Saturday, January 17, 2009

As Saint Paul Said

So we're just over half-way through the year the Pope had dedicated to Saint Paul and I'm still dealing with feet. Those who read the Epistles know that Paul said the head was not to tell the foot it had no use for it, and those who are kind enough to read me know that I've been spending a lot of time paying just as much respect to my feet as I do to my head.
Are we there yet? I mean, about solving the foot problems? I ask myself if we're done, having stepped into a board shop on Thursday to pick up a pair of boarding shoes. When I was a kid, a board shop would have been a place where you bought lumber, and boarding shoes would have been something worn by pirates with cutlasses in their teeth, swarming up the side of a Spanish galleon. And I never had real knowledge at all of boarding shoes until three summers ago when my young grandson was with us and wanted a pair, and then I got no little of an education in shoe stores, clerks, shoe sizes, and the moods of small boys who had not grown up under the same discipline as their parents, aunts, and uncles. It was quite the saga, but in the end successful, although I never for a moment thought that I'd be grateful for the ordeal a few years later on my own behalf.
With my Cadillac running shoes working so beautifully on the running course at the complex - I got a hit today because of the Soleeze name from Alpine, California - I do not want to wear them out and decided to pick up a pair of boarders for the street. The lad in the board shop was lively and alert with his explanations, so I'm also now qualified to hang out on street corners and debate the opposing merits of vulcanized soles as against soles that are laminated. I think it's laminated. I know the kind I have are vulcanized. I started noticing old cats in running shoes over a decade ago when I got my Birkenstock arch supports, but now I know enough about foot and leg muscles to wonder if these male seniors would be better off in the flat heel that comes with boarders. It seems to be important to not interfere with the full length of the stretching capacity of the back of the leg, from heel to butt.


It's now Sunday. My grandson is up and away, to perform last night in Kamloops, then catch up with family in Horsefly. My grandfather spent some quality time in the Cariboo and it was from him that I first heard the Cariboo place names. They still have something of a mythic quality.
And so do certain names in the North Okanagan: Falkland, Vernon, Lumby; places I was a boy surrounded by a boy's adventures and a boy's view of the landscape. For example, there's a creek runs from the direction of Lumby down toward Vernon, and one spring evening as I rambled its banks by myself I saw a very big fish, later identified - probably my Dad - as a fresh water ling cod. I had only seen little trout and Kokanee in that creek, and wondered what sort of monster I had encountered. He was that big. In Falkland I saw my first rodeo, at age six, and in my teens I was a cadet at the camp in Vernon for two summers. And only after he died, a year ago tomorrow, did I learn that our neighbour Vince grew up in Lumby, where his Mom taught school.


There is a memorial mass for Vince today and we'll be off to it. Meanwhile, I'll go on with reference to the mythological experiences of my boyhood to recall one from Nova Scotia, which place, as I said the other day to a Nelson journalist who hails from there originally, I have not yet been able to to give much credit to in these notes. I had a most poetic skating experience in my winter in Eastern Passage, gliding about through the evergreen trees on a surface created by the local creek flooding its banks high above the village. As it was in the Eastern Passage school that I discovered fairy tales, you can imagine how easily I felt myself to be in a marvellous story.
But there's no time to expand on that episode at the moment, because of the breaking news arising out of the week with the grandson.
By the time James left for his appointed concert in Kamloops, I had come up with the title for his new responsibilities. He is now the Chief Executive Officer of the Music Education Division of the George Edwards Agency. Not bad for going on 25. I grin, of course, as I remember that I was a principal at 24. We must be a pushy family, as the world judges these things.
I'm only partly surpised by this turn of events, thanks to an article in our local not-too-shabby Kootenay Mountain Culture, winter edition. It was in those pages that I read piece a couple of months ago by one Lisa Richardson, talking about the ski industry's foot dragging over how to market itself to the 14-28 category. The fellows in head office, she was saying, had yet to catch on to how Generation Y intercommunicated, that is, on line. By that time I was aware that James and his peers were forever gabbling on the new creations: Face Book, My Space, You Tube. And about the same time I'd also had a good thump in the soul about the unique relationship between the first and third generations.
Perhaps Lisa will get the inside track on a story about how the guys in head office in the music publishing business are even slower, so far, than the people on the mountain tops. Well, some music publishing businesses. It will be interesting to see how James' business flies over the Net.
Thanks to the Net I've already heard that the concert in Kamloops certainly flew. In spite of knowing only one person there, and that only from the Net, he had a full and very appreciative house. A good sign, don't you think?

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