Thursday, December 30, 2010

60 Second Stories By Kal - Carrie - Part One

This is my graduation picture. I know what you are going to say? "Really, you were a nice looking human male back then. What the hell happened to you, man?"

I could lie and say that I was in a horrible train wreck but lets just blame my decline on hard living and a lifestyle that up to about 5 years ago was pretty much zoomy zoom all the time.

I remember saying when I was a kid that the world spins at about 1000 miles and hour and it's still too slow for me.

You would think that with such a relentless drive to move and do something that it would have paid off and shown itself in my physique today. (I should have ended up looking like Iggy Pop) But, no, I am the living embodiment of a modern day Cyclops taken straight from Greek mythology. I am definitely not the man I used to be.

But what started the idea of this post was seeing this picture while I was searching through my photos. I got me thinking about high school.

In 1981 my Dad was transferred from the military base in Shilo, Manitoba to the city of Red Deer Alberta. He was nearing almost 30 years in the military and was a Chief Warrant Officer which is the highest non-commissioned rank you can get in the Canadian Military.

The brass wanted him to help run the Military Reserve Program in Red Deer. It was an artillery unit and my Dad's expertise in the military was field artillery, specifically the big guns.

He was highly regarded for his skills in this area. His training methods and successes with new recruits in this field were among his many strengths as a soldier. He had a passion for what his role was (which led to his hearing loss later in life - you can't fire that many shells and escape the side-effects) and that came through in his teaching. I got alot of my natural teaching ability just by getting raised by the man.

Anyway - we moved and I had to start my 11th year of high school in a new Catholic city school right next to the Armory building where my dad worked. A big city school with about 400 kids where I was coming from school that had never more than 100 in all grades if we were lucky. Camille J. Larouge High School was the largest Catholic school in the city and we were right across the parking lot from the public school, Lindsay Thurber High School (or Linsay 'Torp' as my immigrant mother would pronounce it) that had about 1800 students. You can imagine our football rivalry was epic with us always being a huge underdog. Our mascot was the Camille Cougar. There's was a pirate, the Raider.

But I digress again. This is not a football story.

Everything about that move seemed like destiny for all of us. My Dad got this great new posting and we got the chance to move to a new place and experience a different way of living. My family had been transferred about every 4 years and that seemed like just about enough time in one place before we needed a nice change of scenery.

Red Deer was a mythical beautiful town to me since I started attending cadet camps in the summer at Camp Penhold right outside of the city. Penhold was an former air force pilot training base but they ran Air Cadet training during the summer.

Think of summer camp only with marching and uniforms.

I spent summers when I was 13, 14, and 15 as a cadet and returned as a paid instructor when I was 16, 17 and 18 (coolest summer job ever).

I was always so impressed with Red Deer when we drove into the city to use their large pool. I never imagined that I would be living there one day. I thought we would always be on a nice military base like Shilo Manitoba where I was living up to 1981

Red Deer was like a park back then. It was gorgeous and still is. Population was about 50,000 in 1981 when we moved there. It's place is right between the Alberta capital of Edmonton in the North and Calgary in the south. We are referred to as Central Alberta.

So there I was. New school, new city, new everything.

I hope I have set the scene for you. If so come back tomorrow to hear the rest of the story because I am already over my self imposed limit.


Belle said...

I am interested in hearing the rest of your story. I've only been to Regina once, I think it was in 1970. It was pretty small then. I lived in Calgary at the time.
Calgarians think they have the greatest city in the world. Maybe it would be if it was ever warm there.

Kal said...

Calgary is pretty terrific. I lived in Edmonton for three years in University and really liked it there. It's the New York of Alberta where Calgary is the L.A. Easy to get around Edmonton quick even though they never stop fixing some road or another but Calgary is a nightmare. You have to pack a lunch just to drive a few kilometers plus while the downtown is nice looking it's a nightmare to negotiate a car through.

Sam G said...

Looking forward. Very nice graduation photo. I don't like mine. I could have used a haircut. BTW have you gotten the paintings yet? I mailed 'em off about 3 weeks ago.

Kal said...

No, not yet Sam but that is typical. Homeland security might have stopped them because I looked too Muslim or something like that. Mail is so stupid. It takes forever for a package to get anywhere. I sent some maple syrup to someone in Washington state and they still haven't got it after two months. I think some posties had extra good syrup for their egos one morning.

Sam G said...

Man, I hope you get them. They're in a padded envelope marked "Do not bend" with some drawings around the envelope.

Paladin said...

Look at Cal... rockin' the 'stache in High School! That's cool, man. I had to start shaving in Junior High, due to rules against facial hair. First thing I did after graduation was throw out the razors.

Looking forward to the rest of the story...

Wings1295 said...

Sounds like a beautiful place and the backdrop to an amazing tale.

Drake said...

Never bored with your posts, especially these that come from your heart.

Kal said...

Oh then you will like this one Drake. It was the only time when I was really cool. I mean girls taking notice kind of cool. I mean Fozie-respect kind of cool. From there its all be a chase to capture that lightning in a bottle a second time and failing.

Pat Tillett said...

This is very interesting and I'm looking forward to the rest of the story. you don't grace us with stories very often, so feel free to go over 60 seconds! It's not a problem...