she’s only out by about 125 million people……2 of the other panel members, Meghan McCain and Abby Huntsman, are daughters of famous Republican politicians…..that’s their claim to fame…..Meghan McCain can’t last 1 episode without mentioning her dad, the late John McCain who was a piece of shit. She needs 3 x 5 cards to remember what she wants to say….. The Bachelorette?…..1st of all, does anyone actually use this word “bacherlorette”? “Let go see if we can pick up some batcherlorettes at the bar?”……I don’t think so…..I have to confess that I didn’t watch this whole series including the final 2 days……this year’s Bachelorette was a gal named Hannah Brown who was a beauty contest winner from Alabama…..is there anything shallower for women than a beauty contest?......she got to meet 30 eligible bachelors and at least 5 of these guys were black…..did anyone ever think she was going to take a black guy home to meet her white family in Alabama?..... the tricky part for her, was not getting rid of the black guys all at one time….. skip ahead to the crazy guy who wouldn’t quit who stood next to the final 3 guys…..the 3 guys all kind of feigned toughness but never got in the interloper’s face or threatened him physically…..why I oughta…..then sweet Hannah told the viewers that she had sex 4 times one night with one of the final three guys….. and then she rejected him…..instead she accepted an engagement ring from a Nashville folksinger but gave it back to him when she found out that he already had a girlfriend back home and got on the program to further his career……she didn’t like his dishonesty…..kind of like her dishonesty in not mentioning to him that she had had sex 4 times with one of his competitors……I think they should change the name of The Real Housewives shows on TV to Catfighting, Over The Hill Bitches, Who Go After Each Other Over Really Petty Shit……just a suggestion…..”You’re breaking my heart, you’re tearing it apart, so fuck you!”......Harry Nillson……Driving across Canada in the early 70s in the middle of winter at night and seeing the flickering lights of Medicine Hat off in the distance from the highway…..Kevin Hart isn’t funny…..I remember those wooden toll bridges in the Eastern Townships of Quebec long ago and the fishing lures wrapped around the power lines….Did you ever drive through a small town and for future reference think to yourself that this would be the ideal place to be on a witness protection program?......This just in…..the quota for aspiring singers in the world has totally been used up…..turns out that 1 in 5 people can carry a tune….. “Learn to work the saxophone, play just what I feel, drink Scotch whiskey all night long, and die behind the wheel…..Steely Dan…..cheery outlook?.....Years ago I knew a guy who flipped houses…..actually I’ve known a few who did some flipping……..one guy bought a house on a hill in North Vancouver but didn’t realize that there was a bus stop out front……every 20 minutes or so he could hear the loud sound of the bus’s air brakes…..must have been a Sunday when he bought the place…..another guy who was my next door neighbor on Bowen Island got into flipping houses with a guy from Hong Kong who was his financier…..the Hong Kong guy believed in paying cash for everything…..my neighbor once showed me 50 grand in cash that he had hidden in his basement…..a drug pusher in a Vancouver hippie club called Rohan’s Rockpile once showed me 10 grand in cash…..So you are out hiking deep in the woods and come across a small wrecked plane…..you open the plane door and discover the skeleton of the pilot….a newspaper is lying on the floor and it is dated 1978….. in the back of the plane you find two large canvas bags……one of the bags holds tightly wrapped packages of marijuana…..the other bag contains about 100 grand in cash…..what would you do?......I would keep the cash and send a letter to the  cops anonymously and let them know where the plane and pilot could be located…..”All the world’s a stage and the men and women merely players.”…..William Shakespeare…..the first time I ever ate sushi was after a Vancouver Canucks hockey game that I went to around 1982 with my family doctor at the time…..we had great seats about 2 rows up from the ice and we were both stoned on pot…..the Canucks beat Minnesota that night 10-9…..there were so many goals it was like watching a tennis match…..the first time I ever ate raw oysters was around the same time when I was shucking them in a basement of a guy who was about to get married at an Orthodox Ukrainian church later in the day…..The word “loose” isn’t the same as the word “lose” for those that don’t know…..The cost of a campsite less than 100 yards from the edge of the Grand Canyon is only 12 bucks a night…..firewood is extra…..there’s always a catch eh?.....just kidding….“You’ve got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend”……Bob Dylan…..Positively 4th Street. 
Lindsey Graham and Trump
Is there a certain age when a politician should be held responsible for what they say?.....it seems to be fair to give them a pass for what they did and said as kids or even as college students…..as long as criminality or violence didn’t occur……I don’t consider smoking pot as criminality……here is what Tennessee senator Lindsey Graham said about Donald Trump 3 years ago…..”He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. He doesn’t represent my party. He doesn’t represent the values of the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for…..he’s the ISOL man of the year.”…..3 years later and Lindsey thinks Trump is the greatest thing since sliced bread…..who do you believe?.....the 64 year old Lindsey or the 61 year old Lindsey?.....“Pennies in a stream, falling leaves, a sycamore, moonlight in Vermont…..Willie Nelson…..If faith healing really worked don’t you think the healer would be spending every waking hour fixing people instead of once a week in front of a TV camera?.....it should be called “fake healing”……W.C. Fields hated Philadelphia…..his gravestone says “All in all, I’d rather be in Philadelphia”.
Mad Magazine is going out of business….that’s funny…..I thought it went out of business around 1960…..No matter where you go, there you are…..If someone has sex with Nicki Minaj and one of her friends…..is that a Minaj a trois?.....Don’t ask me about video games…..I’m still freaked out about those cyber things in Astro Smash from 35 years ago…..We have been buying loaves of bread our whole lives…..have any of us ever been curious enough to count the slices in the loaf?.....do we just have a rough idea as to how many sandwiches we can get out of loaf?.....Why do men buy pickup trucks?…..they cost about 60 grand or more and are gas guzzlers…..what’s the point of only having seating for 2 or 3 just to make yourself look cool and rugged?......almost all of the time the truck bed is empty…..friends are always hitting on you to help them move something as a favour…..like a piano…..FYI….. Home Depot will deliver lumber to your door for a few extra bucks…..just because you drive one of these behemoths doesn’t give you the right to follow the car in front of you 2” from their bumper because you are pissed off at the world about something…..BTW…..when you are doing that 2” from the car in front of you thing I’m sometimes the guy in that car…..the guy with a smirk on his face pretending I haven’t noticed you in the rear window.
 


”I thought that you’d want what I want, sorry my dear.”….. Send In The Clowns…..Stephen Sondheim…..Subway…..Eat Fresh? The only thing remotely fresh in the store are the bread and cookies…..the veggies all come from California or Mexico by truck, none of the veggies are local……precooked chicken, beef strips, meatballs, and bacon are obviously not fresh…..It must have been a good day for a haberdasher (men’s clothing merchant) 50 years ago when a rock band walked into his store and said “We’ll take 6 of those and 6 of those and 6 of those.”…..Is it square dancing or squares dancing?.....The first thing I ever tried to grow were radishes when I was about 10 years old…..I kept pulling them out and replanting them every few days because I wanted to see if something was going on underground…..It looks like Dave Clark, the drummer for The Dave Clark Five, was a real prick back in the day…..the rest of the group were basically hired help with Clark getting most of the money…..he didn’t take part in any of the song writing but took credit and the profits as a co-writer…..without the lead singer, Mike Smith, nobody would have ever heard of the band…..Regina, Saskatchewan was once called Pile of Bones…..”Hello darkness, my old friend”…..The Sound of Silence…..Paul Simon…..Never ever, under any circumstances, mention Ed Sullivan, Leave It To Beaver, Lassie, Abbott & Costello, to anyone under the age of 50…..they just aren’t interested and have no idea what you are talking about….”Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don’t have film.”…..Steven Wright.
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
One of the first conspiracy theories I ever heard came from an older Jewish guy who grew up in the same neigbourhood as me in Montreal…..I ran into him around 68’……his theory was that CBS (the Columbia Broadcasting System) was an arm of the Catholic Church……he connected “Columbia” to the The Knights of Columbus, a large Catholic based fraternal organization……he went on to list a number of Catholics who had program on CBS TV like Ed Sullivan and Jackie Gleason…..back then I wasn’t sure if he was right or wrong on his premise…..several years ago I did some research on the matter…..William S. Paley, the founder of CBS was Jewish, newsman Walter Cronkite told people that his religious faith was none of their business, and noted CBS war correspondent Edward R. Murrow was a Quaker…..the most recognizable Catholic on TV in the 1950s was Bishop Fulton J. Sheen…..he had 30 million weekly viewers but he was on NBC…..so much for that crackpot theory.

 
I was sitting in a bar in Plattsburgh, NY  on a cloudy afternoon in the summer of 65’ or 66’…..I got into a conversation with a guy sitting next to me…..he said he was a salesman for a local car dealership called Santa Claus Chevrolet…..only in America…..as the afternoon wore on and few beers were consumed he began to tell me a little story……according to him he was one of the American soldiers that wheeled out the atomic bomb, nick named “Little Boy” that was loaded onto a B-29 bomber named Enola Gay and  dropped on Hiroshima in Japan in 1945…..his wife turned up and dragged him out of the bar…..Remember when almost every doctor’s office had a copy of The Reader’s Digest in the waiting area?.....you would get part way into a story you were interested in……and suddenly you would be summoned into the doctor’s office…..never to know how the story ended…..Who doesn’t like bicycles?......I used to love riding them and the freedom that went along with it…..these days some bike riders remind me of Mr.Toad in the children’s story The Wind In The Willows and the glazed over look in his  eyes after he had stolen a motorcar…..a lot of the bike riders I see these days are on the same paved trail where I take my dog for a walk and they seem oblivious to their surroundings…..every few days I have the crap scared out of me when they come up from behind me and don’t bother to ring a bell or tell me that they are on the left or right side of me…..I’m tempted to bring a hockey stick with me on the daily hike one of these days….Never play cards with guys who have nick names like “Hollywood” or “Doc”…..About 15 years ago I was parked on a ferry headed to Vancouver from Vancouver Island…..I got into a conversation with a guy in a pickup truck parked next to me…..I asked him what he did for a living and he told me that he was a storm chaser…..never met anyone else who did that…..we told each other every joke we could remember for close to 2 solid hours and laughed our asses off….. an elephant, a monkey, and a giraffe walk into a bar……they get pretty drunk and when it came to pay the bill the elephant and the monkey both said they didn’t have any money…..the giraffe  said “well I guess the highballs are on me.”…..rim shot…..the ferry pulled into the terminal and the storm chaser went his way and I went mine…..it was a hoot!. 

Sheer and Trudeau
 Tonto’s horse was called Scout….Most people (I think) love going to the beach…..they find a nice spot,  slather suntan lotion all over their bodies, stretch out on their large beach blanket…..then they start reading a book about being somewhere else other than the beach…..America, the land of the free?.....the US has more people per capita in prison than any other nation on the planet…..”It winds from Chicago to L.A., over 2000 miles all the way.”…...Route 66…..Asleep At The Wheel…..Somebody you don’t really know and have never met in the flesh asks to be a Facebook friend…..you think to yourself “what the heck”……the next thing you know you are receiving a dozen or so notifications a day from the guy…..every trite inspirational thought that is out there…..you start thinking…..this isn’t what I signed up for….. I did a lot of hitchhiking in my early twenties…..one guy picked me up in a station wagon in Northern BC in the early 1970s…..every time I got a lift I would always start a conversation with the driver so I could figure out whether or not I was travelling with a psychopath…..I asked this guy several times what he did for a living but he was evasive…..eventually he told me…..he worked for a coroner’s office and had just fished a dead guy out of a river…..the body was resting behind a curtain behind the front seats…..kind of freaked me out!.....Most Canadians will work 40-45 years in their lives…..this fall there will be a national election in Canada…..we will choose to keep our present Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who is a Liberal, or elect Andrew Sheer, a Conservative, to take Trudeau’s job…..these 2 guys, between them, have a combined working experience in the private sector of less than 5 years…..come on Canada!!!.....is this the best we can do?.....Years ago I was sitting in my living room alone in the dark stoned on pot…...across the room I could see the green and red lights  on my stereo…..the lights looked to me like I was coming into port in a boat…..maybe you had to be there?.....Marlon Brando was 5’9” tall and Humphrey Bogart was 5’8” tall…..Prince was only 5’2”……I finally tore that ugly shag carpet out…..and replaced it with parkay flooring…..cool eh?.....3 people who make a lot more sense to me than most others are…..Joe Rogan, Cenk Uygur, and Snoop Dog…..Darts, bowling, and pool are not sports…..And I am out of here!

Google has dismantled the comments area on Blogger for some reason….if you would like to make a comment on this story or other stories…..send me an e-mail…..colinatcove@shaw.ca

This story has been fun to do…..would like to use the same format again. Thanks for reading!