Remember the lovely winter scene of my childhood (see previous post)?  Well, it’s one of those days… you should see it… except you can’t because there’s so much snow blowing around here.  

winter wonderland... "a mantle of white"

The good thing about that is we’re somewhat housebound (highway and school closures as testaments to conditions) so I can discipline myself to write a new entry.  As you may remember, I got into the “Centennial spirit” and wrote my first song in 1967.  Then there’s this gap which occurs until the late ’80’s.  This post attempts to explain (excuse) that.  Here’s a somewhat scambled list of things which happened in those intervening years (not necessarily in chronological order or order of importance)…

* I entered high school

*I met my future wife

*I was high school yearbook editor

*I continued to play at church services (usually about three times a week)

*I continued to play (largely) by ear

*I took several organ and accordian lessons

*I graduated from high school

*My girlfriend (future wife) was involved in a serious car accident with her father (yes, in wintry weather) and sustained a rather serious head injury

*I took a year of university

*Undecided about my educational direction, I decided to attend teachers’ college and (perhaps) teach till I decided what I really wanted to do…

*I was quite decided in my desire to marry my girlfriend and determined to propose to her (engagement ring) at Christmas

*I got appendicitis overnight on December 23/24

*I proposed to Jane from my hospital bed on Christmas Day (suggestion: Propose from a hospital bed… it’s hard to be refused)

*I attended teachers’  college and got a job in the county near our home in London

*Oh yes, we bought our first home (that’s a track for another post)

*I was a pretty good student teacher and a fairly miserable “real” teacher for my first several years… improved to less miserable in subsequent years…

*We had our first child (Chris)… you met him in a previous post

*We had our second child (Pat)… you’ll meet him today

*We had our third child (Peter)… more on him later

*I taught in the junior division (grades 5 and/or 6) for about ten years with occasional forays in the intermediate grades for music… more on that later…

*I attended university in order to finish off my degree whenever opportunity arose (course by course by course)

*In music, the Beatles broke up, John died (anniversary Dec. 5, 1980), the rise (and fall) of disco, punk, new wave appears etc. etc.

I guess I’m trying to say that lots of stuff happened in the meantime and, without a particular excuse to include trying to write a piece of music in the mix, I managed to fill my days. 

One thing I didn’t mention is that we DID get married.  And today’s post includes several pics and anecdotes from the day (with apologies to those who have already heard and seen)…

Our Wedding Day

Look carefully at the fingers…
So, here’s the problem.  The minister says Place the ring on the third finger.  Now I don’t remember the details of rehearsal but now, when it’s important, I’m thinking clearly.  Whichever side you count from, the “Toby Tall” finger is the third finger and so I try to put the ring on that finger.  Jane has extended her “Ruby Ring” finger in anticipation but I determinedly take her middle finger and place the ring firmly on… well, as far as it will slide.  Only later I learn that thumbs don’t count.  (I don’t think that’s fair… after all, thumbs make us human, or at least primate!)
Cutting the cake


Eating the cake


At least the reception went without incident (or miscount).  You may notice the young man acting as my best man (Donald).  He had assisted me in avoiding the age-old problem of having the wedding vehicle plastered with graffiti by parking  (hiding actually) my car in the hotel parking garage when we would spent our first night of connubial bliss.  We then travelled by his car (actually his parents’ newly purchased car) to the chapel for the service.  Unfortunately this did not prevent the invited celebrants from decorating his (actually his parents’) car with confetti, banners and spraying the vehicle body with that nasty white stuff which is sometimes applied to windows at Christmas (a snow simulant, so to speak) after the ceremony.  The interesting thing is that the white stuff has a tendency to remove some of the underlying  fresh automotive paint (a new car, remember) when rubbed off.  So I’m not sure how well this wedding prank was received.  Fortunately my car was hidden and we were off on our honeymoon so this was a problem for others to deal with.  The reception over, we were transported to our hotel, went to our room, had a room service dinner and watched the hockey game.  No, really.  It was the first game of the 1972 Canada-Russia hockey series and, being patriotic sorts, we watched as Canada blew an initial lead to lose 7-3 to the Russians.  Well, we were both exhausted and hungry again (it had been longggggg day) so we went down to our car to travel to a nearby A & W  drive-in and saw…

The fiends had struck again


Hunger has, however, a way overcoming shock so we disregarded the decorations and made our way to the A & W.  There we sat (in the traditional drive-in setting) and consumed the obligatory burger, fries and root beer.  While finishing off our meal the driver of a neighbouring vehicle yelled over to us Congratulations, Jane and Bruce!  We were at first puzzled at his clairvoyance until we remembered that our names had been writ large in that same white stuff across our trunk.  We nodded our appreciation of his well wishes and began to drive off.  He yelled again (something like just wait a minute), jumped out of his car, ran to the trunk, pulled out a paper bag and ran over to our car.  He hand us the bag, repeated his congratulations, ran back to his car and drove away.  Startled by this act, we stared at the departing car and then at the bag.  We opened it up to discover an unopened bottle of wine.  We were touched by his kindness but (being the good Baptist kids we were) the bottle remained unopened for a number of years in our kitchen cupboard.  A true story…

So, you see, it really was an eventful “meantime”.

About our second son…

Patrick James came along in 1975, about eighteen months after his brother.  He always possessed an artistic (visual) bent, and has been involved in creating cartoon, comic and design work for most of his life.  He also, at a tender age, expressed a love of violin and desire to be able to play Vivaldi.  So, we dutifully gave him lessons and he really did play a Vivaldi piece before deciding that what he really wanted to play was DRUMS.  He paid for lessons for himself and, along with some fellow high school students formed a group, first named Trout and subsequently, The New Grand.  Here they are in their glory days… (saving me from having to play something for this post!)

Rock on, Patman.  And today is special for him… first day on a new job (it doesn’t involve drumming but it does involve his visual art passion)… hope it’s gone well!

Next post… 1984!   Not the year, the title.  Time travel limitations…


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