He ain’t heavy, he’s my Father

This will be the 20th Father’s Day that I don’t get to chat with Gordy. My Dad passed away on the Victoria Day weekend 1999. He was 72. I think of him often and am reminded of him a lot…in me. My mannerisms and personality and such. We inherit DNA from our parents, physiological and emotional DNA. But we were influenced by their behaviour and actions just as much. The value systems, the way they communicated, treated other people, handled adversity and celebrated victories. Coming from a large family, we had our moments but I have nothing but great memories growing up. My parents did a great job raising us. As a Father myself, I see my influence on my sons. I’ve always been proud of them. I can see the good things they took from me, and yes, I wish I had a few re-do’s on others but I did the best I could and will continue to do so. They are both Fathers and are doing a great job with their children.

I had an epiphany last week about my Dad in the unlikeliest of places. This isn’t a name drop, well it kind of is, but I sat beside Rogers President and CEO Joe Natale recently for lunch. Edward Rogers was at the table too. I wasn’t frozen in fear to be there but was on guard while I ate in front of them. We talked about music……and then my Dad! As soon as Joe asked me where I grew up, boom, I was my authentic and complete self. I mentioned it was Edmonton and that my Dad worked for AGT. Alberta Government Telephones. His salary as a journeyman Cable Splicer raised 6 kids. Joe was so gracious and thought that was such a great thing. He then mentioned that AGT and EDTel were important operations that brought phones to people all over the province. Many times when customers didn’t have a phone. He was very familiar with them because they were basically acquired by Telus, where Joe was also CEO before joining Rogers. We talked about my Dad climbing telephone poles and splicing cut phone lines in all kinds of weather. To paraphrase, he said my Dad was part of a group that provided a pioneering service. It was a compliment to my Dad that really hit home for me and I felt proud. Being honest, Joe is an amazing leader and is thoughtful and honest in everything he says, and he always seems to say the right things. It was typical Joe you could say, but it was special for me. 

Gordy was one of a kind. He was the youngest in a very large family that grew up in Kingston. He served in Korea in the PPCLI. When we were in Seoul for the Olympics, it was inspirational to see the section of the War memorial that showcased Canada’s involvement. I wrote about that in another blog.

So, Gord comes home from war and meets a young nurse named Joyce, they married, moved to Edmonton and popped 6 kids in short order. My Dad was frugal but generous with his time and counsel. He always liked to help people and always wanted the best for his family. Sometimes he was too generous. But that’s not a sin.

So I will continue to think about my Dad, not only this weekend, and feel pride in the way he raised us and the things he taught us. Thanks Dad. (And Mom of course…she did all the heavy lifting)

My Dad received this momento when he retired from AGT

Raptor Champs


Did you watch? Did you stay up until midnight every game?

Wow! The Raptors winning the NBA Championship has united our nation like little could. It’s funny how sports is the common thread to those rare occasions in Canada. The Jays in 92/93 were special too, but there was no social media to see the block parties and celebrations. Team Canada winning Gold in the Olympics in Vancouver was a BFD……but shorter lived. Admittedly, I’ve become much less of a dedicated sports fan to any one team. I still enjoy most sports and hearing informed people discuss sports but I’m not a face painted, foam #1 wearing, beer tossing, large wagering sports fan.  Let me put it another way, I’m never going to give my heart to any team, only to have it ripped out and thrown back in your face. I’ve felt that way in the past. I am wiser now. If it’s not in my my control, I worry a lot less.

Hardcore fans, give yourself some credit when your team loses (it wasn’t anything you did wrong) and be happy but humble when they win. Nothing is more amusing than reading Facebook threads about rivalries in sports.  I hate to break it to you, but those heroes you are defending really don’t care about you the same way you care about them. The money in pro sports is really insane, but I’m a staunch supporter of market influence. So all the power to those making millions for playing a game. And congratulations Toronto Raptors. This has been fun to watch.

Did you know……..

  • Doc and Woody and Randall have been doing mornings at 106.1 CHEZ for 20 years. The show comes to an end on June 28. It’s pretty rare to have such a long and successful run. They will finish at the top in more ways than one. It’s been a privilege to work with them but more importantly, listen to them for as long as I have. I know thousands of fans feel the same way.img_0481
  • I haven’t been to a movie theatre for years. Ok once or twice in the last 5 with 3 year olds. I still love movies. The concept of viewing a new release (and 20 minutes of previews) in a dark auditorium with digital picture and sound with the aroma of fresh popped corn in the air is still very appealing. It’s really the crowds that keep me away. I may start going more often. img_0648
  • I’m seeing more and more friends, colleagues and acquaintances pass away in 2019. I know with life, eventually comes death, but it’s been sobering in many ways. There are many cliches about living life………practise at least a few would ya?  
  • I’ve kept my health conscious lifestyle going in 2019 and outside of a few colds from the grand kids, I’ve been feeling great. Watch the intake of everything, stay active, get sleep and surround yourself with people you love. We all could do worse.img_0240

Thanks for reading.  

And Happy Father’s Day.


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