I have no idea why my family photo collection includes very old postcards and photos of Haileybury ON (“Before the Fire” and “Panoramic View from Main St.” by Pringle Photos, clearly taken after the fire), and the Capilano Canyon (B.C.). But it does. I don’t want them. If anyone else wants the originals, let me know.
From Wikipedia: Great Fire of 1922 — “One of the towns hit hardest was Haileybury which burnt down within 3 to 6 hours. Thick smoke caused panic and confusion. The town’s residents were forced to take refuge in the cold waters of Lake Timiskaming and cover themselves with wet blankets. The fire destroyed over 90% of the town, killing 11 residents, leaving 3500 people homeless, and causing $2 million of damage.”
I am reading a book called Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan by Howard Sounes. It’s great. The only problem with it is that it keeps forcing me to buy more Dylan albums for my iTunes library so I can listen to the songs that he was writing at various stages of his life (at least as Sounes recounts it).
I have been a huge fan of Dylan’s since about 1970, admiring his political insights, his ironic/sardonic perspectives on the world, his independence from the court of public opinion, his intelligence, his industriousness, his wide range of interests and talents, and — primarily — the poetry of his songs. What this book has done for me (so far) is to add a human side to him that I had not previously known or thought about: his love for his children and his family.
I was surprised yesterday to read a passage that made me listen to a song Dylan recorded live for Desire, and to be moved by tears when I heard it. I had never heard the song before. (Nor, do I think, has a Dylan song made me cry before.)
Here’s the passage:
Sara Dylan [Bob’s wife and mother of four of his children] arrived unexpectedly on the night of the second session, July 31 . “She came to New York, I guess, to see if there would be some kind of a getting back together. I guess that was in her mind. I know it was in his mind,” says [Jacques] Levy, who had not seen Sara the whole summer (she had been on vacation in Mexico). Bob went back into the studio with his band and picked up a guitar. He sang ‘Sara’ to his wife as she watched from the other side of the glass. The song began by recalling holidays on the beach when the children were small, and mentioned the long-ago holiday in Portugal when they were first together. He asked her fogivenness for his recent transgressions and said at the end: ‘Don’t ever leave me, don’t ever go.’
‘It was extraordinary. You could have heard a pin drop,’ says Levy. ‘She was absolutely stunned by it. And i think it was a turning point… it did work. The two of them really did get back together.’ This remarkable first take of ‘Sara’ became the last track on Desire.
— From Down the Highway by Howard Sounes (p. 291)
Here’s the song, from Desire, which you can buy on iTunes. Listen to how open Dylan’s voice is, and listen to the words. Moving. And as always with Dylan songs, most of us can relate to it:
Dear Mr. Howard Sounes and Dear Mr. Bob Dylan:
I apologise for quoting more than fifty words of your book Mr. Sounes, and I apologize for linking to what may be an illegal video of your song, Mr. Dylan. In both cases, I think that what I’ve done will lead to additional sales for you, rather than detracting from them. While you are considering whether to sue my ass off, read The Adventures of Don Valiente and the Apache Canyon Kid. You will love it so much (Mr. Sounes, you will wish you’d written it, and Mr. Dylan, you will want to star in it and write the score) that when you are finished, you will not be able to be angry with me any more.
Earlier this week, I was on the treadmill next to an Asian woman of about my own age who was listening to a television program using her headphones while she worked out. There were only three or four of us in the entire exercise area.
The woman’s workout ended and as her treadmill began to slow, she started to sing along with the television program. She was not singing in English so I didn’t understand the words, but I recognized the tune. It was “Nearer my God to Thee.”
The treadmill came to a stop but she continued until the end of the verse, loudly. She wasn’t hitting the notes exactly right, but she was passionate, leaning in toward the TV screen.
As the next verse started, another woman climbed down from a nearby elliptical, came over, and told the woman to stop singing. She did.
One day when I was in my late 30s, my aunt, who had been in the fashion industry, greeted me on my arrival for a visit by casting a quick eye over what I was wearing and saying, “Good work, Mary. Matching your blacks is very difficult.”
I looked down at my black twill trousers and my black jersey cardigan, and I saw exactly what she meant.
I had done it accidentally that day, and I have never since been able to match my blacks.
I’m thinking of inventing 3D glasses that people can wear all the time so that they can see life in 3D.
Recently I came across an obituary online of a man I did not know. The gentle humour exhibited by the writer of the obit made me smile. It’s a great example of how powerful indirect writing can be. There is no weeping, wailing or gnashing of teeth, but you know that Andrew Hendry was loved.
Andrew Hendry passed away on October 24. He succumbed to complications from a fall. Throughout his life, Andy was known for his falls. He was never afraid of the top of a ladder or the edge of a roof.Andy will be remembered for his contagious smile, his outgoing personality, and his inability to read or follow directions.He believed strongly in the importance of education, and dedicated his career to the students of Alberta’s vocational schools. He encouraged many to achieve their goals.Andy is survived by his wife Alice, his sons Andrew and Michael and his grandchildren Aspen and Cedar. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/edmontonjournal/obituary.aspx?n=andrew-hendry&pid=167908253#sthash.0Rt7H8hF.dpufHe believed strongly in the importance of education, and dedicated his career to the students of Alberta’s vocational schools. He encouraged many to achieve their goals.Andy is survived by (… etc)
Big Brother IS watching us, but WE (with our hand-held cameras and recording devices) ARE Big Brother. Interesting.