Gordon Lightfoot R.I.P.

May 2, 2023 at 9:58 pm (Arts, Culture, Entertainment, History, Music, music videos, News, Obituaries, Personal essays) ()

One of my favourite singers 🎤 🎶 🎵 of all time Gordon Lightfoot has died at the age of 84.

Robert Mitchum: I’d do anything for love.

Jane Greer: But you won’t do that.

Robert Mitchum: Actually I was thinking more of the Gordon Lightfoot song than Meat Loaf’s.

Jane Greer: Speaking of meatloaf, there seems to be a huge fire 🔥 and lots of smoke coming from the oven.

Robert Mitchum: It appears the meatloaf will be very well done.

Jane Greer: As was Gordon Lightfoot’s song.

Gordon Lightfoot (1938-2023) has died at the age of 84.

He was one of my favourite singers of all time.

And many of his songs would be in my top 100 list of all my favourite songs.

There’s somewhat of a personal connection between Gordon Lightfoot and me although I never met or saw the man in person.

For you see Gordon Lightfoot’s uncle had a farm about 40 miles north of Calgary, Alberta Canada.

And my paternal grandparents’ farm was about 6 miles away from the farm belonging to Gordon Lightfoot’s uncle.

Gordon as a small boy would occasionally come from Ontario and visit his uncle’s farm in Alberta.

On days when his uncle was busy working in the fields, Gordon’s uncle would hire my dad and my paternal uncle to babysit little Gordon.

I remember as a kid when I started dancing to Gordon Lightfoot songs as they came on the radio, my mother would tell me of how my dad and my Uncle Tom used to babysit Gordon as a boy when he came to his uncle’s farm.

“Do you suppose Gordon would remember my dad?” I asked her.

“Chris,” she’d say to me, “Anybody who’s ever met your father even once would never forget him.”

Which I suppose was true.

My mother would tell me stories of how when they were dating, my dad and her had attended a mutual friend’s wedding and my dad made himself memorable at the reception by pouring gravy over his slice of wedding cake.

Or how when they were first married, my mother had bought my dad a footstool for his chair and how when he came home from work and he tripped over it and said “Ooh!” (Like he usually did when he fell or tripped) but never said anything.

And then 20 minutes later he said, “Helena, there seems to be a footstool in front of my chair.”

Or how at the opening of an art show, my mother pointed out the artist (who was a mutual friend) to my dad and said, “There she is!” and my dad answered, “Oh, I didn’t recognize her with all her clothes on.”

What my dad meant was since there was a fierce Alberta snowstorm going on at the time and the artist Jean Richards came into the gallery heavily bundled up with winter parka, scarf 🧣, toque and high winter boots, my dad didn’t recognize her in all those winter clothes.

But that’s not what he said.

So my mother, being the practical joker she was, walked up and told Jean Richards that my dad didn’t recognize her with all her clothes on.

“What?” Jean Richards feigned anger, “He actually said that? Where’s George?” .

So artist Jean Richards walked up to my dad and said in a loud voice that the whole gallery could hear, “I hear you didn’t recognize me with all my clothes on.”

And of course my dad taught in the Alberta Public School System for over 30 years.

His specialty was teaching Science, Math and History although he did teach all subjects at one time or another since he taught all grades from 1 to 12.

And many of his former students who I’ve met over the years say that my dad was their favourite teacher of all their school years.

One student told me that he loved my dad’s Science classes.

“Your dad would say in Chemistry class, now if you stick your finger in this solution here, it will turn green before it falls off and if you stick your finger in this solution over here, it will turn purple before it falls off,” the student recalled.

One of his former teaching colleagues recalled the first time she walked into my dad’s Science room where apparently his replica model volcano 🌋 had successfully exploded and all the students in the class were coughing and choking from the smoke but that my dad was continuing to calmly lecture about the effects of volcanic explosions on the Earth’s climate change in times past.

My dad would also occasionally use Bunsen burners in Science class to make himself coffee.

I remember a friend of mine Daniel (who once worked as a scientist for DARPA) was extremely amused by this story.

My dad as a boy also made himself an actual airplane – a monoplane or biplane of the World War I variety and was going to fly to Germany to bump off Hitler as my dad and Winston Churchill were probably the only two people in the British Empire of the time who realized that Hitler was a threat to the world.

Of course while my dad may have been an engineering genius for such a young age he hadn’t considered other factors which naturally any 8-year-old wouldn’t.

My Uncle Tom was wisely placed by my dad as the pilot in the front seat of the plane.

And my dad sat at the way back seat of the plane as a navigator.

This proved to be quite handy as when the plane launched from the top of the hill overlooking the valley of my grandparents’ farm, it became rapidly apparent to my dad with his panoramic view at the back of the plane that the closest this plane was going to get to the Third Reich was the middle of the creek that flowed through my grandparents’ farm.

My dad wisely jumped off the back seat as my Uncle Tom could be heard screaming as the plane headed straight towards the creek.

There was a loud splash.

My dad ran to see if his brother was all right.

When my Uncle Tom emerged from the creek with an exceedingly angry look on his face, as my dad told the story afterwards, he (my dad) broke the 4 Minute Mile record years before Roger Bannister did in an effort to get back to the house and my grandmother’s kitchen before my uncle could beat the 💩 out of him.

Thus bearing that in mind, as I got older, it was indeed highly likely that Gordon Lightfoot would have remembered my dad from those summer babysitting days.

Of course I never got the chance to ask Gordon in person.

But…

From the years 2007 to 2011, I used to make myself photo montage music videos at a now defunct on-line filmmaking site called OneTrueMedia.

I would then post the finished videos at YouTube.

I used that site to teach myself filmmaking and film editing skills.

Two of my favourite videos I made during that time were photo montage music videos of my two favourite Gordon Lightfoot songs: Anything For Love. If You Could Read My Mind.

Both I made in the year 2008.

Then in 2010 or 2011, I got a notification from YouTube that those two videos were taken down for song copyright violations.

I was shocked.

If I was trying to make a profit from those videos, yes.

But I was just using those songs as background for my own personal enjoyment.

I was at the Xanga blogging site at the time.

So I wrote a blog post mentioning about my two videos (with Gordon Lightfoot songs) being taken down by YouTube.

I also mentioned in that blog post that my dad had once babysat Gordon Lightfoot when Gordon visited his uncle’s farm.

That blog post got a lot of views and a lot of likes I remember.

About 3 or 4 days later after that blog post, I got a notification from YouTube that those two videos had been restored and put back on line.

I remember thinking, Great.

The very next day after I got that notification, I was doing some research and my research led me to check that day’s online edition of The Toronto Sun or Toronto Star.

I forget which.

Anyhow while I was at that Toronto newspaper site online, I stumbled across a story about Gordon Lightfoot.

Gordon Lightfoot had apparently released a statement the day before that he didn’t mind his songs and his music being used for strictly non-profit entertainment purposes.

Only if someone were trying to profit from them would he be a stickler about royalties.

And I thought…

Coincidence?

… or?

If he did remember my dad, what did my dad do that was so memorable in his mind?

As Gordon himself might put it, “What a tale my thoughts could tell…”

-A personal reflection
written by Christopher
Tuesday May 2nd
2023.

Permalink 24 Comments

Haiku About Harry Belafonte RIP

April 25, 2023 at 7:30 pm (Arts, Celebrities, Culture, Entertainment, Film, haiku, History, Music, News, Obituaries, Poetry) ()

King of Calypso
Island 🏝️ in the sun ☀️ then leaves
World and Kingston town

Time to remember
The kind of September
Farewell to December

Permalink 15 Comments

Haiku About Gina Lollobrigida R.I.₱.

January 16, 2023 at 7:46 pm (Biographical, Culture, Film, haiku, News, Obituaries, Poetry) ()

  • Gina Lollobrigida (July 3rd 1927 – January 16th 2023)
  • Italian film star
  • Gy₱sy girl to Sheba’s Queen
  • Multitude of roles

    Permalink 4 Comments

  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Dies At Age 96 In The Platinum Jubilee Year of Her Reign

    September 8, 2022 at 8:26 pm (Commentary, Geopolitics and International Relations, History, News, Obituaries, Personal essays) ()

    Queen Elizabeth II
    1926-2022

    She was born in an age of civility and grace.

    As the world and its morals and culture rapidly descended into barbarism, savagery and decadence around her, she remained a steadfast symbol of that long lost bygone age.

    Her death truly marks the end of an era.

    R.I.P Your Majesty.

    Permalink 24 Comments

    Mikhail Gorbachev Dies At Age 91

    August 30, 2022 at 9:52 pm (Commentary, Geopolitics and International Relations, History, International Intrigue, News, Obituaries, Personal essays) (, )


    Mikhail Gorbachev
    1931-2022
    The last leader of the Soviet Union

    Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (March 2nd 1931-August 30th 2022) the former President of the Soviet Union and the former General-Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party has died at the age of 91.

    He peacefully ended the Cold War, allowed the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and allowed the nations of Central and Eastern Europe to leave the Soviet Warsaw Pact orbit.

    Gorbachev was a Russian equivalent of Czechoslovakian President Alexander Dubcek (the architect of the 1968 Prague Spring) – he tried to bring about “Communism with a human face” but as some wise commentator noted, “He was trying to reform the irreformable.”

    The USSR collapsed in 1991 and in 1999 U.S. President Bill Clinton launched a 78 day NATO bombing campaign against Serbia (a long standing ally of Russia) and as a result Russian President Boris Yeltsin spent the spring and summer of 1999 appointing and then firing Prime Ministers left, right and center until he could finally find one who’d stand up against the West (who refused to regard Russia as an equal partner).

    He finally found one in Vladimir Putin whom he appointed Prime Minister of Russia on August 9th 1999.

    Yeltsin resigned as President of Russia on the last day of December 1999 and Putin became President.

    Of course the brainless mainstream media in the West would not see the connection between the hare brained foreign policies of Bill Clinton and his airheaded Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (for whom a more appropriate name would have been Madeleine Halfbright) and the advent of Vladimir Putin.

    Now Gorbachev who hoped for a world of peace between East and West has died.

    And Stalinists and Trotskyites in a final reunited front now run the Democratic Party in the U.S. and the Federal Liberal Party of Canada.

    The last of the Alexander Dubcek style reform Communists have died with Gorbachev.

    R.I.P. Mikhail Gorbachev.

    -An obituary and personal essay
    written by Christopher
    Tuesday August 30th
    2022.

    Permalink 18 Comments

    Eugenio Scalfari Dead At The Age of 98

    July 14, 2022 at 10:42 pm (Geopolitics and International Relations, International Intrigue, News, Obituaries, Religion, The Supernatural, Vampire novel) (, , , , , )

    British MP Renfield R. Renfield was meeting in a coffee shop with his friend Amadeus Emanon’s pastor the Rev. Father Aidan Bury Saint Edmunds the Vicar of Saint Genevieve’s Anglo-Catholic C. of E. Parish Church in West London.

    They were discussing today’s death of Italian atheistic journalist Eugenio Scalfari at the age of 98.

    Scalfari was the co-founder of the influential Italian newspaper La Repubblica and was its editor from 1976 to 1996.

    He continued to work as a journalist and write articles and do interviews even after he retired as editor.

    Scalfari was most famous for doing interviews with Pope Francis.

    Jorge Mario Bergoglio seemed to enjoy giving intimate personal interviews to Scalfari.

    Scalfari took no notes during these interviews and relied on memory he said.

    Thus Jorge Mario Bergoglio could theoretically have an out when Scalfari’s articles said that Francis during these interviews had denied the existence of Hell, the Divinity of Christ and His Bodily Resurrection.

    However when concerns were raised about these issues by numerous Catholic faithful, not once did the Vatican ever issue a statement from Francis himself that the pontiff categorically denied the claims that Scalfari attributed to him.

    “I do not know if Scalfari accepted Christ on his deathbed,” said Father Bury Saint Edmunds, “but if he didn’t and Scalfari’s soul was lost, Bergoglio has a lot to answer for in not preaching the Gospel to him. A man who is a priest and even more so a bishop has a lot to answer for from God in how he handles souls under his care.”

    “But if Bergoglio didn’t really believe in the existence of Hell, Christ’s Divinity or His Bodily Resurrection,” Renfield noted, “He really wouldn’t feel inclined to preach the Gospel to Scalfari, would he?”.

    “That’s a good point,” Father Saint Edmunds admitted.

    “What are those little cards with pictures on them that you’ve got in front of you, Father?” Renfield asked.

    “They’re prayer cards,” Father Saint Edmunds answered.

    “And what are those pictures of?” Renfield inquired.

    “Well this picture is of Jesus with His Sacred Heart, this is a picture of Saint Stephen who was the Christian Church’s first martyr, this is a picture of Saint James the Apostle and this is a picture of Saint Christopher carrying the Christ Child across a stream,” Father Aidan Bury Saint Edmunds replied.

    “May I have those prayer cards, Father?” Renfield asked.

    “Certainly,” the priest handed the MP the cards.

    In another corner of the cafe, the Lakota Sioux Princess Tanaka sat watching.

    -A vampire novel chapter
    written by Christopher
    Thursday July 14th
    2022.

    Permalink 8 Comments

    Shinzo Abe Assassinated

    July 8, 2022 at 7:54 pm (Commentary, Geopolitics and International Relations, History, International Intrigue, News, Obituaries, Poetry) (, , , )

    Japan patriot
    Gunned down while giving speech
    Land of Rising Sun weeps

    Permalink 10 Comments

    A Tolkienian Haiku For September 11th

    September 11, 2021 at 10:44 pm (Commentary, Geopolitics and International Relations, History, International Intrigue, Literature, News, Obituaries, Poetry) (, , , , , , , , , )

    The Twin Towers fall
    Mordor’s shadows up and rise
    Mortals doomed to die

    Permalink 14 Comments

    Vera Lynn

    June 18, 2020 at 9:20 pm (Culture, Entertainment, History, Music, News, Obituaries, Personal essays) ()

    R.I.P. Vera Lynn (March 20th 1917 – June 18th 2020) the British singer who was called England’s Sweetheart and the English Nightingale during World War II for singing such inspirational songs as We’ll Meet Again, The White Cliffs of Dover, There’ll Always Be An England, and Lily Marlene.

    She died on the 80th Anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s This Was Their Finest Hour speech (that Churchill delivered on June 18th 1940).

    80 years later was the day England’s Finest Singer went to her Heavenly Abode.

    Permalink 14 Comments

    Haiku About Stan Lee R.I.P.

    November 12, 2018 at 10:53 pm (Arts, Biographical, Mythology, News, Obituaries, Poetry) (, , , , , , , )

    He was a marvel
    in the universe and life
    Spiderman’s tears fall

    Permalink 13 Comments

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