Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Pay It Forward

I spent much of my teen years as an Air Cadet. That meant that my summers were spent at Cadet Camp. I went four times as a cadet and worked two summers as an NCO - basically a camp counsellor that can make the 12 and 13 year olds we are in charge of march in the hot sun while we yell at them. That was the way it was done to us so we were only passing on the military tradition. Truthfully it was the best summer camp or summer job you could attend or have. One of my best buddies in those years was Paul. He was the guy playing PRINCE in this picture of our Air Guitar Band. We did Little Red Corvette and brought the house down.
Paul was my roommate for two years and we talked often about many things - two being books and comic books. He once asked me what the worst book I ever had to read was. Well as you all know it begins and ends with MOBY DICK. I hate that stupid book like no other. That Melville really needed an editor. I must have gone on a rant about that book every time he brought it up. I think he just liked to see my routine when I got all worked up.
Well he passed away several years ago and I think of him often. His small but well cared for and beloved collection of comic books was given to another of our friends from those days and she lives in Winnipeg. I talk to Judy on Facebook from time to time and one day she suggested that maybe I should have Paul's comics and that he would be happy to know that they went to someone who would love them as he did. She wasn't wrong. This is just a small selection of what I have been reading all morning. Do you know how long it's been since I had a 20 cent comic book in my hand? They even SMELL like vintage. He liked Conan and Thor and those great old DC War and Horror comics. This is a great gift to me.
And then I saw it. In the middle of the first box there was this adaptation of MOBY DICK that I will always believe he saw in some used book store and put it away knowing that one day he would get it to me. Well you did that my friend. It took awhile but once again you reminded me what a great person you were. I miss you.



Tim Knight said...

Lovely story, Cal. What a great friend. Think I've got something in my eye.

Purpleone said...

Thank you for sharing. I had no idea of the story of Mobie Dick. How serendipitous. I'm so glad this all worked out. You can genuinely give those books a caring and appropriately valued home.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Oh, that is so special! And what a lovely tribute to your friend. I liked the Moby-Dick angle too, of course.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

It was the weirdest thing. My heart kind of just stopped when I saw that.

j-swin said...

I was told once that people come into your life and they are there for as long as they need to be, we learn from them or teach them what must be learned or taught then they are needed elsewhere. But even if the time together is brief it is still meant to be shared. That's a wonderful story you shared, thank you.