I overheard a conversation that Al and I have been having for 35 years the words were
"It's a astronomical measurement of time not distance" The words of a nameless stranger but some how a direct quote from you dad almost like Sheldon from the Big Bang theory TV show but I have always referred to them as Alisms
Of course you all know he was referring to the speed of light.
These Alisms always came at random in the middle of other conversations.
For example our last conversation which happened Thursday July 16 started as always following the same pattern how are the kids, then on to the weather an Alism the river is low this year and did you know that sunlight takes 8 minutes to reach us from the sun. Yes dad I know know that. We chatted a couple more minutes then he signed off like always with an I love you and thanks for calling.
On the drive to Edmonton I turned off the radio and had 9 hour conversation with dad filled with giggles and tears. When I giggled I could hear dad laughing with me and when tears came I heard the same old words " come on now" really meaning cowboy up. You wus.
The people passing me on the highway I am sure thought I was crazy as when they looked over they all seemed to press harder on their gas peddles and speed away. I think the police did too when they pulled me over to have chat. Al was a self proclaimed and self taught musician, poet, sculptor, story teller, trapper, miner, trucker driver, welder, cat skinner and several others I can't say in mixed company. Not bad for some one who never completed grade 8.
He always had an opinion about some thing or some one and would share it with whom ever would listen. That being said he had special place in his heart for the coopers, McLeod's, or Brokers whom he respect above all others. As I drove I was thinking of. Some of the things he taught me including how to lay a bead, cheat at cards, measure twice but cut once, make tomato soup with hot water and catchup, be honest which I always thought was a contradiction to cheating at cards and above all loyalty and respect.
Dad was and is a practical spiritual nonbeliever with a very crass sense of humor. He always said he never believed in a god but he did believe in a higher been. I heard a quote from a CBC program about the essence of everything in our universe comes from our sun so we are all star dust and that every adam and molecule are just different combination of the same star dust. With that they also say one is never truly forgotten till the last person that knew you passes and can no longer say your name.
With that in mind I ask you to join me where every you are in a toast: Al was born on November 22 1931 and passed away on July 22 2015 life coming full circle so I ask you to join me on Nov 22 or July 22 this year and every year at 8 pm in a silent toast to my dad. He liked his stout and his crown. I don't drink but this November 22 I will have one in his memory. I remember the first and last time I tried stout...that stuff made me barf it made Al laugh.
For any educators in the crowed please forgive the mixed teases in the above as I have to get my head around now and yesterday