A very happy Father’s Day to my dad. Now nearly 89, he’s had a life full of eclectic experiences. No one can say he’s a typical dad! Still game to ‘debate’ with whomever shows up at the door these days, be it a hapless home security system salesman, a Jehovah’s Witness, or a politician, they are never the same as they limp back down the front steps. He’s been a bush pilot up north and on the Gang Ranch, a fisher, a farmer, a fireworks salesman. He was a United Control electrical engineer whose handiwork was in the early Apollo flights. He’s scampered up electrical poles in northern B.C. and he sat at a desk as a loans officer with Alberta Department of Agriculture, and for the Treasury Branch. For many years, he drove a school bus, and I’m sure he still has the collection of cards and drawings from the kids. Way before I came along, he scampered up the rock faces of the Cascade Mountains (like below). He and Mom had a ‘late honeymoon’ in the early 50s in a small boat up the Athabasca River, alone; she was almost eight months pregnant with my brother. They camped in abandoned trappers’ cabins at best, and in tents, fishing as they went. After that, they homesteaded in a tiny shack outside of Tofino where they dug clams and grew potatoes. If I had to name the best gift my father ever gave me, it would be twofold: a love of reading, and a soft spot for animals, all the way from bugs to bigger things. Okay, maybe three things: if you take on a job, do it well. “Perfection is barely good enough” seemed pretty harsh to a kid, but the distilled message was to do your job well. Get your chores done. Don’t be a slacker. And be a decent human being. Mom and Dad live in Whitehorse now, and I can’t wait to get there. Maybe we’ll do some rock climbing.

Fred, Rock Climbing Cascade Mts_1

Dad, hanging out in the Cascades, in the 1940s.


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