Mom’s 100th Birthday

Yes, a tad late getting this up, but better late than never.

This photo is of mom Agnes, my sister Eileen and me at my mother’s 100th birthday bash at The Peninsula Residence in beautiful Sidney by the Sea in British Columbia, Canada.

Wow! 100 years!

Imagine the changes she has witnessed in her lifetime growing up on a homestead in rural Saskatchewan out in the middle of absolutely nowhere:

When she was born, in 1913:

  • Orville and Wilbur had just done their thing 10 years earlier
  • no cell phones
  • no computers nor internet

On the farm:

  • no running water
  • no indoor “amenities” (it was referred to as the outhouse)
  • seven miles, one way, in a horse-drawn “caboose” to go to Christmas Midnight Mass in the closest town, Lake Lenore, Saskatchewan


My early birthday present

At our weekly jam last Tuesday night, I got to play the last two songs on our set list (Jenny Jenny <867-5309> and Rocking In The Free World) with a version of this guitar. I was hooked! The feel, the tone. That’s it … I “need” one 🙂 So off to Long & McQuade I went the following Thursday after work and done did get me one. Now all I have to do is learn how to play it! 🙂 But that’s inconsequential.


This is an Epiphone ES 335 Dot in the cherry finish. Guess I’ll now have to learn Neil Diamond’s “Cherry Cherry” ! 🙂

First solo cross country

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03 April 1972 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: First Solo Cross Country!

Piper Cherokee 140 – PA-28-140, CF-YTY: YXE – YQW – YPA – YXE; 3:05 WOW! Freedom!

pa28140-1panel-768x584First solo cross country flight! I remember following along the north shore of the North Saskatchewan river, on the first leg of the two full stop journey, en-route from Saskatoon to North Battleford, looking down at the patches of snow that were persisting in the fields and the ice yet on the river and thinking, man, what in the heck am I doing here! Flying and airplane! Alone! Not even 17 years old! Am I crazy?! But what a complete and total sense of freedom; and now, in three dimensions.

I don’t recall a lot about the rest of it; isn’t that something; mind you, it had been almost 40 years; yes, I had to go into the Ministry of Transport (now Transport Canada) Air Radio Station (now Flight Services) and get my logbook signed by the on-duty operator; but the details of the other two legs, North Battleford to Prince Albert and from there back to Saskatoon, elude me; can’t even recollect the landings; guess I was too busy taking it all in.

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First solo

25 August 1971 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: First Solo!

Piper Cherokee PA-28-140, CF-YTZ, Ray’s Flying Service – Vern Forbes, instructor: 10 minutes; one circuit on runway 08 !

First solo! WOW!

pa-28-140I was not certain that this day was going to be “the day”; Vern had only previously mentioned that he thought I was ready; on final approach of the second of touch-and-go when I heard him tell the tower that we would be making a full stop, I knew this was “the day”! damn! sure enough, we pulled over to the side, he gave me a quick pep talk and said “see ya in a few minutes”; OK, here I go! thing is, I was not as uptight as I thought I may be; I had been training on a fairly regular basis and felt up for the task; I guess Vern thought so too; that 10 minutes was over way too soon; yes I did remember to stop and pick Vern up and he was very pleased with what he had seen from his vantage point; I was too, as the landing was one of my better ones; no cutting the shirt tales afterwards as they didn’t really get into that sort of thing at Ray’s Flying Service, but I didn’t mind; I had done it, and that is all that mattered.