Monday Morning Musings

Posted on April 12, 2021 under Monday Morning Musings with 3 comments

 

Old hippies never die. They just lose their hair.

 

I’m in the home stretch.

By the time some of you read this, I hope to be winging my way back north to complete the school year. Because school starts in early August in the north, it also finishes early, in late May. It is all still a blur and before I know it, I will be back in my apartment in Antigonish hunkering down for my fourth quarantine. Unless something changes at the last minute, my time in the north will come to a close.

My regular readers know that, deep down, I’m an old softy who spends way too much time reveling in the good old days. Nostalgia could well be my middle name.

My first trip To Victoria was in the spring of 1972 (49 years ago -yikes!) after completing my junior year at St.F.X. I decided to come out for the summer to hang out with one of my brothers who was living there at the time. With absolute clarity, I remember stepping off the ferry from Vancouver and being picked up by my brother for the 35 -minute drive into the city. Cresting a hill at Royal Oak, I saw the majestic snow capped Olympic mountains for the first time on a sun dappled day. The love affair was instantaneous. I got a job driving forklift at a furniture warehouse and met some great people who became lifelong friends.

Over the ensuing decades, I made many trips back to Victoria. To this day, it remains a magical place to me and is truly one of the most beautiful cities that I have seen in my travels.

My most recent trip was very special. Despite some misgivings about travelling during Covid (and suffering the wrath of some readers who gave me a serious dressing down for my reckless behaviour), I came to Victoria to rest but mostly to remember.

Prior to this trip, I came to Victoria in December of 2018 to spend Christmas with my late brother Tom. I stayed for the better part of two months. During that time, we walked hundreds and hundreds of kilometers along with Tom’s trusty sidekick, Oslo. Tom knew and loved every square inch of the city, especially the trails.

He had an army of friends, many who became my friends.

I decided on this trip to try and walk as many of the trails that the three of us had walked before. Sadly, Oslo, Tom and Catherine’s beloved Golden, died just a few months before Tom. For the past 8 days, I have walked and walked and walked some more. I also took the time to meet with as many of Tom’s friends and family who were able and willing to meet with me. I also had the pleasure of meeting some new friends , who , for reasons that leave me puzzled (!) have become Week45 readers. Thanks to IC and MG for the warm welcome.

The weather was perfect all week so arranging socially distanced back yard get togethers was easy.

Pete accompanied me on most of my walks and visits. We quaffed a few Stella’s together and shared many fine meals.

My Air B&B was conveniently located in James Bay, a stone’s throw from the Inner Harbour, the legislature and the downtown core. Just around the corner from my rental was a restaurant on Belleville Street called “Belleville’s Premium Quality Watering Hole and Diner”. Because my accommodations did not include cooking facilities, I was forced to eat all of my meals at restaurants. A few days prior to my arrival in B.C. the province shut down indoor dining. Luckily, Belleville’s has a very large patio with well spaced tables and propane heaters at virtually every table. It’s spring here and although everything is in bloom, the temperatures are cool… not quite as cold as Kangiqsujuaq, mind you! The first meal I had was excellent and from that point on, I decided to consume all my meals here knowing their strict protocols were being followed carefully. The music playing in the background was mostly 60s and 70s with a bit of Green Day thrown in for good measure. At the far end of the patio was a huge mural with scenes from the hippie era. While dining there a few days ago, they were adding a few more panels to the mural. Two local artists (“Long haired, freaky people” Do you know the tune?) were supervising the installation of their work. I got quite caught up in the vibe and in short order had the owner of the restaurant, the artists and the carpenters laughing heartily looking at my grad photo … the one with my huge afro.

Will the “summer of love” ever die? Not likely as long as the Boomers are around.

Groovy. Far out, man.

“Will ye no come back again”? I certainly hope so.

Have a great week.

Tri Mac Toyota!
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