Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Of course I was absolutely furious when she left me.  And then the sadness set in.   I was sad, really sad.  I also remember being remorseful and then angry … and then absolutely furious … again.

Just three weeks ago she left me.  Her eloping partner pushed some buttons and she left.  I didn’t blame him for wanting her.  She was the kind that anybody who saw her wanted her.  She certainly did not need him, him being a younger strapping version of myself, I suppose.

Whenever we rolled together in public I could see the looks on their faces, and I could hear their whispers.  Some even rudely hollered, Nice ride! My turn next!

She was the kind that even the police officer oohed and awed when he looked at her sweet picture.  She was the kind that the security guy, who opened up the gate at the compound, asked if he could ride her and while having his picture taken.  In past, I had let others ride her on occasion.  I could have pimped her -- but I didn’t.

Her arms were firm and long and widespread in a permanent gesture of welcome.  Her rack was scanty and her seat, a zaftig plumpness with a double spring.  To employ a cliché, she was definitely built for comfort, not for speed (if you know what I mean).

Before I met her she’d spent some time getting tuned and tanned on the coast in Southern California, and before that getting her body parts re-engineered from a country in the Far East.  Truly, she was exotic, filled with Asian wisdom, with a body hot enough to die for.  And she left all of that Asia and California to spend her days with me in dusty bowl Saskatchewan.

And then she left with him.  Of course he had to press the right buttons at the right time to convince her to go, and he so did, and so she went. A personal affront it was, as he looked his antecessor (me) right in the eye whilst I viewed the security video of him stealing her away in Annie Oakley fashion.  It seemed even, since she wheeled away so easily, there may have been some complicity on her behalf.

She was anthropomorphous, curvaceous like my favorite 50’s pin-up, Marilyn Monroe.  She was the anachronistic sexual replicate of Marilyn, having even the same drooling figure, a 36 spoken rack, a 36 spoken rump, and that so perfect yummy looking V, pointing to her tied tubes, just under her tummy, midway down her sunlit luscious bod.

By the time she moved in with me she was ever rubber-ready (needing just a little lubricant now and then, I having to squirt a weekly dram into her valve, oftentimes just before a full mount).  And my god, did I ever enjoy pumping her pedals, slowly at first, then faster, then faster, faster, faster, climaxing into an all-out sweaty crescendo at ride’s end.

Before she left me I jumped on her every day.  (Ambidextrous or ambisinistrous), daily did I grasp those long curvy arms with my left hand, and did lightly lift her rear with my right.  Every day with every pump she pleasured me, continuously through the summer months.
I so missed her wide front rack.  I so missed her head (badge).  I even missed her brakes. (Over time I’d determined that riding her was an exotic Yin and Yang experience.  Ride hard. Brake hard. Pump. Stop. Ride hard. Brake hard. Pump. Stop.)

I missed her ever erect nipples particularly noticeable at the ends of her spokes. I missed her curvy tubes. I missed that glistening green glow after I greased her central valve with some lubricant squirts.  

I remember the control and power that I had yanking her chain.  And, of course, I remember the forks.  Really, our relationship was entirely based upon the positional front and rear-end forks.   IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE FORKS.  OMG do I miss those forks!

In denial and desperation, I reported her missing.  The attending police officer told me that whomever she was with, knowing the kind of bad boy he was, he would most likely discard her for another, should a police cruiser appear to him in close proximity.  And that police officer was right, for she was later found lying in a ditch, asunder, broken, and dirtied.

When I applied to have her released, there she was hanging like a criminal in a cage, in a corner behind the wire.  I think she was crying -- I know I was.

Back at home, I carefully wiped off the recent filth, scrubbing her clean.  And then I couldn’t help myself.  In a sudden state of arousal, I couldn’t stop my left hand from squeezing gently on her rack, as my right hand raised her seat ever so slightly.  And then I gently mounted, and rode her for over an hour.

My California pleaser was still more than willing to go the distance for a quick roll on my demand.  I enjoyed this make-up ride so much that I’m seriously considering bringing her to all of my buskspots.  I know it’ll seem a bit kinky, my imagined ménage a trois with my lost-and-found love beneath me and my other true-love, my twelve string, slung across my back, but so what.  We would, I truly believe, look good together.

(Whoever said that dancing is the vertical expression of horizontal desire had never straddled the saddle of my green-eyed FATTI-O lady from California.)

Life was really a bitch without her … but the bike is back!

(My green ELECTRA RALLY SPORT is back.)

And so, dear readers, ends my first attempt at writing a soft and poignant love story. Telling such a tale stirs me wildly, so much that I long to wrap my legs around her body, have her seat against my inner thighs, and jump that California tease … right now!


Three people deservedly marched in my CHAUCERIAN PARADE:

  • First … the compound security guy who had my love chained and hanging upside down.  Even though he rode her and her picture taken in so doing, with the proper documentation he did release her, and give me the thumbs up.

  • Second … Mike, the manager of the brand new INDEPENDENT grocery on Broadway Avenue. Right after my love’s release, I rode over to seek his busking permission.

You are kidding!  He exclaimed after I asked permission to busk on his property right in front of the store.  We’re having the grand opening this Wednesday and I’d love you to be there BUSKING!

  • Third ... Mike, the manager of INDEPENDENT, is quite unlike Brent, the manager of the SAFEWAY ON 13TH Avenue in the Cathedral Area, who stated that I would be a SAFETY AND SECURITY RISK!

Fellow buskers:
The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.
[G. K. Chesterton]

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Redy to wenden on my pilgrimage, Carol (my wife) and I headed out on Highway #1 in a rented Chrysler Town 'n' Country van.  We drove west to beautiful British Columbia, Canada, first to a wedding in Williams Lake, and finally to a birthday party in Invermere.  This was my fourth consecutive summer buskation to the Canadian Rockies.  This was the second birthday party for my grand-daughter, Eden, daughter of my daughter, Natika (pictured left).

Our first stop, Golden, British Columbia, is situated right on the Trans-Canada Highway in the Rocky Mountain Trench.  We stayed only overnight at Golden, then drove through the Rogers Pass, followed by a winding highway along the Shuswap, toward our Greyhound Bus Depot stop in Kamloops.  Our youngest son, Travers, had flown from Amsterdam to Vancouver, then he hopped a Greyhound to Kamloops.  The three of us were to be at a family wedding in Williams Lake the next day.  I was to be the emcee.

We three drove out of Kamloops, in the Thompson Valley of Ponderosa Pines and Big Sagebrush, past Cache Creek on our way to Williams Lake. 

Williams Lake, commonly called The Puddle, is a cowboy city in the heart of Cariboo.  My nephew, Taelor, and Kristelle (his bride-to-be) had a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony followed by a town hall reception of delicious food and delightful entertainment.  To be cliché, A GREAT TIME HAD BY ALL!

The next morning we followed my sister, Lin, brother-in-law, Cal, and their youngest, Harrison, two hours up the highway to their home in Prince George.  (My mother also lives in Prince George.)

Prince George is considered the Northern Capital of British Columbia.  Situated at the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako Rivers, this major city is the transition zone between the Northern and Southern Rocky Mountain Trench.

Colloquially known as PG, Cal drove me to the downtown, where we met Rick Kerbrat, the manager of RUINS SKATE SHOP.  (Yes, Rick Kerbrat, a great name for a skate boarder … CURB RAT:) Rick was very gracious and gave me the thumbs up to busk in front of his establishment.

After farewells to Lin and Cal, Harrison, and Mom, we drove to the town of Jasper, the center of Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies

In Jasper there is NO BUSKING ALLOWED (though I did witness scruffy cadge blowing a lame harmonica, taking up an entire main street bench, having his dozens of papers spread about). The scribbled sign alongside him read, Poems for Pennies.

The next morning we drove down the Jasper-to-Banff highway, hiking several times along the route, which included Athabasca Falls and the Columbia Ice Fields.  (Travers pictured below on the ice.)

At the end of day we drove into the summer resort town of Invermere, situated in the Columbia Valley on the north end of Lake Windermere, home of my daughter, Natika, and her daughter, Eden.
Hiking in the mountains near Invermere  with Natika, Eden, and Glee’na, their rotweiller, we sighted two eagles.  The end of our hike was enhanced with the juxtaposed sounds of the forest against those of the bagpipes.   PETER JANSEN has been playing his bagpipes and drinking beers on this path for over 30 years.  Peter states that They ran me out of town years ago, so I bring my bagpipes and beers up here.

I play bagpipes to silence the voices in my head, reads his t-shirt.

My buskspot in Invermere was beside Sarah and Laura, who were selling shirts and jewelry at kiosk on the main street.  Invermere has a population of 4,000 in winter, swelling to 40,000 in summer!

After some Yoga dives (for Eden) at the pool in Radium Hot Springs, we celebrated Eden’s second birthday!

On our buskation, we stravaged many a weald and waterfall, and observed the surrounding wildlife:
A black bear at Jasper, mountain goats on the ridge of the Columbia Ice Fields, deer in a back yard at Invermere, eagles atop a tree on a mountain trail along Lake Windermere, and bighorn sheep at Radium Hot Springs.

As I close this blog entry, I am laden with a considerable weltschmerz of good-byes.  Good-bye to the highway sandwich snunches of calabrese salami, edam cheese, packed on butterless baguettes, and washed down with bottles of Rocky Mountain Adam’s Ale.

Good-bye to those who posed for my CHAUCERIAN PARADE:

 [Myself, busking in downtown PG]
[Carol and Eden watching me busk]

[Taelor and Lin --
groom and mother of the groom]

[Trav and Eden and Carol on a hike]

Good-bye to Lin and Cal and Harrison.  We love you and see you not often enough! 

And an especial good-bye to Natika and Eden.


Monday, July 15, 2013


Somebody stole my bike.  Somebody stole my bike!  SOMEBODY STOLE MY BIKE!

My ELECTRA CRUISER RALLY SPORT with the fat frame and fat tires was a significant part of my life.  Every sunshine day I ride my bike (the one that was STOLEN) around WASCANA LAKE in WASCANA PARK.

And you did not know this about me, did you?  And I’ll bet you didn’t know that I run three miles every day and that I lift weights at least three times a week.  These behaviors are those exhibited by my other self, my secret identity self.

But I’m not the only person who has a secret identity.  SUPERMAN has a secret identity – CLARK KENT.  BATMAN has a secret identity – BRUCE WAYNE.  The HULK has a secret identity – BRUCE BANNER.  The list goes on.  Need I mention SPIDERMAN and the FLASH?

Unlike these super heroes who have elements of fiction in their separate persona's, and while keeping their true identities hidden through the disguise of a mask or a costume, the rest of the ruck (the rest of us) are not so lucky in our deceptions. My dynamic self is that of a busker.  My alterity is the one that runs long distances, lifts weights, and rides a bike.

Who would know that this folk busker thrumming the twelve-string and blowing the harpoon has another identity, that of a reasonably fit Psychology consultant?

I'm going to compare Superman with his secret identity, Clark Kent.  Superman wears a blue suit with a red cape; Clark wears a dark dress suit.  Superman has x-ray vision; Clark wears thick horn-rimmed glasses.  Superman wears boots; Clark wears Clarks Wallabees.  Strangely (maybe not so strangely) Superman and Clark look identical, save for the glasses and suits. 

Now I'm going to compare my busker self with my secret identity, the Psychology consultant.  Busker Neil packs a guitar and harpoon; the consultant packs a synthetic brief case.  Busker Neil wears shades; the consultant wears contact lenses.  Busker Neil wears workboots or sandals; the consultant always wears dress boots.  Busker Neil wears a t-shirt in summer; the consultant always wears a long-sleeved white shirt with a collar.  Busker Neil wears jeans, and so does the consultant. Strangely (and maybe not so strangely, too), Busker Neil and the Psychology consultant look to be identical, save for the boots and shirts.

Superman fights crime.  Busker Neil sings songs.  Clark Kent is a news reporter. Neil Child is a Psychology consultant.  Superman flies.  Busker Neil stays on the sidewalk.  Clark Kent has an office and so does Neil Child.  Clark Kent and Neil Child, both, are demure; whereas, Superman and Busker Neil perform feats of derring-do.  Superman and Clark Kent, Busker Neil and Neil Child are, all, mutable in the sense that they can change costume whenever necessary on a dime and in a phone booth. 

Ah, but I am not alone in this particular double identity regard.  For example, ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS has a million and a half members in Canada and the United States, and over two million members world-wide.  Members of NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS have over 60,000 meetings in 131 countries.  None of these attending members are donning a physical disguise.

Bringing it home, do you really know the members of your family?  Do you really know your neighbors? Do you really know your work colleagues? Do you really know the familiar strangers at your gym? Do you really know any of the people in your community? 

You know their secret identities, their mostly presented selves, but you do not necessarily know their doughty alter egos. Two hundred and fifty million Americans, your family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, familiar strangers, and total strangers are all strolling and strutting on American sidewalks, flaunting their everyday selves, baring their secret identities. 

Who would know the 3.4% of these people that are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender?  Who would know the 3% of these people who cheat on their spouses?  Who would know the 26% who suffer a diagnosable mental illness?  And who would know any of the 1% afflicted with SCHIZOPHRENIA?

Shall I mention, too, that 3.2% of Americans are under some form of correctional control; and those not in prison, who are on probation or parole are sharing your sidewalks and nudging next to you in crowded shopping malls?   

These rather mundane secret identities compared to the more dynamic identities are like a Yin and Yang, a Jekyll and Hyde, a metamorphosis, a transmogrification, or a shape-shift.  The vanilla-bared secret identity people that we know can be in stark contrast to those same, but valiant adventurous expressed people that we do not know.

Some, indeed, are in costume, especially those in transgender. Those in prison are wearing the stripes.  On a seduction, spouse cheaters are dressed to the nines. Only when a person with Schizophrenia is having an episode, will the bizarre behaviors be evinced, will the sufferer be found out.

I must get back to me.  My coin-tossing consumers do not know that I’ve another life.  My consumers on the sidewalk only know my public busking alter-ego.  They do not know my sidequests as a Psychology consultant, a counselor, a teacher, and blogger. 

My busker self is forever seeking the most munificent consumers.  My busker self is continuously searching conversaziones, places where people are willing to visit and part with some of their hard-earned coins.  Some of these conversaziones include: SHOPPERS (Mondays and Fridays), ITALIAN STAR DELI (Tuesdays), MADAME YES (Wednesdays), (EXTRA FOODS (Thursdays), and VALUE VILLAGE (Saturdays and Sundays).

On a whim I shall compare the phenomena of people and their secret identities to people on the planet in general.  Every morning at 5:30 I read Al Jazeera news while sipping my morning coffee.  Thus, every morning I am reminded that our planet Earth can be an Augean Stable for most of its occupants.  However, every afternoon when I go busking in the afternoons, I am reminded that it need not be so.

Marching in my CHAUCERIAN PARADE this week:

  • Tyson, a harp player, approached while I was busking in the downtown square in front of Madame Yes.

“Mind if I join you,” he asked whilst I strummed.
“Not at all,” I replied.
“Thanks,” said Tyson as he pulled out two harmonicas, one in the key of G, the other in the key of E.
Tyson accompanied me for twenty or so minutes, playing marvelously on the G, adequately on the E.

  • Carlo, owner of the ITALIAN STAR DELI, came up to me whilst I strummed on his storefront patio.

You’ve got to come here Thursday, my friend.  We’re shooting a film and we need you to busk.  This conversation took place on my regular Tuesday busk at the ITALIAN STAR DELI.
I did go Thursday and was greeted warmly (as usual) by Carlo, and by Ian, director of the film.  Entitled, Prairie Diner, the documentary on the ITALIAN STAR DELI, was being shot by City TV. 
Every lunch hour hundreds of people line the counter ordering the specialty Italian sandwiches.  This particular noon hour I strummed my twelve-string and blew my harpoon from several angles into the camera.  Sometimes I had to stop abruptly; sometimes I had to strum loudly.  I found the experience to be edifying and the busking, sweet.  (One customer even tossed me a hot Italian sandwich!)   

SOMEBODY STOLE MY BIKE!  And that somebody has a secret identity.

That somebody is an adolescent male wearing a baseball cap and backpack -- I know this because, on our security camera, I watched his burgle identity pedal out of our parkade!

Friday, July 5, 2013


It’s no secret.  Whilst comprising just 8% of the adult population in Saskatchewan, Canada, First Nations men account for 80% and First Nations women account for 87% of the occupancy of all the inmates in the Saskatchewan prison system.

It’s no secret.  Only 31% of First Nations high school students in Saskatchewan, Canada, graduate with their grade 12 certificate, compared to the 91% of Non-Aboriginal students who graduate with their grade 12 certificate.

It’s no secret.  This is a social imbroglio. This is cause for concern. 

Could there be a simple solution? 
Keeping First Nations adults out of prison is keeping First Nations students in school.
Or to put it another way:
Keeping First Nations students in school will keep First Nations adults out of prison.
Or to put it yet another way:
First Nations prison populations would be lower if First Nation high school graduation rates were higher.

If this is the solution, then it must be acted upon.

I know, I know.  This seems a rather arrogant viewpoint as expressed by this person of privilege.  I am white and middle-aged and middle-class. (Because I am a person of privilege, does this mean I live a life of misinformation and misadventure?)

My friend and colleague, Dawne, too, is privileged.  She is beautiful and bright.  She has a very strong work ethic and has a high regard for her family and her culture.  She is Metis.

Dawne has just been appointed as an Aboriginal Advocate for Aboriginal high school students.  It is up to Dawne to create and write her own job description.

Dawne clearly has a tough row to hoe.  The current practice for keeping First Nations students in school seems to be the lure of beading dream catchers and building inuksuks, participating in drum circles and talking circles, receiving Circle of Courage philosophies, instructional drams of speaking Cree, and blaming the brown-face low graduation rate on lost land entitlement, residential schools, and the designed cultural genocide on the part of our government.

(Brown-face, a catch-phrase coined by Aboriginals in leadership capacities, has been the descriptor this past decade, seemingly in response to the historically racist, red-skin.  Treaty lectures and exams on such are now a mainstay in Social Studies, History, and Native Studies curricula in efforts to increase the low brown-face graduation rates. Elders and their Aboriginal consulting ilk tend to blame the plight of Aboriginals on the residential school policies of yesteryear; and there are other people too, including my daughter, Natika, who refer to this unflattering bit of history as genocide.  (Too harsh a word for my liking, though I could handle the phrase, unconscious cultural genocide, I suppose.)

Yes, yes, how irreverent.  Methinks, not so, when you consider that no one, save for some Elders and professors at the First Nations University of Canada even speak Cree.  I am speaking about urban Aboriginals, not those Aboriginals living on rural reservations, or those living in the Northern climes.

Dawne, the newly appointed Aboriginal Advocate, believes in Individualism – a theory maintaining the political and economic independence of the individual and stressing individual initiative, action, and interests.

To practice the concept of Individualism, one must first understand some other abstract words, Stereotype, Racism, and Prejudice.

Stereotype – a thought that may be adopted about specific types of individuals.
Some examples of stereotypes:
Blacks are athletic.
Muslims are terrorists.
Asians love Math.
Italians and the French are the best lovers.
Rappers are gangsta’s.
Aboriginals are drop-outs.

Racism – views, practices, and actions reflecting the belief that humanity is divided into distinct biological groups called races, and that members of a certain race share certain attributes which make that group as a whole less desirable, more desirable, inferior, or superior.
Some examples of Racism:
Blacks used to be regarded as the property of white folk.
African Americans are two to three times more likely to be pulled over and searched by the police when driving their cars.
Brown-faces need to special accommodations in school classrooms.
Aboriginals face many barriers, simply because they are Aboriginal, when striving to achieve their grade 12 graduation certificate.

Prejudice – an adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.
Some examples of prejudice:
Dylan is Aboriginal, and because he is Aboriginal, has certain barriers to overcome before he can achieve a grade 12 certificate from high school.
A group of teenage Aboriginals just hanging around must be gang members.

To catalogue all Aboriginal students as having a particular block of barriers to overcome is both prejudice (because someone has pre-judged the situation), and racist (because someone is arrogant enough to think that a student needs help just because of skin color).
In a line: 
To insist that all Aboriginal students have barriers that bar their education is prejudice and racist and non-productive.

(I am aware of the research and I am a believer of the statistics. I do know that many Aboriginals, generally speaking, have barriers, poverty being just one example.  Other barriers that have been expressed are that Aboriginal children are the products of generational welfare, and that Aboriginal fathers and sons have long-time gang affiliations, and Aboriginal males are filling up the prison system, leaving Aboriginal females and children to fend for themselves.

Aboriginals, statistically, have such barriers.  Non-Aboriginals, specifically, may have these same barriers.

The disproportionately high prison rates and disproportionately low graduation rates experienced by those of Aboriginal ancestry are the direct and indirect results of lost land entitlements and residential schools.  This is the bully-pulpit oratory preached by those Aboriginal people in power.   

This particular tactic fits in neatly with our Western concept and nature of time, for we, in the Western world, tend to move along our life paths in a linear fashion, left to right, past to present.  This is our nature.  Sadly, these claims, in a great part, are true.  Sadly, these claims, in a great part, have a monetary solution.  The evils of the past, it seems, can be cleansed by the almighty dollar.  Government pieces of silver, it seems, can restore dignity.

The sterling solution, however, is an appeal to the past rather a plan for the future.  Such an appeal signals there is no collective solution.  The solution to minimizing the criminality and maximizing the educational outcomes of First Nations people lies in Individualism, enacted now and in future. 

The solution is also up to Dawn, in her role as Aboriginal Advocate, and her actions of Individualism, one person at a time.

In western school systems, our practice has been, and is currently still, to generalize, to be prejudice, to be racist.  Simply stating that Aboriginal people have barriers impeding their education is, in itself, a barrier.  

This political rhetoric restricts passage because firstly, this is a syllogism based upon a faulty premise: All Aboriginals have certain barriers that make it difficult for them to succeed in school. And then following this premise:  Dylan is Aboriginal.  Dylan has particular barriers that make it difficult for him to succeed in school.   

This particular piece of deductive reasoning has become the classic argument, an acquiescence to the groupthink mentality of Pity me because I am Aboriginal.

Secondly, there is the expectation that I, being a white-face and member of the hoi polloi, have an obligation to uphold all the entitlements by simply paying for the sins of my fathers out of my pocket.   
To date, this idea is simply not working. 

Individualism, a program meant for tailoring (something) to suit the individual (pun intended), is the only solution to this much maligned social problem of municipal, provincial, and national concern.

Going back to Dylan, suppose that Dylan is skipping classes in school.
A sidebar (pun intended):  There is a direct correlation between attendance and achievement in determining school success.  Generally, students who attend their classes pass their classes.  Students, who do not attend their classes, fail their classes.  Statistically, Aboriginal students have high non-attendance rates.  For reasons whatever, lots of Aboriginal students choose not to go to school.  Now the naysayers of Aboriginal authority will preach that this non-attending behavior proves that our schools do not offer the cultural knowledge to keep Aboriginal students engaged in their classes.  I say that presenting inuksuks and dream catchers and beadwork and Treaty curriculum is not working, not even when delivered by Aboriginal teachers and Aboriginal Elders (as if there would be a difference depending on the skin color of the person delivering).      

Now whether Dylan is brown-faced, yellow-faced, black-faced, white-faced, or two-faced, should not determine the action taken.  Dylan, as an individual, should be held accountable by his teachers, who in concert with Dylan’s parents/guardians, can work together to correct Dylan’s delinquent attendance in school. Suppose that together in conversation and action, it has been determined that Dylan is not in school because his family cannot afford the bus tickets necessary to travel to and from.
If, in fact, Dylan is Aboriginal, and there are significant dollars allotted to assist Dylan in transportation and other areas, then, indeed, Dawne can contribute to Dylan’s rescue.  (I’ve certainly no quarrel with this because of the statistical facts.  More people of Aboriginal descent are poor, compared to people of European descent.  If Dylan’s immediate problem is transportation, and because his family cannot afford bus tickets, then this is an individual issue of need, not an issue of Aboriginal entitlement.)

If Dylan’s non-attendance at school is determined in concert, by his teachers and family, that Dylan just does not want to be there, would rather be elsewhere for whatever reason (drugs or gangs being a couple of extreme but common examples), then Dawne can assist Dylan and his family in this regard.  It could be there are monies available for other recreations (e.g., live theatre, e.g., boxing academies, e.g., gym passes, e.g., service- providers) and Dawne could help determine the worthiness and readiness on Dylan’s part in any or all these matters.

Admittedly, this particular blog post merely skims the surface of the cultural problems apparent in our prisons and in our schools.  Truly, there is no way to gloze the reality, the plight of Aboriginal people in the past and in the present.  Whatever lures have been employed to date, are not shiny enough bait to keep our Aboriginal youth in school and out of the correctional institutions.  We, an entire community of the homogeneous we, need to re-think the past strategies, re-think the bait used so far to hook students to stay in school.  We’ve got to think deeper, and drag harder, to design a lure that is appropriate for each of our students, no matter the color of their skin.

Ignoring other solutions is to ignore societal change.  Abrogating any ideas/solutions that are contrary to the present groupthink of Aboriginal victimization is pragmatically irresponsible, arrant nonsense, in fact.   Resisting change because of certain ancestral (I dare say, anachronistic) commitments is like packing a quiver with broken arrows to go on a buffalo hunt. 

Broken arrows.  Broken promises.  Broken dreams.

is pictured above. Eden, my grand-daughter, is eating her first ice cream cone.

Eden is the daughter of my daughter, Natika.  Eden is of the HUU-AY-AHT First Nation.

Eden began in the garden of Huu-ay-aht, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  Huu-ay-aht is an efflorescent of bald eagles, black bears, sea lions, grey whales, and orcas.  Huu-ay-aht is the rainforest along rocky shores and sandy beaches and ocean swells; Huuy-ay-aht is where the rivers hug and kiss the Pacific.

Eden is not yet dreaming of her education, but her good mother is.  It is apparent that Eden has a brown face.  It is not so apparent that Eden may need some type of accommodation to graduate with her grade 12.  If Eden does need accommodation, it will not be because of her brown face.

I shall close this olla podrida (literally a rich seasoned stew, pun intended) with a philosophical question: 

Is my friend, Dawne, an Aboriginal advocate?   
Or an advocate who is Aboriginal?


Three members of the busking community marched in my CHAUCERIAN PARADE this week:  Brian, Myles, and Devon.  All three busk in front of Liquor Board stores.

  • Why don’t you ever return my calls?  Brian asked in passing on a downtown sidewalk.  Brian is scruffy, eats out of back alley bins, and, in part, was inspirational for me taking up the harmonica.  (After listening to him blow into several harmonicas from his collected set I thought to myself, I can do that!)

  • Ah yes, B, commented Myles.  He plays that pan.  He never plays anything but that Far East stuff.  No country, no rock, no nothing, but that Far East stuff.  Myles is a liquor board store busker that stays seated on the sidewalk.  Myles never looks up.  Myles always has a stogie stuck on the right side of his bottom lip.  Myles thinks he’s a really, really, good busker.  (Actually, Myles does play a decent guitar and he has excellent pipes.  Too bad he never, ever looks up at his customers.)

  • Devon and I have a history.  Four years ago we were both busking on the mean streets of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  Devon is the quintessential folk artist.  He is a virtuoso on guitar and blows an impressive harpoon.  Cap-a-pie, Devon looks the perfect busker, short curly shock of hair, t-shirt, and faded jeans. Devon just made over 400 dollars busking for six hours in front of two liquor board stores.
          Busking is the best, says Devon.