181 Slices
Medium 9781770907348

Part III: Wisdom From a Short Perspective

Rick Salutin ECW Press ePub

ODD. THERE ARE PEOPLE IN Nottingham who don’t seem to have heard of Sherwood Forest. The clerks at the hotel stare as if no one ever asked how to get there. They call a number and say a cab will cost 30 pounds each way. Wow. I thought Sherwood would be a big theme park, with the region focused around it, like Orlando. But it is a nature preserve, with a short Robin Hood Festival each summer. We planned to get here on its final weekend. I was sure there’d be regular tourist buses.

Gideon has been engaged with Robin Hood since age four; now he’s almost six. Pin it on Ross Petty. The actor-entrepreneur produces an English-style pantomime in Toronto each Christmas. That year it was Robin Hood. Ross played the sheriff of Nottingham. In the music hall tradition, the audience is encouraged to boo and cheer. Gideon was enthralled. From there we went to movie versions, such as the 1938 Errol Flynn film, with its robust music and rollicking jokes. Those tales met the main condition for capturing his four-year-old interest: they were about good guys versus bad guys.

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Medium 9781770906730


Neil Peart ECW Press ePub

Last day at work, Kansas City



ONCE AGAIN I FIND MYSELF beginning a story at the end. Maybe it’s my new style. Maybe it’s just my age—laying things out according to freshness rather than chronology.

Here Michael and I are riding into the rainy load-in area behind the arena in Kansas City, before the final show of the Clockwork Angels tour, on August 4, 2013. (Photo by Mac McLear, our lead truck driver since … 1977!) Later that day, when I added up my mileages for the tour, I learned that with Michael, Brutus, and occasional guest riders, I had ridden my motorcycle over 28,000 miles between those seventy-two shows.

As always, completing the final ride was a stirring moment. I swung my leg over the saddle for the last time with a palpable sense of … complicated emotions. Something like a sandwich of whole-grain pride and satisfaction, around a thick wedge of weariness, and a side of relief. A phrase I came up with years ago rings ever more true: “When I am riding my motorcycle, I am glad to be alive. When I stop riding my motorcycle, I am glad to be alive.”

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Medium 9781770905993

4: Brock Road: A Rural Idyll

Sharry Wilson ECW Press ePub

ó 4 ó


THE YOUNG FAMILY SPENT THE first month of the summer of 1955 in one of the cabins at Cap’s Place.108 In August they rented a cottage in Cedarville Park on the Pigeon River just north of Omemee. Neil and Bob thrived in this environment. Neil contented himself with swimming, fishing and collecting turtles. Scott gave him a dime-sized turtle he found near its egg, and Neil christened it Fearless Freddie. Dirty Ernie was a larger turtle he gave away earlier on.

One evening the family went for a drive along a back-country gravel road, “scouting wild apple trees for something sharp enough and juicy enough for the first green apple pie of the season.”109 On the way back, Scott spotted a bird sitting on the road ahead. He swerved and slammed on the brakes. Bob recognized the bird as a domesticated budgie and quickly got out of the car to approach it. As he moved his hand gently toward the bird, it hopped onto his finger and stayed there as he came back to the car. The “blue and tired-looking” creature nestled onto Bob’s shoulder, and now the family had to decide what to do with it. They drove to a farmhouse they had spotted a kilometre back and asked whether the family had recently lost a budgie. No: they already had a budgie — a green one — and it was safe at home. Calls were made to other families nearby, but no one was missing a budgie.

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Medium 9781770904958

The Trap Closes

Mark Coakley ECW Press ePub

The Trap Closes

“I told Bob, you can’t trust anyone!”

— Glenn Day

DaSilva texted Day on September 7, 2010: Hello, he’s there what your [estimated time of arrival?]. When Day got the text, he went to meet DaSilva’s runner, Yvan Guindon, at the Husky near the Molson plant.

Day recognized the gray-haired Guindon, in blue jeans and a T-shirt, from the motocross races in Walton. He parked beside Guindon’s blue Chevrolet Cobalt sports car. There was little conversation between English-speaking Day and French-speaking Guindon. Guindon took 20 pounds of cannabis in garbage bags from the backseat of his car and put it in the trunk of Day’s car. As he was carrying the cannabis from one vehicle to the other, one bag of it fell to the pavement and Guindon bent over to pick it up.

Day gave Guindon $25,000, and the runner left, driving north on 400 to the Wasaga Beach area, where he pulled up at Robert Bleich’s home. Guindon opened the trunk of his Cobalt and took out two black garbage bags, one black duffel bag and three ziplock bags, all full of cannabis, and put them into the box of Bleich’s Toyota Tundra.

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Medium 9781770905993

1: In the Beginning...

Sharry Wilson ECW Press ePub

ó 1 ó


IT WAS A HARSH AND unwelcoming winter night — hardly unusual for early February in Toronto. A blizzard had rendered travel precarious. Only the hardiest souls ventured out.

On the morning of February 5, 1945, city residents woke to over 12 centimetres of fresh snow, bringing the total snow­fall since November to more than 1.5 metres — more than would normally fall over an entire winter. And although the snow was not in itself overwhelming, it was accompanied by frigid, blinding winds.

Scott Young, then a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve, was in Toronto on medical leave for fatigue, spending time with his wife, Rassy, and their nearly three-year-old son Bob. Scott was to undergo tests at a hospital in Ottawa, and Rassy and Bob planned to join him at the Lord Elgin Hotel during his recovery. But the snowstorm forced them to revise their travel plans.

They were invited to take refuge overnight in the home of good friends Ian and Lola Munro1 at 361 Soudan Avenue, near the intersection of Eglinton Avenue East and Mount Pleasant Road in what was then a northern suburb of the city. The Youngs had been visiting the Munros as the day passed and weather conditions worsened.

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