During my July 30th 2020 interview with the CFNIS, as I read off my statement, a question kept popping up in the back of my head.
If Richard was so disinterested in raising me, who did?
Of course, there’s my mother, but she only lived with me until I was 5.
After that, I saw her very sporadically. Two or three times tops until the summer of 1990 when I was invited by my father to move back to Edmonton with him. Marie was living on an acreage by Wabamun with her husband Art.
My uncle Doug showed up at our PMQ just after we moved back to CFB Griesbach. He brought his wife Yvonne and their new baby.
Doug took me aside and said that my mother was living on the outskirts of Edmonton, and that if I wanted to meet her, he could arrange a meeting, but that I could not tell Richard as Doug was afraid that Richard would go off the deep end.
Marie and I met at Northgate Mall in July of 1990. She definitely wasn’t what I remembered from when I was a kid. When I moved away from Edmonton unexpectedly in February of 1992 she had a major meltdown when I called her from Vancouver. We didn’t speak again until 2013 when I had to track her down to check on one of Richard’s responses to my Federal Court examination.
What struck me the most about her was her unchecked racism and her homophobia. She worked for the Alberta Report at the time. When I met her again in 2013 her racism was still as strong as ever. In a way I’m happy that I didn’t grow up with her. But at the same time Richard and Grandma were anything but a cakewalk themselves.
Racist and small-minded or psychologically unhinged and prone to anger outbursts……….. that was my choice for parents.
Doug also wanted me to get my metis papers, but even he said that he doubted Richard would agree to that as Richard would have to sign the papers.
My metis papers really wouldn’t be worth anything, other than to be able to say that I had first nation blood. And that’s about it. This is what Doug got his papers for. There would have been no tax benefits, or any other benefit similar to what a person with full status would have. I think Doug realized how much the Gill family tree had been shaped by the treatment of the First Nations. Richard resented his First Nations heritage.
I guess that outside of my grandmother, Uncle Doug would have been the first person outside of my immediate family that helped raise my brother and I.
Uncle Doug was more “behind the scenes” than my grandmother.
Even though my father and my uncle Doug grew up in the same household, there was a world of difference between Doug and Richard.
Richard, for lack of a better explanation, was an uptight asshole who wouldn’t know how to have fun if his life depended on it. Richard’s world was full of sarcasm, put-downs, disappointment, and lies.
Richard was also a very impatient man. Red lights, slow drivers, slow bank machines, line-ups, etc, would drive Richard batty.
Richard’s anger driving, which was only amplified when he got his 1983 Ford 5 Litre Mustang GT, is probably what scared me away from driving cars. Since I was 16 years old, I’ve only driven cars for 4 years in the last 33 years. I riden motorcycles for 6 out of the last 33 years.
When I was younger, I could often feel Richard’s rage living inside. Thankfully, the longer I was away from Richard, the more Richard’s toxic anger subsided. Nowadays I can ride my motocycle and feel none of Richard’s anger or rage.
Uncle Doug on the other hand was a “happy go lucky” kind of guy. Uncle Doug drank nowhere near as heavily as Richard or Grandma.
I don’t think I ever caught Uncle Doug lying. For that matter, grandma didn’t lie either. Where Richard got his penchant for lying is anyone’s guess.
And let’s be very clear. Richard didn’t tell little innocent white lies. He would tell such bald faced lies that you couldn’t help but wonder why no one questioned him on these lies. But I’ve learnt in this life that it’s often easier to not raise a fuss about lies and liars. Just ignore the lies, and don’t involve yourself with the liar any more. This might explain why Richard had so very few friends.
Remember, Richard was found to tell conflicing stories from one meeting to another, and he was also found to tell people that he perceived to be in positions of authority what he thought they wanted to hear.
Uncle Doug also didn’t have the anger or the temper that Richard had.
Richard and Uncle Doug were night and day different.
Doug worked up in the oil fields as a cook. He’d be out for 6 weeks and back for 2.
Uncle Doug lived in the basement of our PMQ on CFB Namao. He had a cot and a sleeping area set up in the corner of the basement.
Maybe it was because Doug had no expenses and was making good money in the oil patch that he wasn’t adverse to splurging on grandma, my brother, and me when he’d come back to town.
Grandma was a decent enough cook. Grandma is the one who got me addicted to HP Sauce, Lee & Perrins Worchester sauce. And it’s because of grandma that my eggs to this date aren’t complete without paprika on them. Richard could cook hamburger helper and Kraft dinner and just about anything from a can, but beyond that, he had no cooking skills.
Starting on CFB Griesbach, after grandma moved out, McDonald’s and KFC also became staples. Probably explains why I can’t even stomach the smell of those two places, let alone eat there.
I don’t think there’s a single cullinary tradition that I picked up from Richard.
Doug on the other hand could cook. When he was home from the camps it was steak dinner, pork chops, chicken, fresh fish, you name it.
As I found out in 2013, the presents that my brother and I received from our mother from 1977 until 1981 came from Doug and not from our mother. Sure, Marie had selected the gifts, but she didn’t have the money to buy the gifts, so Uncle Doug would by them for us on her behalf.
When we moved down to CFB Griesbach from CFB Namao, I inherited my grandmother’s old stereo system when Doug bought her a brand new one. Now, this wasn’t a cheap thing, it was a fairly decent system. Uncle Doug started me on my first record collection. Richard was stuck on country. Doug on the other hand was into just about everything. Big Band, the Beatles, Paul McCartney, Joan Jett, Henry Mancini, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristopherson, movie soundtracks, etc.
When we had our surpise move from CFG Greisbach to CFB Downsview, Richard threw all of my belongings into the trash. This was no doubt retribution for causing the family to have to relocate in order to avoid my apprehension by Alberta Social Services.
My paternal grandmother raised my brother and I from 1977 until 1981. In 1981 she moved out of our PMQ on CFB Griesbach and moved into her own apartment in Edmonton. I would have been just shy of my tenth birthday when she moved out. Grandma and Sue didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of things. The one nice thing about grandma moving out is that I never again had to step foot in a church. Sue said that if we didn’t want to go to church again, we didn’t have to.
Having an after school job at a young age wasn’t really that out of the ordinary considering what home life was like. The rule back then is we had to be out of the house unless it was supper time or bedtime. Richard didn’t have a lot of patience for listening to kids making any type of noise.
The food in the house was kept locked up. We could eat when we were fed. Outside of that, if I wanted to eat, the food was going to have to come from somewhere. So yeah, my after school and weekend jobs were for more than just my amusement.
After grandma moved out, my brother and I would be dropped off in the morning at the base daycare centre where we’d have to wait until it was time to go to school. As bad as things had been on CFB Namao, having to spend an hour every morning at the daycare centre until it was time for school was the ultimate in humiliation.
And yes, most of the kids at Major General Griesbach School knew that I was going to daycare in the morning even through I was in grade 4 at the time.
After school my brother and I would have to wait on the front stoop of the house until Richard and Sue got home from work.
The first house key I would get was around 1986, after my bedroom had been moved into the basement on CFB Downsview. That would put me at about 14.
In Edmonton in the middle of winter, sitting on the stoop could be damn cold. So it was easier to head over to the mall and stay warm. Other kids on the base knew who I was and what I had been caught doing with the babysitter on CFB Namao, so there weren’t too many homes that were friendly towards me on CFB Griesbach.
Looking back, I don’t ever remember any other kids on that base having to wait outside for their parents to come home. And looking back, the few friends that I did have weren’t allowed to come out and “play” on cold days.
Even after Richard and Sue came home, unless there was homework to do, it was out the door until supper, and then after supper it was out the door until bedtime. The weekends were much the same. Out the door first thing in the morning, come back for lunch, out until supper, out until bedtime.
And this wasn’t just the typical “playing outside is healthy for you” type of attitude. This was “I don’t care how goddamn cold it is outside, get the fuck out of the house and leave me alone” type of attitude. So yeah, it was better to get a job, no matter how young I was and no matter how menial the job was, as at least this would give me something to do.
And as allowances were something unheard of in Richard’s house, the only way I was going to get money was to earn it by working outside of the home.
When I read Richard’s statement to the CFNIS, I nearly choked. He told the CFNIS that I only called him when I needed money. Hell would have to freeze over before I’d ever call him for money.
As a kid I learnt of two things that I was never going to get from Richard. Admiration was one. Money was the other.
When we lived at Stanley Greene Park on CFB Downsview, he wouldn’t buy me a bus pass to get to school. Stanley Greene Park was close to Keele St. and Wilson Ave. Elia Jr, High was on Sentinel Road. Stanley Greene Park no longer exists, so I’ve used Downsview Secondary School as the start point as it was adjacent to Stanley Greene Park.
My counsellor was concerned about the distance that I had to walk, especially in the winter.
Richard didn’t care.
The program that I was involved in at Elia was unique to the North York Board of Education. It was for gifted students that were interested in technology.
By transferring to Pierre Laport, I was within walking distance, but I lost out on the technology immersion program.
All for the sake of a student bus pass. But that was Richard. That’s just the way the way it was.
And I think the more important aspect of these job, no matter how menial they were, is that they gave me a sense of purpose that was sorely lacking in my own home.
A simple “Thank you” goes a long way for a kid from a broken and dysfunctional home. Under no circumstance would Richard have ever thanked me for anything. I was 1000 times more likely to get a sarcastic putdown or verbal abuse than a simple acknowledgement or even a thank you for having done something.
None of the people that I worked for treated me anywhere like Richard did. They liked me. They liked the work I did. They appreciated me. This was something that Richard just wasn’t capable of.
There was Terry.
Not Captain Terry Totzke.
This Terry was the manager of a pet shop over in North Town Mall. I used to clean the cages and fish tanks. In return, Terry set me up with a fair-sized aquarium. I remember that he also paid me money, enough that I could buy a hot dog and orange drink a couple of times a week and still have money left over to play video games at the arcade in the mall. I would have been about 9 when I started this after school/weekend job.
Next up were the Casson family. Jackie, Bonnie, and Colleen Casson ran a small pizza shop in Kingsway Garden Mall called Pizza Plus. They also had a second location down in the Cadillac Fairview Centre in downtown Edmonton. I used to help out with washing pans, bringing supplies up from the storage rooms, and other menial tasks.
The best thing about working for the Cassons was the food. I could have as many slices of pizza as I could handle.
I started working for the Cassons while I lived on Canadian Forces Base Griesbach, so I’m thinking the spring of 1982. I used to walk from the base at 97th Street and 137th Ave down to Kingsway Garden Mall at Kingsway and 109th. I worked for them from the spring of 1982 until the summer of 1985.
I know that when I was in the Westfield program we went to a Boston Pizza shop on 118th Ave for a school trip to make pizzas. I already knew how to measure, cut and roll the dough, as well as how to prep the pan. Fun day.
Jackie was the matriarch of the family. She had a house with a swimming pool.
I’m pretty sure that it was Colleen that had the Triumph TR-7 sports car. She’d take me for rides on the roads around Edmonton when Richard had sent me up to Edmonton for the summer of 1984 and 1985 while we were living on Canadian Forces Base Downsview in Ontario.
When Richard invited me to move back to Edmonton in June of 1990, one of the first places I went to visit was the Pizza Plus in Kingsway Garden Mall. The Cassons had sold off the business and were no longer involved with Pizza Plus.
When I lived on CFB Downsview in North York, I had gotten into the habit of dumpster diving in the industrial parks north of the base. I forget how I had discovered this, but there were a lot of electronic manufacturers up there and they would throw out heaps of electronic scrap. The perfect place for a kid like me with an interest in electronics to pick up bits and pieces for electronic projects.
One day I was going through the bin behind Colour Wheel Electronics. Colour Wheel was a distributor for the very illegal Quarter Horse gambling games. This was an interesting machine. I had seen these in the pool halls around the base. The old retired guys would pump quarter after quarter into these machines. These games had various pre-recorded horse races on a video laserdisc. When a race started the machine would playback different segments of different races so that the race would end with a random winner.
The owner of the company caught me going through his dumpster and asked me what I was doing. Zellman was his name. I told him that I was looking for electronic parts to build projects with. He asked me some electronics related questions, and I more or less gave him the answers that he liked. But he said that I was far too young to work for him, so he passed my name and phone number onto another company that might be able to let me work in their shop on the weekend in trade for parts and components.
The person he referred me to wasn’t interested, solely because being 13 I obviously couldn’t drive, and most of his work was out in the field. So this route operator passed my name on to another guy.
The next guy was Vincent Chong. Vincent was a swimming coach at the University of Toronto, but he also ran a small video amusement company with a business partner named Ravi. I forget where Vincent lived, but Ravi lived over near Coxwell station north of the Danforth.
Vincent and Ravi had almost no technical skills between the two, so when I came along I was a godsend. Now, I won’t bullshit you. My electronic skills were self-taught. Even though my father was involved with avionics and other electronic trades in the Canadian Forces, I picked up bugger all from him. I did however have access to all of his Canadian Forces training manuals and McGraw-Hill books education books.
I also made frequent use of Radio Electronic and Popular Electronic magazines.
For clarification, Richard as smart as he was, wasn’t able to teach.
To him, I was too fucking stupid.
Or so he said.
In reality, he just didn’t have any type of parenting skills. His father had fled his family early on and grandma took Richard and Doug back to Fort McMurray in Alberta. And grandma also had bugger all of parenting skills. I guess the Residential Schools were so intent on beating the Indian out of the kids that they forgot to teach the kids how to function in society.
And Richard had no ability to pass on knowledge.
If you asked him a simple question, and you didn’t understand his explanation, he would get greatly upset.
So yeah, one learnt not to ask Richard anything. I was just much more peaceful that way.
While I was working for Vincent and Ravi, I became involved with Bob Becker. Bob owned two companies. One was Trans-American Construction, the other was Trans-American Video Amusements. I don’t know what Trans-American Construction did, but Trans-American Video Amusements was his video game route.
Bob had exclusive agreements with Hasty Market to place two video games into each store in the Windsor to Toronto corridor. Bob also had an exclusive agreement with Holiday Inn to place video games into all of the hotels from Niagara Falls to Oshawa. There were also other locations that Bob had, mainly convenience stores and donut shops.
Bob always wore tan khakis, a cowboy hat, and cowboy boots. Almost everyone called him the Jewish Cowboy.
Bob never liked my father very much. Bob said that he couldn’t understand why my father wasn’t the least bit concerned that I would stay at the workshop until late at night and almost all day on the weekends.
When I left school after the start of grade 9, Richard started charging me $200.00 rent for my bedroom. This blew Bob away. He couldn’t understand what Richard was doing.
Bob was upset that Richard didn’t seem to care that I wasn’t going to school anymore. Richard couldn’t understand that this wasn’t the 1960s anymore and that grade 8 drop outs couldn’t just walk into a 30-year military career.
Bob once got furious with my father. Bob said that after everything he had been through and after all that was taken away from him, here was my father, not showing an ounce of concern.
I never knew why Bob seemed to always get upset with my father.
It wouldn’t be until the summer of 1987 that I would discover the reason why Bob was upset with my father.
Bob had an agreement with the Canadian National Exhibition to supply video games to one of the pavilions during the CNE. We had already made two trips from the workshop down to the CNE and we were now on our third trip. Bob was wearing his long-sleeved Kahki top with undershirt like he always did. It had to be in the high 20s with a typical high Toronto humidity. I kept pestering Bob all day to put on something more appropriate least he die of heatstroke. Bob would get annoyed every time I asked him.
We had just turned off Keele Street and entered the collector lanes of the 401. We moved over to the express lanes. Once we were settled in the lane, Bob looked over at me and said, “ok smart ass, if I show you something will you stop telling me to put on a short-sleeved shirt?” I said “sure”. He looked at me again and he said “If I show you this, you keep it to yourself and you don’t tell anyone what you’ve seen, this is between you and me, understand?”
Bob grabbed the steering wheel with his left hand and used his right hand to unbutton his left cuff. He then rolled up his sleeve to his elbow.
Going to school in North York, we learned about World War II, Anne Frank, the Nazis, and the concentration camps. We learnt about how the Nazis tattooed the prisoners in the concentration camps. But I had never seen anyone in person with an actual concentration camp tattoo.
And Bob had a concentration camp tattoo. That’s why he never wore short-sleeved shirts no matter how hot it got.
On the way down to the CNE Bob would explain that he was from Poland. Around 1940 his family had been rounded up and sent to the camps. When the Allies finally liberated the camps in 1945, he was 14. He was also the only survivor from his family. His parents and his brothers and sisters all died in the camps.
Bob said that this is what made him angry with my father. Bob had everything in his life torn away from him, and yet he still made sure that his daughter had everything she wanted and more. The fact that my father didn’t care just drove Bob around the bend.
By late 1987, I had started working for another video game company.
This company was a side business owned by three Toronto Police Service officers. Ed from Central Traffic Unit, Dirk from 14 Division, and Gary from 52 Division. There was a fourth partner, Bruce. Bruce wasn’t a police officer. Bruce had been Ed’s childhood friend when they grew up together in Montreal.
Ed, Dirk, Gary, and Bruce owned a company called Warlock Amusements that changed its name to Rainbow Games after they bought the Classic Billiards pool hall in the plaza across from Canadian Forces Base Downsview.
I had met Ed earlier in the summer of 1987 at a donut shop down on Bloor St. where he had been trying to install a paddle control into an Arkanoid video game. Ed had no idea what he was doing. So I introduced myself and wired the controller up for him. He asked me what I wanted for helping him. I asked for a carton of smokes, a black coffee, and a donut. He obliged me and took my phone number down.
I forget when exactly I started smoking. I know that I didn’t smoke in 1985 when Richard sent my brother and I up to Edmonton to spend the summer at our grandmother’s place. I’d have to say that I was smoking by the summer of ‘86. All I know is that my brother actually started smoking before I did.
Richard was okay with my smoking so long as I didn’t take his smokes. If he was out of smokes I was expected to share my smokes with him. We both smoked Player’s Extra Light. My brother smoked Du Maurier. Richard wouldn’t smoke Du Maurier no matter how bad of a nic-fit he was having. Richard’s helping himself to my smokes got so bad that I ended up switching to Player’s unfiltered just so he’d stop taking my smokes.
Around December of 1987 I got a call from Ed asking if I’d be interested in coming to work for him.
Ed was the next person that I worked for that picked up on the fact that things weren’t right at home.
The fact that I preferred sleeping in the shop overnight coupled with the fact that my father never once came looking for me told Ed that something wasn’t quite right.
Ed was on good terms with a few of the customers at the pool hall, and so he started asking around if anyone had a room for rent that I could move into.
By January of 1988 I was out of the house and living on my own.
It was a room in a four-bedroom house.
The best thing was the rent here was $50 / month cheaper than what I was paying at home.
Ed, Dirk, Gary, and Bruce were okay guys.
As soon as I moved out of the house, Ed took me to a notary public so that I could attest that I was living on my own and supporting myself. This was so that I could get my learner’s permit. Once I had my learner’s permit, I was allowed on occasion to drive the company pickup truck as long as someone else was with me.
Ed would also teach me how to drive in his Hyundai Pony. After I got my license, Ed would send me on service calls in his car.
It would take a chapter all on its own for me to detail all of the exploits I went on at Rainbow Games.
But I will share two.
Ed was probably the first employer that picked up that I wasn’t into girls.
Rainbow Games had a juke box, a pair of coin operated pool tables and a couple of pinball machines in a strip club out by the airport near the 427 in Toronto. I had to go service one of the pinball machines. This was before I had my driver’s licence, so Ed gave me a drive. The club manager was adament that I was not coming in under any circumstance. A deal was made between Ed and the manager. I’d go in through the rear entrance, to the machine, service the machine, and then out of the club without catching even the smallest glimpse of flesh. The pinball machine was in a part of the club not anywhere near the stage. So the club manager was okay with this. Well, that night would end up being the first time that I had been bought a beer in a strip club. That night would also be the first time (and only time) that I ever had a private lap dance…….
Yeah, my lack of interest in the girls sealed the deal for Ed.
The next event was probably the one and only time that someone has ever kneed a police officer in the balls and walked away without being arrested.
One day at work, Ed told me that I had to go with Dirk down to Ciro’s Cafe on Bloor. Apparently there was a cockroach infestation and I had to pull out the jukebox and the two counter top video games. Dirk drove me down in the pickup truck. Instead of parking the truck, Dirk said that he was going to circle the block and when I brought the machines out he’d stop and we’d load the games and jukebox in the back of the truck.
“Hurry up and be quick” was all he said.
I went in and removed the cash boxes from the machines and started splitting the money 60/40.
Julie, the owner of Ciro’s asked me what was going on, this wasn’t the usual collection day and it was Dirk that usually did the collections.
I told her that Ed said we had to pull the machines out because of the cockroach infestation.
Julie looked puzzled and said that her pest control contract was up to date and that the last inspection showed nothing for cockroaches.
I told her to call Ed, maybe he knew what was up.
I finished counting the coins and gave Julie the location’s 40% of the cashbox total.
I unplugged the Ms. Pac-Man countertop and picked it up. I walked backwards towards the inside door and pushed it open with my back. Julie reached past me to hold the door. As I moved backwards towards the outside door, the smile disappeared from Julie’s face and was replaced by a look of terror. I felt the door being pulled open. Somebody yelled “14 DIVISION, THIS IS A RAID”. As the first police officer squeezed past me I felt the butt of his rifle crush into my crotch.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget that crushing pain. I was down in the vestibule of the restaurant as more officers poured into the restaurant past me. There were the obligatory kicks as the officers rushed past. After the officers finished rushing into the restaurant I tried crawling out the front door. I was quickly grabbed by one of the officers and dragged back into the restaurant. I was pushed up against the front window and told to spread my arms and legs and not to move.
I watched as Dirk drove by pretending not to see what was going on.
After I was released I caught the Keele bus back up to the poolhall.
The pickup truck was in its normal spot. Ed’s Hyundai Pony was there. Bruce’s Hyundai Elantra was there too. Dirk’s Grand National wasn’t. I guess Dirk didn’t want to face up to the fact that he knew a drug raid was going down.
I walked downstairs.
Ed was behind the counter, he looked at me and said that I should have been in and out of Ciro’s faster than I was.
Bruce was sitting on his stool with his typical shamed puppy dog expression on his face.
I walked behind the counter and walked past Bruce and walked right up to Ed.
Before Ed could say anything, my right knee found his nutsack.
Ed was tall. I was a short kid. I was shorter than my father. I was even shorter than my younger brother. I would peg Ed as having been around 6’2″.
Ed fell to the ground grabbing his crotch.
Bruce nearly fell off his stool. “Bob, you better get the hell out of here before Ed gets his hands on you”.
Ed moaned “Nope, I deserved that. We shouldn’t have sent him down there. It’s my fault”.
That was the first time in my life that anyone had every admitted that they fucked up and put me in danger. If this had been Richard, Richard would have blamed me for being stupid and having fucked things up like I usually did.
Dirk would never own up to who told Ed about the impending drug raid at Ciro’s.
Ed explained to me later that he wanted his machines out of Ciro’s as he knew the 14 Division drug squad was going to tear the machines apart in the quest to find hidden drugs stashed inside the machines.
And true enough, none of the machines were repairable. We scrapped them all for parts.
So that was the one and only time that I floored a cop with a knee to the nuts.
To be honest, that’s the only time in my life that I ever floored anyone.
As I said, I could write a whole chapter of my exploits at Rainbow Games with Ed, Bruce, Dirk, and Gary.
Ed had a friend named Marcia Cash. Marcia used to work for Tom at T.W. Gilchrist, a pool table and juke box distributor in Toronto. Anyways Marcia had moved up to Timmins Ontario to live with her boyfriend Barry Weiss. Barry owned A-1 Taxi and Amusements. Marcia asked Ed if Barry could “borrow” me for the summer of 1989.
I spent the late spring / summer of 1989 in Timmins Ontario helping Barry with his amusement company.
Barry had an agreement with the Minister of Northern Affairs to places videos games, juke boxes, and pool tables on the Indian reserves on James Bay. The machines were set to free-play and Barry was paid a flat fee for providing the machines and servicing them.
And that’s what I spent six weeks doing. Jumping from one reserve to the other, servicing the equipment, swapping equipment from one reserve to the next.
I moved juke boxes on the gunwales of canoes. I moved pool tables in bush planes.
I ate pemmican.
I was shocked to see the extreme poverty on the reserves.
I would often stay with the chaplain on the reserve, or with one of the senior band members.
On one reserve, the chaplain asked me if I could fix his ATV that wouldn’t start. The carburetor was all gummed up with bad gasoline. I cleaned out the carb and the fuel tank, filled it up with fresh gasoline, and it ran.
I was allowed to take the ATV out for a ride. I disappeared for about 5 or 6 hours. Basically went down one trail, parked the ATV, and then went exploring in the woods around James Bay.
It was quiet and peaceful. No cars. No noises. No nothing.
When I arrived back at the reserve, the chaplain was upset. He thought that I had wasted the tank of gas. I explained the the chaplain that I only went about 30 minutes down the trail, parked the quad and the walked on foot for a few hours. The chaplain said that he was relieved as gasoline was hard to get shipped to the reserves, and gasoline was very expensive. He was much releived to find the tank close to where it was after I filled the ATV up after having fixed it.
I had another job that started in the winter on 1990 and lasted until June of 1990. A 5 month contract with a company called Canshare Cabling. The contract was to wire up the Sears Catalogue Stores for the new computer system Sears was installing.
$15.00/hr x 60 hrs per week + $600/wk travel expenses, no receipts required meant that I had a lot of money in the bank come June of 1990.
When the job was over and I returned to Toronto, Richard discovered how much money I had, hence the invitation to move with him back to Edmonton for his final posting under the guise of “trying to be a family again”.
I honestly should have stayed in Toronto.
The move from CFB Downsview in Toronto to CFB Griesbach in Edmonton will be for another blog post.
But yeah, for the most part these are the people who raised me and the experiences that shaped my life.
I’ll probably touch on my school teachers in a different post.
All I can say is that I guess I’m lucky that I didn’t have to rely on Richard for my life lessons.