Sunday, April 25, 2010
In 1952 I started university in Winnipeg. It was a big sacrifice for my parents at that time, inasmuch as I could not earn enough during the summer to meet all the expenses necessary. My dad was a railway station master in a small town and his income was about 350 dollars a month. Not a bad salary in those days. From January on, he sent me 125 dollars a month to tide me over 'til May when I started work again. One third of his gross income! It boggles the mind! I never thanked him enough in his lifetime! I think in retrospect I was a very callow youth. But I was a mother's boy. My interim university marks the first Christmas were abysmal. I failed everything! I put it down to culture shock. I promised at Christmas holidays to my parents that I would work harder at my studies. The first week back in Winnipeg, I went to a dance cabaret, Jack's Place on Pembina highway, with a new girl. We were dancing on the dance floor when along came the Roving Reporter. The radio station was playing the music from Jack's Place and the reporter was interviewing the patrons. Of course we had our "mickey " under the table and bought our mix from "Jack". It was a lot of fun and I had set aside my parents concerns. My mum and dad were sitting in the living room in the small town station at the same time, listening to the music from "Jack's Place", The reporter said, Here's a handsome fellow who looks like he's enjoying himself with a lovely girl. Let's talk to him ". My mother said ,at that moment, to my dad, "I bet that's Jim ". Now how in the world could a woman, 400 miles from Winnipeg, in a little prairie town, know that in a city of 500,000 people, that her son on the radio must be the "handsome one" . I confirmed her intuition by speaking to the reporter, pleased to be the center of attention. I loved my mummy and she loved me. Connectedness is a wonderful mystery!