Revised Edition of Winter Dreams Eps. 11-15

Episode 11:

The next day Coach Whit Chandler called Coach Ray Reynolds, the coach of the juvenile division. Whit was aware of Reynold’s reputation for leading his teams to the top of their division. Although he didn’t particularly like the juvenile’s coach, Whit respected his success and was willing to ask for Reynold’s help.

“Hi, Ray. This is Whit Chandler. How are you?”

“Good. To what do I owe this honor?” Coach Reynolds asked in his usual gruff voice.

“I need your advice Ray. I don’t know what to do about my goaltending situation,” Whit said.

“Yeah, if I was you, I’d be feeling the heat too. I was at your game last night and saw that you tried using a different goalie.”

“Man, that turned out to be a disaster, but I was desperate. Rick Miller just hasn’t been cutting it as our starting goalie. What would you do if you were in my shoes?”

“I agree with you that Rick Miller has far too many weaknesses as a goalie, but I like the kid. He has guts. I watched another one of your games in which Miller took a powerful slap shot to the shoulder. It must have hurt like hell, but Miller sucked up the pain and stayed in the game. That indicates to me that Rick is a real man. If I was you, Chandler, I’d stick with Miller in goal. The kid needs some help though. I’ll tell you what I’m willing to do for you. If you can book and pay for some ice time at the St. Vital arena, I’d be willing to teach Rick some new skills. I’ll also bring along my number one goalie, Brent Peterson to help show Miller some techniques that he has mastered.”

“Consider it done. I really appreciate this Ray. I owe you a few drinks for this one. I’ll phone the arena right now to book some ice time.”

Episode 12:

After hockey practice was over, Rick called Misty.

“Hey, are we still on for lunch today?” Rick asked.

“You bet,” Misty answered. “Where shall we go?”

“I really like the chili and fries at The Red Top.”

“And I love their burgers and onion rings. So, we finally agree on something,” Misty teased.

“Yeah, miracles still do happen, I guess,” Rick said with a chuckle. “So, we’ll leave right now. I’m getting hungry after a gruelling hockey practice. Just meet me at my car.”

“Just what I always wanted. A man who takes charge,” Misty said.

In under five minutes the two neighbors arrived at The Red Top Restaurant. They were greeted by one of the weekend staff.

“What can I get for you guys? Do you want a menu?”

The waitress’s name was Marlene. She also attended Maplewood Collegiate. She was in Misty’s chemistry class. Many of the students at Maplewood held part time jobs in the evenings or on the weekend. Rick had passed Marlene in the halls several times. Rick found Marlene to be attractive, but he wouldn’t put her in the same league with Misty.

“Hi, Marlene. I’ll have chili, fries and a hot chocolate. And what will you order Misty?”

“I’ll have a Red Top burger, some onion rings and a Coke.”

“I’ll get your hot chocolate and Coke right away.” Marlene said.

“So does Sasha know that we’re having lunch together?” Rick asked.

“Oh yeah. I told her this morning at breakfast. She’s cool with it. She just started seeing this guy called Cole. He’s not as good looking as you Rick, but he’s very intelligent like you are. I think Cole might be a socialist or even a communist. He looks like one too. He is tall, skinny and has a black goatee and if I remember correctly, he wore a badge on his sweater that said Young Socialist Party of Canada. Cole brought over some books for Sasha to read. One was Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book and another one was The Communist Manifesto.  Sasha hasn’t shown much interest in politics before, but I think she’ll read his literature just because she likes Cole so much.”

“Well, I’m happy for her. I hope Sasha’s found herself a nice guy. And I’m relieved to hear that she’s not upset about us having lunch together,” Rick said.

“No, there’s no need to worry Rick. Sasha’s over you.”

Episode 13:

“So, Rick. How was your practice this morning?”

“It went very well. I am actually enjoying playing hockey for probably the first time in my life,” Rick answered.

“How long have you been playing hockey?”

Before Rick could answer Marlene had brought over Rick’s hot chocolate and Misty’s Coke. The sun shone brightly through the window highlighting the beauty of Misty’s face. Misty appeared so ravishing to Rick that he found it hard to focus on his answer to her question.

“Since I was seven years old,” Rick managed to get out.

“And you haven’t liked playing hockey until now?” Misty asked looking baffled.

“It’s what you call the power of peer pressure. My teammates wouldn’t let me quit. I was the only kid who wasn’t afraid of getting hit by the puck, so I was the only goalie they had,” Rick explained.

“So what’s changed it for you this year?”

“There are several reasons. For one thing we have a different coach this year. Our former coach developed heart trouble and his doctor ordered him to quit coaching hockey. So now we have a new coach, Brad Keenan. He goes to university and he’s a really cool guy. He’s taken most of the pressure right off me. Plus, I’m the oldest guy on the team this year and the younger guys look up to me.”

“Wow, I never would have dreamed I’d be having lunch with a jock,” Mindy said.

This made Rick laugh. “Yes, but a very enlightened jock.”

“I always wanted a guy with a good sense of humour,” Misty said, starting to laugh.

Episode 14:

Whit Chandler was only able to procure a 10:30 PM ice time slot for Rick’s crash course in goaltending. Throughout his whole career Rick had never had a coach teach him how to play goal. All he got from them was criticism of his performance. On Wednesday, December 5, 1967 this suddenly changed. As promised Coach Reynolds brought along his number one goalie Brent Peterson.

Coach Reynolds told Whit Chandler to stay in the stands and just observe as he and Brent taught Rick. To start off Coach Reynolds sent Brent to the net. He asked Rick to closely observe Brent’s posture and how he always kept his goal stick flat on the ice. Next Brent demonstrated how he cut down the angles. Brent showed Rick how to stop different kinds of shots. High shots, low shots, slap-shots and wrist shots were all included in Rick’s crash course in the art and science of goaltending. Coach Reynolds put Rick in goal to practise what he’d just watched Brent do. When the one-hour session was over, Rick was completely exhausted. He was so tired that it took him a long time to take his equipment off. Brent walked up to Rick and sat right beside him on the bench in the dressing room.

“I just want to tell you that you did really well out there tonight, but we still have a lot of work to do. Coach Reynolds will book the ice time again for sometime next week. In the mean time I’m going to give you some homework.” Brent handed Rick a copy of Lloyd Percival’s Hockey Handbook. He told Rick to read and study the chapter on goaltending and to start practising some of the suggested exercises on his own.

Episode 15:

Rick attended and participated in two more private training sessions with Brent Peterson and Coach Reynolds. Rick had absorbed a lot of new strategies to help his individual play. On a Thursday night following his last practice, Rick saw his newly acquired skills start to pay off. The Cougars were playing a team from the north end of the city. The Cougar’s opponents were ranked very close to the Cougars in the league standings. Northwood’s strategy for the game was to intimidate the Cougars with a punishing physical confrontation. The Northwood Raiders did everything in their power to engage the Cougar players into fights. They hacked, slashed, tripped and tried every illegal tactic to draw the Cougars off their game. The Cougars were a relatively small hockey team that was not known for aggressive play on the ice. The Cougars really had only one player that was a scoring threat and a Raiders player managed to engage him in a fight during the first period that led to his expulsion from the game.

By the start of the second period Northwood had the Cougars on the run. The smaller team was by now totally intimidated and their one scoring threat was out of the game. The Cougars now did not believe that they could win this game. Their revised goal was to get out of this arena alive. The game officials appeared to have been bought off by the Northwood Raiders. They refused to call penalties on even the most egregious infractions. Several of the Cougars white road jerseys now displayed blood stains.

Amazingly after all this mayhem the game was still scoreless going into the third period. The reason was the outstanding play of Rick Miller in goal. Rick stopped shots from every conceivable angle including three breakaways. This heroic effort by the Cougars goalie caused Northwood to become frustrated and dispirited. It was as if Rick’s superb play had drained the fight right out of the Raiders.

The Cougars capitalized on some late game lackadaisical play by Northwood and scored two quick goals. With time running out the Raider’s coach chose to pull their goalie in order to acquire a sixth attacker. This strategy backfired when the Cougars scored an empty net insurance goal.

At the final buzzer the Cougar players left the bench and mobbed Rick. They knew who had won the game for them.

Episode 16:goalie-1



Chaos, A Novel by Ken David Stewart

Episode One:

On April 16, 2016 Harold Peyton turned sixty-five. He was troubled by the realization that he was now officially a senior citizen. His beloved wife, Camilla had passed away on this very date April 16, 2006. Harold remained living in their old house that had done without renovations and repairs for at least a decade. Although a friend had encouraged him to find a new place to live, Roger was too deeply overwhelmed by grief to change his living arrangements. His stepson, Jeff, had even asked Harold to come and stay with him and his family. Harold didn’t want to impose upon him and he didn’t want Jeff to know that he had started drinking alcohol again. He had eleven years of sobriety to his credit before he relapsed back into his disease of addiction. Harold started drinking again a few days after his wife’s funeral.

On a Friday morning Harold walked by the local Manitoba Liquor Commission. He had just finished going to the post office to mail in thank you notes to all the people who sent their condolences.

As soon as Harold opened the door to the liquor store and literally walked across the red carpet, Roger felt right at home. It was as if the last eleven years of his life had never happened. Harold decided to take a tour of the liquor store to check out all the different kind of alcohol on display. After about twenty minutes of exploring the store Harold decided upon the largest bottle of Jack Daniels that he could find. He walked out of the liquor store without the slightest feelings of guilt and shame.

Episode 2:

Harold had now been retired for five years. He had been a high school English teacher for twenty-seven years. He was now receiving a CPP pension, a retired teachers pension and was about to start receiving Old Age Security Benefits.

Harold only returned to drinking alcohol for one year after his wife’s passing. After the one year was over Harold returned to his old Alcoholics Anonymous group and was welcomed back with open arms.

When he turned sixty-five Harold realized that he had to get back on his feet. One year of indulging in self-pity and substance abuse was long enough. As he gradually accumulated more sobriety his once brilliant mind had started to function again and he became very introspective. He began thinking about what he was going to do with the rest of his life.

After all, Harold was only in his mid sixties. He realized that he could possibly have twenty more years in store for himself.

Harold had kept physically fit before his drinking got out of control. He got back in the habit of going for a forty-five -minute bike ride each day. He also worked out at Shapes, his local gym, at least three times per week. When he started going back to Shapes he started with performing a resistance training circuit. Within a few months Harold was looking significantly better. By means of his weight training program Harold was starting to regain most of his youthful muscle definition. He was still approximately seventy pounds overweight according to his doctor’s Body Mass Index chart.

A good part of the problem was that Harold could not get himself motivated to learn how to cook healthy meals. While Harold was alive his wife did the majority of the cooking. The only type of cooking that Harold enjoyed was barbequing using an old circular shaped charcoal barbeque. He was afraid of using the newer gas powered grills. Harold would barbeque hot dogs, hamburgers and steak practically every day during the summer. Occasionally he would put on his parka and barbeque outside during the winter months.

After Janine died, Harold had to learn to fend for himself. He realized that he would have to eat something so he started to think of all the meals he could prepare for himself without having to cook. One morning Harold sat down and made a list of all the meals that he could make on his own. The list that Harold came up with included toast, various types of sandwiches, dry breakfast cereals, large bars of cheese, pizza pops, raw pepperoni sticks, hot dogs, raw fruits and vegetables. Spam and assorted canned foods.

Episode 3 of Chaos:

To Harold’s delight and with the help of drinking Valentus coffee, going for daily bike rides and going for regular workouts at Shapes gym, he was able to get his weight down to two-hundred thirty-five pounds. About a year ago Harold went to his doctor for a complete physical and weighed in at three hundred ten pounds. This was a turning point for Harold. He had been avoiding looking at himself in the mirror for quite some time now. Harold felt too much shame to see his reflection in the mirror. Although his present weight was still above his ideal weight according to the body mass index chart that his doctor showed him, Harold felt much better about himself. He could now look at himself in the mirror without fear of embarrassment. In fact, Harold thought that he now looked good. Not only had he lost a great deal of body fat he had regained a significant amount of muscle mass. Harold was now very proud of himself. With hard work he had achieved a major life goal. He now had a spring in his step when he went out in public.

Episode 4 of Chaos

Although he was officially retired Harold had not stopped working completely. He continued to work three to four days per week as a substitute teacher. Harold enjoyed substitute teaching much more than full time teaching, as he now didn’t have extra work to take home with him in the evenings. Substitute teaching also got him out of the house several times per week. This helped alleviate Harold’s loneliness as it gave him somewhat of a social life as he had an opportunity to visit with other teachers during prep periods and at lunch times.

Fortunately, Harold was rarely bored. He had developed several hobbies during his teaching career and he now had more time to devote to them. Harold also picked up a couple of new hobbies after he retired. He had always enjoyed learning new things and developing new skills.

He had truly loved his late wife Janine and believed that he could never again love a woman as much as he had loved her. Even so, he missed having female companionship. During one of his church’s weekly Bible studies Harold had met an attractive lady in her mid forties named Roxanne. They both felt a mutual attraction to each other and were soon going out for coffee after the Bible study had ended.

Episode 5 of Chaos:

Harold had a regular morning routine. On weekdays he would turn on his phone and wait for a call from the school division giving him a substitute teaching assignment for the day. Harold did not really want to accept an assignment today. He had just finished a three- day assignment teaching English at Murdoch MacKay Collegiate. Harold had a good time teaching there as the class was reading and discussing F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. Although Harold had thoroughly enjoyed his time at Murdoch MacKay, he was getting older and felt like he needed a day off.

He also felt guilty when he spent too many days away from his writing. Harold wrote fiction novels as a hobby and found that the writing process was very therapeutic for him. He decided that he would decline any teaching assignments for today and would spend the day working on his current work in progress, a novel titled Winter Dreams.

Harold’s morning routine seldom varied. He would get up and boil some water for his Valentus coffee. Harold would then fill up a large glass with water. The glass that he used to wash down his medications was actually a large holder for flowers, like a vase, that he had purchased at Dollarama.

As he got older Harold appeared to be taking more and more medications. He had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was in his late teens. His psychiatrist prescribed a cocktail of antidepressants. While drinking his coffee and taking his meds Harold would listen to one of his many Holy Bible audiobooks.

Harold had been a Christian since his late twenties. When he first got saved he was really just buying fire insurance. Harold simply did not want to go to hell. For almost three decades he really didn’t have an intimate relationship with the Lord. When Harold was in his early fifties he was introduced to Charismatic and Pentecostal theology through a co-worker. Since then he had been baptised in the Holy Spirit and received some of the spiritual gifts, notably prophetic visions and words of knowledge.

Episode 6:

After Harold finished his devotion time, he returned to his writing by checking out his recent chapter of Winter Dreams. He would look for anywhere that editing was needed and started to think where he would take the story’s plot from here. Harold had also made up a separate Word document where he would list his ideas for potential future scenes.

While Harold had just started his next chapter, he heard a lot of noise emanating from outside his house. He got up from his black office chair and looked out his living room window.

There was still snow on the ground and Harold could see a burly man push a young female out of white Ford 250 truck. The driver appeared to be in his early thirties and looked very intimidating.The next thing to be tossed out of the truck was a large blue hockey duffle bag. It landed on the snow and ice covered ground with a loud thump.

Harold opened his front door when he heard the driver yelling obscenities at the girl. As the white truck pulled away Harold put on his Kodiak snow boots and stepped outside his house. He needed to see if the young woman needed any assistance. Harold helped the girl to her feet. She looked up at Harold, thanked him and began to cry. The young lady was wearing only a grey hoodie sweatshirt and a well worn pair of blue jeans. Her hair was black and scraggly and the tears pouring out of her eyes caused her mascara to run. She was shivering from the cold.

“Would you like to come inside to warm up and join me for coffee or hot chocolate?”

He helped the girl through the door. The young lady was feeling sore from being pushed out of the truck and landing on the hard ice and snow covered street. She was still shivering as it was unusually cold today and the girl didn’t have a winter coat to put on. Harold brought her duffle bag in. The bag was quite heavy but despite being sixty-five years old Harold was still very strong. He noticed a slight hint of body odor emanating from the girl. What really struck him was the thinness of the young lady’s face and her general emaciated presentation.

Episode 7:

Roger noticed that the girl had several piercings, one through her left eyebrow and two piercings in her nose.

As it was rather warm in Harold’s house, the young female took off her dirty grey hooded sweatshirt. Underneath she was wearing a black mid riff tee-shirt with Black Flag printed on it. Harold noticed that she also had a belly button piercing. She starting pulling off her black boots revealing two different colored striped socks.

“I should introduce myself. My name is Harold, Harold Peytoon. Would you like a cup of coffee or some hot chocolate?” Harold asked his guest. He thought that the girl would be attractive if she didn’t look so dishevelled and improved her personal hygiene.

“Oh, that would be awesome sir. I would actually prefer a hot chocolate if it’s not too much trouble for you.”

“That’s not a problem. By the way, what’s your name?” Harold asked

“My real name is Janine Jackson, but my street name is Streak. I also use a few aliases whenever I need to.”

“I’m pleased to meet you, Janine. Oh, by the way you don’t need to call me ‘sir’. Just Harold will be fine.”

Episode 8:

“Did you see that guy push me out of the truck and throw my duffel bag in the snow?” Janine asked.

“Yes, are you alright?” Harold asked with evident concern in his voice.

“Yes, I think so. Tony pushed me pretty hard out of the truck . I’ll probably be sore for awhile and have some nasty bruises,” Janine answered after taking a sip of her hot chocolate.

“That’s probably true. Look, I know its none of my business, so you don’t have to tell me your story,” Roger said.

“No, that’s not a problem,” Janine said. “You let me in your house, Harold, and maybe saved my life, so I should be honest enough to tell you what all went down. First, I need to give you some background information about myself. My real name is Janine Jackson, but I’m known by several aliases as you’re likely to find out. I’m twenty-two years old and I’m essentially homeless right now,” Janine said as she stretched out and made herself more comfortable on Roger’s well worn orange and yellow patterned couch. Harold sat in his brown Lazy Boy chair and smoked his pipe as he listened to Janine’s story.

“It sounds like you are having a very rough time of it right now,” Harold stated.

“Actually, my whole life has been a rough time, man. My father left when I was two years old, so I never really knew him. My mom and dad got married too young and the only reason that they got married was because Mom was pregnant with me. My parents never really wanted me. I was an accident.”

Episode 9:

“Wow. That must really hurt,” Harold said as he tried to light his pipe.

“Yeah, I guess it does, but I’m tough. I can live through a lot and I still am. Every day’s a struggle. I’ve never really had anyone I could trust in my life.” Janine’s eyes started to tear up.

“So what happened after your dad left?” Harold asked while passing a box of Kleenex over to Janine.

“The only way my mother knew how to cope was to turn to the bottle. Mom also got stoned on weed a lot. She also took several kinds of benzos and antidepressants that she got from her doctor. Mom was always good at scamming her doctors.”

“How could your mother look after you while she was so impaired?” Harold asked.

“She couldn’t take proper care of me, my brother or my sister. That’s why Child and Family Services took all her kids away and placed us all in different foster homes,” Janine answered and then drank a bit of her hot chocolate. “You sure make a good cup of hot chocolate, Harold. This is delicious.”


“It’s Tim Horton’s, dear. Only the best for you.”

Episode 10:

“You have a very nice home, Harold. It’s a little cluttered and could use some cleaning, but, then again, this house is quite small,” Janine said. “I noticed that you have four bookshelves and possibly a couple of hundred books.”

“Actually, I have a lot more books than that. My eyesight is not as good as it used to be so I now purchase all my books in the Kindle format. That way I can adjust the fonts and the brightness levels so that reading the text is comfortable for me,” Harold explained.

“You certainly are a well read man,” Janine observed.

“For sure. I’ve been that way since I was a kid. I also like listening to audiobooks when my eyes need a break.”

“You are right, though. This house is a bit too small, but it was even more cramped when my wife was still alive. We accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. I still haven’t given away much of Camilla’s belongings. I get too emotional when I’m around her stuff.”

“I’m sorry to hear that your wife passed away. How long has it been now?”

“Over a year and seven months.”

“Are you over your grief now?” Janine asked moving a little closer to the front of the couch. Harold was a little uncomfortable with how Janine made him feel. He wished that less of her skin was exposed. As much as he hated to admit it to himself, Harold did find this strange young woman in his house to be somewhat attractive. It couldn’t be a sexual attraction. That was ludicrous. After all, Harold was sixty-five years old and this girl was only twenty-two. He was not a dirty old man. Harold had not even been sexually active with Camilla during her last few years as she was too exhausted from her cancer treatments to have sexual relations with him. There was something else going on.

“Are you still grieving, Harold?” Janine asked.

“Yes, but it’s getting better with time. At certain times of the day I still get very sad and will start weeping. Sometimes an old song that we both loved will be playing on the internet and that will stir up a deep sadness within me. Camilla and I had a very happy marriage. I can’t say that we did a lot of exciting things together. We didn’t do much travelling as we didn’t have much money. Camilla was not healthy enough to work, so we mostly relied upon my income. As we both liked our creature comforts and I have several hobbies, we ran up a lot of debt. I had to take out a second mortgage on this house. This caused a great deal of stress in our lives, but we both enjoyed each other’s company in a quiet sort of way.”

Episode 11:

Harold got up from his easy chair and walked up to his living room window to look outside. He continued to talk to Janine with his back toward her.

“I’ll be up front with you Janine. I’m an alcoholic in recovery. I’ve only been sober a little past a year now. I got sober in Alcoholics Anonymous and recently received my one year of sobriety pin.” Harold didn’t know why he was sharing such personal information with a stranger.

“Can I use your washroom, Harold? I need to pee.”

“Sure, the washroom is just upstairs, the first door on your right.”

Harold now had a couple of minutes to collect his thoughts and started to realize how bizarre this situation was. He had just invited a complete stranger into his home and was talking to her as if she was an old friend.

When Janine came back downstairs, and entered Harold’s small living room, it was obvious that she had tried to clean herself up. She had washed her face and her mascara was no longer running. Her freshly shampooed hair brought a very sweet aroma into the room.

“I know all about addiction myself, Harold.I’m hooked on crystal meth. I’ve also been diagnosed as having BPD.” Janine said matter-of-factly.

“What’s BPD?” Harold asked. “I may have read something about it.”

“It’s a psychiatric disorder known as borderline personality disorder. It makes me act really crazy at times. I just thought that I’d warn you,” Janine said.

Harold turned his head toward Janine and looked her squarely in the eyes, “I’m shocked that you would tell me that.”

“Don’t be. I’m very straight up with people,” Janine replied.

“Do you have a place to live right now?” Harold asked.

“Not really. I’ve kind of been homeless for the last couple of months. I just sort of couch surf.” Roger looked at all Janine’s’s piercings and wondered if their installation caused her a lot of pain. Janine’ midriff T-shirt was sleeveless and Harold observed a pentagram tattoo on Janine’s right shoulder.

“What does couch surfing mean? Harold asked.

Janine smiled and laughed, “It means that I stay for short periods of time, usually a few days, at other people’s places and usually sleep on the couch, or sometimes I sleep in my own sleeping bag.”

Episode 12:

“It sounds like you’re living a very unstable life right now,” Harold observed. “How did you get addicted to crystal meth and opiates?”

“It all started in high school. I think I was around fifteen years old at the time. Crystal meth and opiates are not the first drugs I ever tried. I’m no angel. When I was twelve my friends and I started smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol. Sometimes we’d even steal some of our parents’ prescription drugs.

Then, at a party I met another girl and got into a physical fight with her. During the fight she pushed me down the stairs leading to the first floor of the house. I fell all the way down the stairs until I landed on my back in the stair well. I lied there and don’t remember how long I remained unconscious. When I finally ‘came to,’ I was lying on a hospital bed. I could see a doctor and a nurse standing over me.

When he could see that I had regained consciousness, the doctor began to speak to me. He was an older man, probably in his mid-forties. His hair was short and was a salt-and-pepper color. He wore dark rimmed glasses.”

‘You are very lucky girl,” he said. “You took a very bad fall and could have been seriously injured. There are a lot of nasty contusions on your shoulders and back, but there doesn’t appear to be any paralysis or permanent injury to your back or spine. I will be sending you for some x-rays just to be on the safe side. How is your pain?’

“I tried to move and let out a scream of pain. ‘Very bad,’ I told the doctor. He took out a prescription and wrote me a prescription for OxyContin. As soon as I took my first OxyContin I felt wonderful. The pain was still there, but I felt like I was floating on a cloud. I didn’t have a worry in the world. From that point on I was an opiate addict,” Janine said in way of explanation. “Harold, do you mind if I go outside for a smoke. A cigarette might help me to calm down.”

“No. go right ahead. Do you like dogs?” Harold asked.

“I love dogs,” Janine answered.

“My old dog Buddy is in the backyard. He’s a very old black Labrador retriever, but he still enjoys going for a walk. Would you be able to take Buddy for a walk while you are having your smoke break?”

“Absolutely. I’d love to. I didn’t know that you owned a dog, Harold. I could hear some barking outside, but I assumed it was a neighbor’s dog,” Janine replied.

“After your walk you can bring Buddy in the house. He is a little shy of people he doesn’t know, but after you’ve spent a bit of time with him, he’ll love you. Especially, if you take him for a walk,” Harold said getting out of his Lazy Boy chair.

“You don’t need to get up. I’ll find Buddy on my own and I’ll take him for a walk,” Janine said.

“Buddy’s leash is hanging up on a nail on the back door,” Harold said settling back down into his easy chair. Janine grabbed the chained leash and opened the back door. Buddy looked up at her and began to bark. Janine had owned a dog when she was living with her aunt and was very good at handling shy dogs. She found a box of dog treats on top of Harold’s refrigerator. Janine took a few treats out of the box to give to Buddy. She slowly walked up to the old black lab, spoke very gently to him and gave him a treat. Buddy took the treat very readily and Janine didn’t have any problem attaching the dog’s leash. Buddy wagged his tail to indicate that he was more than ready to go on a walk with Janine.

Episode 13:

As Roger watched Janine walk out the back door with Buddy he started to feel very confused. For a long time now Harold’s emotional life had been shut down. He was barely able to feel anything as he was trying desperately to bury his pain deep inside himself.

Harold tried to keep himself distracted by filling his day with his hobbies and his part time job. He would go out to do substitute teaching assignments about three days per week on average. He paid for a subscription with a company called Sub Alert. Harold would receive a phone call whenever a new substitute teaching job was available. Harold had the option of accepting or declining the assignment. He preferred to work with middle years and high school students. Harold became very popular with most of his students mainly because he was very cool for a man for his age. He had long white hair tied in a ponytail and dressed casually. Harold would either where a hockey jersey or a tee-shirt with a rock band’s logo covered by an unbuttoned denim shirt.

Harold looked forward to all his teaching gigs. He consistently had the attitude that he was going to make it a fun day for both himself and his students and it usually was.

Episode 14:

About thirty seconds after Janine closed the back door behind her and took Buddy for a walk, Harold’s phone rang. It was a call from Sub Alert, a private company that phoned Harold whenever a new substitute teaching assignment was available.Image51

Lake Mariposa Part Fourteen

Did you have a job while you were in Berkeley?”


Well, for about a year I taught in a Berkeley alternative school?” answered Gypsy?

You were a school teacher?” said Misty in surprise. Somehow I have a hard time picturing you as a school teacher.”

So do I. That’s why I left the profession,” laughed Gypsy. “Actually I enjoyed the teaching part but I didn’t like having to enforce rules and discipline all the time.”

What grades and subjects did you teach?” Misty asked.

I taught grades seven to twelve English and social studies mostly. I also taught a lot of what are called guidance courses such as family life and drug and alcohol education, “ replied Gypsy.

Drug and alcohol education? You’ve got to be kidding,” laughed Misty.

Well, I did start to feel like a bit of a hypocrite,” joked,Gypsy. “You see it’s kind of a long story. I was brought up by parents who were both in the military. Heavy on rules and regulations, the whole nine yards. You could say that in away I got my adult and teenage rebellion tears in the wrong order.”

You know, in a weird kind of way that does kind of explain it,” said Misty.

Aha, someone who finally understands me,” laughed Gypsy.

Misty and Gypsy kept up this lively conversation all the way back to the concert area. Gypsy looked around a bit and finally spotted his buddies. When they joined up with his friends they were all well into the party atmosphere. Joints were being passed around and a large bottle of cheap wine was making its way down the line.

How was business, Gyp?” asked one of his buddies named Joker.

It was all right. A few sales here and there. Enough to keep us partying for awhile,” Gypsy answered.

Hey, who’s your friend?” asked Louie another one of Gypsy’s friends. Louie had a tattoo of a cobra on his left arm.

Oh right. Where’s my manners? I just met this cool chick today. Her name is Misty,” said Gypsy.

You’re beautiful,” said Joker with his eyes fixed on Misty.

That she is but just remember, she’s with me my brothers. I saw her first,” said Gypsy.

It’s not right,” said Louie. Gypsy always gets the cool, good looking women.”

It’s gotta be my charm,” laughed Gypsy.







Lake Mariposa Part One

Lake Mariposa
It was the year of rock festivals in Manitoba. This weekend’s event would the third that Rick had attended during the summer of 1969. The famous or infamous “summer of love” had come a couple of years later in Canada. Rick loved these rock festivals. He was a loyal fan of all the local rock bands in the city. To Rick these musicians were of as worthy of his praise as famous bands like The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Rick loved the music of the 1960’s. The first single record he bought was She Loves You by The Beatles. He especially liked the garage bands that sometimes had a single hit record during the years 1965 to 1967. But now it was the psychedelic era. It was Jimi Hendrix and his band The Experience, with a beautiful yellow cover on their first LP, Are You Experienced? Rick wasn’t quite sure that he preferred psychedelic music to the garage bands but he figured that he would soon get used to the new sounds on the radio.
You see Rick was now “with it” or “hip” or at least tried to be. This process had only come about in the last three months. The inspiration for this desire for hipness came through his association with his female neighbor across the street. To be more precise Rick was now enamored with his desire to have a girlfriend.
His new neighbor, Misty had recently moved to Canada from San Francisco, California. She would have been around fifteen or sixteen during the Haight-Ashbury Summer of Love. Misty claimed to have visited the original community of hippies on a daily basis. She told Rick that she would have moved right into Haight-Ashbury if her parents would let her. If she tried to run away, Misty said that her mother would definitely get the police to bring her back home. She told her parents that she visited the library every afternoon during that summer as she was writing a novel and found the library to be a comfortable place to do research and to write.
The more that Rick got to know Misty the more he realized that she loved to drop names and to stretch the truth, if not make up outright lies. Rick had also heard rumors that Misty had spent some time in a mental health facility while in California. Rick believed that there might well be some truth to these rumor. Misty loved to tell stories about the good life she had left behind in Caliornia. She greatly resented having to move to Winnipeg but her parents had split up and she had chosen to live with her father. Rick had met her

father when he went over to visit Mystery. Lloyd had long hair,was tall, had a bit of a pot belly and was in his early forties. He bore somewhat of a resemblance to Pigpen of The Grateful Dead. Her dad played guitar and claimed to have been in a band in San Francisco. He said that his band was going to be signed by a major label but his marital break-up had derailed these plans. After the marital split he decided to move to Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada as his parents lived here. Lloyd realized that he had a poor track record for holding down a steady day job and if things really got tough he would have his parents to bail him out. Lloyd loved his daughter but he was not a disciplinarian. That had been her mother’s strength. Lloyd was a libertarian at heart and had trouble trying to discipline himself. That was likely the reason that Misty chose to live with him instead of her mother.
Rick was quite infatuated with Misty but she did not appear to have a romantic interest in him. She made it clear to Rick that he was not her type but that she didn’t mind “hanging out” with him from time to time. Rick held on to a hope that at some point during that summer, Misty would change her mind. Misty had her sights set on a “freak” that she had seen while at Memorial Park, the local hippie gathering spot in the city. As yet she had not put any moves on the male hippie of her dreams but she was making plans to make herself known to him.
Rick felt that Misty’s problem with him was that he was a “straight” in her estimation, as opposed to the “freak” she had seen at the park. At this point I should explain the meaning of the term, “freak” as it was used in the nineteen sixties. A freak was a synonym for “hippie”. A freak would have long hair, usually well past shoulder length, wore bright often tie dyed tee shirts or a tank top and well worn blue jeans with patches. It was usually considered that a freak must use illicit substances on a regular basis. The minimum requirement for a “freak” was to smoke marijuana. Those who were on a “higher level” (no pun intended), in “freakdom” took LSD or as it was known, “dropped acid.” A freak was usually broke and was often temporarily homeless and would either sell drugs himself or ask passerbys for “spare change.” Rick could never understand the concept of “spare change” or especially, a “spare cigarette.” When I bought a pack of cigarettes there were always either twenty or twenty-five cigarettes included in the pack. He never recall opening a pack of smokes that had twenty-seven or twenty-eight cigarettes in it.
Rick was what was known in the hip community as a “straight”. A “straight” was a person who wore a short, respectable haircut and did not take drugs of any kind. A straight might have tried marijuana once or twice but decided that “smoking dope” was not for him. You could smoke tobacco cigarettes and get drunk on beer every weekend and still be labeled a straight. Depending upon their age, straights would either regularly attend school or hold down a steady job. Straights usually did not like the music of Jimi Hendrix or The Grateful Dead but there were exceptions. A straight from Canada was not even aware that a war was going on in Vietnam or if they did, did not see any relevance for it in their lives.
For seventeen years Rick had towed the line. Although he was not a great student he had studied hard at school this year and had brought his marks up from Cs and Ds to Bs and even an occasional A. He was only good at one sport and that was hockey but he had excelled as a goalie during the past season. Rick had occasionally gone to drinking parties with some of his teammates and had earned a reputation as someone who could really “hold their liquor”. Rick liked the feeling of being drunk but was not an alcoholic. After this hockey season ended Rick started smoking cigarettes again. He had started smoking for a short while when he was fourteen but was not by any means a heavy smoker. He didn’t even buy his own cigarettes at this point. He pinched a few smokes from his dad’s pack. When he got serious about playing hockey at age sixteen Rick gave up the habit. Now that he had retired from hockey he decided to start smoking again.
He had certainly heard about marijuana but didn’t actually try anything until he was eighteen. Rick tried it at a party because he was curious and wanted to look cool. He found that he didn’t see what all the fuss was about. Smoking dope hindered his ability to carry on an intelligent conversation at a party and he was not happy about this side effect. Rick much preferred beer as it made him more loquacious. He was normally a quiet person but he would become quite talkative once he had consumed a few beers.
With hockey season over and only a few weeks left in the school year Rick now had some time on his hands. One of the reasons he probably didn’t have a girlfriend is that he hadn’t had any time to look for one. Hockey practices and games took up three to four evenings per week. On his free nights Rick

needed to study for his grade twelve courses. He had made up his mind to be a serious student that year. Rick did poorly in grade ten and eleven and had actually failed two courses in grade eleven. He was able to recover his math grade by attending summer school and paying for a private math tutor over the previous summer. That left Rick one science credit short but his faculty advisor had informed Rick that if he took a geography elective he wouldn’t need to retake grade eleven physics. Rick felt like he had gotten a fresh start in his academic program. His hard work and diligence to his studies had paid off. If he took a correspondence course over the summer Rick would be on track to graduate from high school with the rest of his peers.
From his conversations with Misty, Rick had learned that Memorial Park was the place to be if you wanted to meet counter culture people. One hot, summer afternoon Rick walked downtown to buy a new record at a place called The Record Room. Rick still had a paper route and he used his extra money to keep up his music collection. He was thinking about buying the first album by Jimi Hendrix and The Experience. He had heard one of his favorite local bands perform Purple Haze, the second single release from this album and decided that he wanted to hear the full LP.
After he had purchased the album at the record store he felt some one tap him on the shoulder and say, “Excuse me, man.” This was the first time that anyone had called him, “man” Rick turned around and saw what could only be a female hippie or a flower child. He had previously only seen the flower children on television or in magazines. This girl definitely met the stereotype. Rick would estimate that she was fourteen to sixteen years old.
“Hey man, do you have a cigarette and a little spare change?”
Rick happened to have a pack of Sweet Caporal cigarettes on him and did have change left over after purchasing the Jimi Hendrix album. This must be what the hippies meant by spare change. Rick laughed and said, “Sure”. The young girl had long blond hair and freckles. Although she appeared to have missed a few meals Rick found her to be attractive.
“Would you like to get something to eat? There’s a Salisbury House about a block from here and I’m buying.” Rick couldn’t believe that he’d found the courage to say this. This was like asking a girl out on a date and he had never had any success with this. There is nothing more shattering to a young man’s
ego than rejection from a female. When a young man hears, “No or I don’t think so it is like taking a heavy punch to the abdomen. The air is sucked right out of you.
To his delight and amazement, the flower child said, “That would be very cool. Can I get a smoke from you now?”
“Absolutely,” said Rick taking a cigarette out of his pack and handing it to her.
While the two new acquaintances walked to The Salisbury House Rick felt like he was floating on air. It was hard for him to contain his excitement. He was about to have the company of a female all to himself.
Rick and his new friend found an open table at the restaurant and sat down to look at the menus. Rick said, “I know what I’m having already. A nip, some fries and a coffee. “
“That sounds cool to me. I’ll have the same as you, man. By the way I don’t even know your name,” said the flower child.
“I don’t know your name either,” Rick giggled.
“Well, I’m known as Arwen, man, from The Lord of the Rings. That’s my street name anyway. What’s yours?
“ I’m Rick Stuart, no street name. I think I heard of The Lord of the Rings but I haven’t read the book yet. What the heck is a street name anyway?”
“On the street nobody uses their real names. It makes it easier when the cops or Child and Family Services start snooping around. You never know your friend’s real names.”
It suddenly dawned on Rick that he had entered a different culture than what he was used to. “How long have you lived in Winnipeg, Arwen?”
“I don’t live in Winnipeg. I’ve been traveling around the States and Canada for the last few months. I just got into town Sunday night. I hitched a ride from Van with some guys.”
“What’s Van?” asked Rick?
“Man , you are a straight aren’t you? Van is short for Vancouver, British Columbia.”
“Did you know the guys you rode in with ?”
“Only for one day. I met them at a crash pad in Van,” answered Arwen.
“Do you think it was safe to get in a car with some men you barely know?” asked Rick, with some concern in his voice.
“ I never think about my own safety, man. I don’t worry about anything

anymore. I take life as it comes.”
A waitress came to their table as Arwen took deep drags off her cigarette and Rick took sips from his glass of water.
“What can I get you folks?” asked the waitress.
“We’d like two nips, two French fries and two coffees,” said Rick reaching for his c0mplimentary glass of water.
The waitress told them that their food should be ready in a few minutes.
“How long will you be staying in Winnipeg, Arwen?
“Probably for a week or so. I’ll leave as soon as my old man catches up with me,” answered Arwen.
“Your old man? Are you married?” asked Rick.
“No, we were just living together for a couple of months in Van.”
“It doesn’t sound like you want to get back with him.”
“Some times I do and sometimes I don’t. The problem is he hits me.”
“That’s terrible!”said Rick.
“Yeah, but it’s not all the time. Most of the time he’s pretty cool with me. It’s only when he’s had too much to drink that he gets crazy.”
“Are you afraid of him?” asked Rick.
“Yeah, if he got mad enough he might kill me.”stated Arwen.
“Well, that’s my cross to bare not yours, man.”
“Still. I can’t stand the thought of someone beating on you.”
“Ah, come on man, you didn’t even know me fifteen minutes ago.” said Arwen. “Still it’s kind of sweet. Thank you.”
”You want to hear a good band tonight. A band called Next are playing at River Heights Community Club tonight.”
“What kind of music do they play?” asked Arwen.
“Hard rock mostly. They play a lot of the rock you hear on FM radio. They even have a local hit record out, a cover version of Tobacco Road.”
“You mean the same song that The Nashville Teens recorded a few years ago?”asked Arwen.
“That’s the one.”
“Sounds good. If you got so enough bread for the two of us count me in,” answered Arwen.
“Great! We’ve got a couple of hours to kill before River Heights is open. Do you want to hang out at Memorial Park for an hour or two, remembering what Misty had told him. Then we can

catch the Crescent bus to River Heights Community Club, ”said Rick.
“Far out, man. I hear that’s where all the freaks in Winnipeg hang out. You’re pretty cool for a guy who looks so straight.”
Rick laughed. “Yeah, what can I say. I’ve only had two months to let my hair grow out. It’s only about half way over my ears.”
“There going to think you’re a narc, Rick,” Arwen joked.
“I think they’ll give me the benefit of the doubt when they see that I’m with you.”
Harmony giggled, “Yeah, man. You’re probably right.”
Right after they finished their coffees Rick and Arwen walked over the four blocks to Memorial Park. It was a pleasant summer evening and they saw a few groups of freaks huddling together and enjoying the vibe of a late summer afternoon. Arwen selected a group and sat down with them without any hesitation. She then introduced herself and Rick to the group.
Some of the freaks were holding pamphlets in their hands.
“What are the pamphlets about?”asked Arwen.
“There talking about a demonstration that’s going to be happening next week at Winnipeg Stadium, “ answered a red headed girl.
“Yeah, a guy and a girl were out here earlier handing out the pamphlets. I think they’re from the Young Socialist Party.” said a man with long black hair parted in the middle and a thin, black moustache.
“Aw they’re a bunch of communists out to change the world. Bring on the revolution and all that shit.”piped up a bearded overweight hippie.
‘No, they’re not, they’re socialists.” said Black Moustache in response.
“What’s the difference?” retorted the overweight hippie.
What’s the demonstration about? asked Arwen.
“There protesting the price of tickets that the Festival Express is charging for their outdoor rock festival next week.” answered an attractive black girl with a large Afro.
“How much are they charging? Rick interjected.
“Fourteen bucks,” replied Afro Chick.
“That is pretty steep,” said Rick.
“Yeah, but your getting to hear about ten different bands,” the red head pointed out.

page twelve
“Yeah, but rock stars live like kings, man. They could do these concerts for free and not be hurt in the least,” said Black Moustache.
“Well, we’re going to see Next at River Heights Community Club and It’s only a buck fifty to get in,” said Rick.
“I hope you enjoy it but Next aren’t Janis Joplin and The Grateful Dead.
Rick and Arwen continued to hang out with this group of freaks for about an hour, then it was off to the bus stop.
As they left the park Rick reached out for Arwen’s hand.
“You want to hold hands on our first date,” laughed Arwen. “You’ve got to be about the sweetest guy I ever met.”
When they boarded the Crescent bus Rick and Arwen found a two seater and cuddled all the way until they got off at the bus stop closest to River Heights Community Club. As they listened to Next rock through their set list the happy couple danced and sweated unabashedly. When they got out of breath they would stop to drink Cokes and have a smoke at the canteen at the back of the recreation center.
Next finished their third and last set close to 11:00 PM. Rick and Arwen once again held hands as they walked the short distance to the bus stop. The weather had cooled off a little but it was still very comfortable. A full moon was out, there was a slight breeze and the stars were shining brightly. Rick had never had a better evening in all of his eighteen years.
Arwen told Rick that she was staying at the downtown YMCA. When the bus stopped downtown at Arwen’s stop, Rick asked her if he could meet her tomorrow. Arwen told him that she would be at Memorial Park around noon tomorrow.
As Rick walked across Portage Avenue to catch his bus he felt like he was floating on a cloud. He had done it. He had taken the first step to getting a girlfriend. He started walking the one block to his parent’s house. Rick heard a lot of talking, laughing and music coming from Misty’s back yard. Misty, her dad and a few other people were having a late night barbeque. Misty had just got out of her lawn chair and was in the process of getting herself another beer when she spotted Rick walking down the sidewalk.
“ Hey, Stu come join us , man,” Misty yelled.
This was the second time in one day that someone had called him, “man.” His change over to the hip world must be working he thought.

The second thought to enter Rick’s mind was how friendly Misty’s voice sounded. She had previously had a tone of either sarcasm or condescension in her voice when she bothered to speak to him at all.
As Rick approached Misty’s back yard she leaned over the gate to greet him.
“I saw you at Memorial Park tonight Rick. I couldn’t believe it was you and you were with a cool looking chick.”
“I’m full of surprises Misty. It’s about time you got to know the real Rick Stuart, “ Rick responded confidently.
“I guess so Stuart. How about a beer?” offered Misty.
“Don’t mind if I do, kind lady,” Rick answered.
Just then Misty’s dad, Lloyd came out of the house after using the washroom.
“Hi, Rick. It’s about time you came over to see us again. I just got back from the States and I brought back some good American Budweiser beer,” Lloyd said settling back into his lawn chair.
“ Your hospitable beautiful daughter is just bringing me one, “ said Rick.
“That’s amazing. She never brings me a beer,” said Lloyd trying to sound serious.
“I still can’t believe it. Rick Stuart at Memorial Park with a hippie chick yet,” said Misty taking a drink of her beer.”
“Why should that surprise you Misty? My hair almost covers my ears now,” joked Rick.
“Don’t worry Stuart. It will still be a long while before I start calling you a freak,” wisecracked Misty.
“Tomorrow’s a big day for us Rick. My other daughter, Sasha is coming in tomorrow to stay with us for the summer,” said Lloyd with anticipation in his voice.
“ I didn’t know that Misty had a sister. She never mentioned her to me,” said Rick taking a sip of his beer.
“ Sasha lives with her mother in L. A., Rick but this summer she’s going to stay with us. Tomorrow will be a busy day for her. I’m going to pick her up at the bus depot at 10:00 A.M. And then we’ll be taking her with us to the rock festival at Lake Mariposa,” said Lloyd reaching for his prized Martin D-18 guitar.
“Some good local bands are going to play there,” added Misty.
“ Yeah, Next, Chopping Block and Brother are all scheduled to perform,’ said Rick. “I ‘d love to go but I don’t have wheels.”
“Why don’t you come along with us?” offered Lloyd.
“Thanks Lloyd. I’d love to go with you guys. Would you have room for a friend of mine?” asked Rick.
“Now let me guess. The hippie chick you were with at the Park this evening,” said Misty with a sly grin on her face.
“Yeah, that’s the friend I was referring to,” answered Rick.
“No problem, Rick we’ll have room for her too if you don’t mind sitting really close to her,” Lloyd joked.
“Somehow, I don’t think he”ll mind that at all, “ said Misty smiling. Misty obviously had a beer buzz on.
“There’s only one problem,” said Rick. “I have to meet Arwen at Memorial Park at noon tomorrow.”
“That’s not a problem, Rick. How about we pick up you and Arwen at about ten after twelve tomorrow afternoon,” Lloyd offered.
“Arwen, like in the Lord of the Rings?” asked Misty.
“Yeah, that’s what she told me, “ answered Rick.
“That’s cool,” offered Misty.
Lloyd finally put his guitar strap over his head. “Have you ever heard of Bob Dylan, Rick?”
“Of course, I have all his albums except for his first one. What has Misty been telling you Lloyd? That I only listen to Bobby Vee and Bobby Rydell?” protested Rick in exasperation.
“No, actually she hasn’t told me anything about your taste in music. She has just inferred that you are a very straight guy,” Lloyd answered.
“I may be straight in many ways as you two like to put it but I’ve never been square. Man, I was listening to Elvis Presley when I was five years old,” said Rick in an exhilarated tone of voice.
“Well, hip guy if you’re so into Bob Dylan, what’s your favorite Dylan song?” asked Misty with an expression of curiosity on her face.
“Positively Fourth Street, “ Rick answered without any hesitation.
“Far out,” said Lloyd. ” Unfortunately I don’t know how to play that one. Would you mind if I played, Like a Rolling Stone?”
“That’s my second favorite Dylan song,” said Rick.
“Would you like another Bud, Rick?” asked Misty getting up from her chair.
“Yeah, I would, but it will have to be my last one. It’s been a great evening but I’m starting to feel a bit tired.”
When Misty handed Rick his beer Lloyd broke into the opening chords of “Like a Rolling Stone”. Rick and Misty even sang harmony on the chorus.
As that song went over so well Lloyd performed two more songs by Dylan, “I Want You” and “Just Like a Woman”. Once again Misty and Rick sang back up vocals on the choruses.
After these two numbers had ended Rick told Lloyd and Misty that he needed to go home to bed. He thanked them for a wonderful visit and confirmed that they would meet Arwen and him shortly after noon tomorrow.
As Rick stepped inside his parent’s home he could hear the audio from the late movie on the family television set.
As soon as Rick took a seat on the sofa across from his parents his father said, ” It sure was nice of you to give us a call telling us where you were this evening.”
“We know you’re eighteen now Rick but we still worry about you,” his mother added in a concerned voice.
“Sorry guys. I guess I was having so much fun that I forgot all about calling you,” Rick apologized.
“Apology accepted. Why don’t you get yourself a beer from the fridge and you can tell us all about your evening,” said Rick’s dad taking a drag off his Sportsman cigarette.
“I’d love to guys but can it wait until the morning? I have to get some rest as I’m going to the rock festival at Lake Mariposa tomorrow, “ answered Rick with a yawn.
“Who are you going with?” asked Rick’s mom.
“Lloyd and Misty from across the street offered to take me.”
“Well, I’m glad you’re getting to know our new neighbors Rick, “ added his dad approvingly. Your mom and I have been a little amiss in reaching out to them so far.”
After he said goodnight to his parents Rick went to his room and fell into a pleasant but exhausted sleep.