The Reality of Donald Trump

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Thousand Hello's

By Norm Richards


I attended a remarkable event last evening. The Winnipeg launch of A Thousand Farewells by Nahlah Ayed. Just in case you don't know who she is, I'll tell you. I'm a sucker for a pretty woman. I've always been. But I'm even more smitten by a pretty woman with brains. Somewhere during the wars of the middle east and subsequent stories, I watched on CBC Television's The National with Peter Mansbridge, I noticed a young reporter bringing assertive reports to us from the middle east. She spoke very good English and yet she had an Arabic name. The language dichotomy caught my attention. I watched her reports. She seemed informed. She had the inside story and gave solid reports. I was impressed every time I saw her report. I'm not sure when I learned she came from Winnipeg. I never went out of my way to find out but in a way it made sense.

Winnipeg is a city of many languages and cultures, afterall, we celebrate it each summer with Folkarama. I enjoyed Nahlah's reports. I thought if she spoke their language, it gave CBC crediblity for choicing her as a reporter. It gave her a great chance to not only prove she could do the job but to excell at it was great praise to her. I thought to myself, I'd like to know her. I thought I would like to meet her. Well, last night I got to meet her for the first time. I wasn't surprised by the huge reception she received in launching her new book at McNally Robinson Booksellers, Grant Park.

The respect I had for her television work was noticed by many others judging by the big turnout this night. They came and purchased her book and had her sign it. I stood in line for the signing. That's something I'd never done before. I buy a lot of book but usually do it in my own time. She was warm and attentive to those who reached her signing table. It was hot and the line was long. The sun shining through the west atrium made things even hotter.

Nevertheless, Nahlah's parents stood at her side. I got to greet them and shake their hand. I told Nahlah my book was being sold in this store as well. I wasn't as fortunate to have my parents accompany my book signing. They had passed on before my book was released. Nahlah was moved I said that. Earlier, Wayne R. Warren noticed me in line at the same time I noticed him. We both contribute stories at North Roots Magazine. He said he'd be pleased to snap a picture on my behalf when I got to meet Ms. Ayed. I asked Nahlah if she wouldn't mind posing for a photo. She accepted and Wayne was good at making us both smile. Here is the result. I loved meeting Nahlah Ayed. It was a magic moment. I hope you agree?

Photo by Wayne R. Warren

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Hometown Calling!

By Norm Richards

Goodness, it's April already and the hometown centennial celebrations are not far away. I chat about it quite a bit with the people who log in on the Facebook page "From The Pas." A lot of people have signed on there but few seem to participate. The ones that do are vital and love to chat and share. I'd like to see people post more photos of changes in there lives. Many have not seen each other since the nineteen sixties.

I haven't held much back of my own life. I moved away like most have, went to college and trained professionally, developed a career, got married, raised a family and went through struggles of one kind or another. Things haven't always been smooth but I've pressed on no matter what. I've kept my musical friends and made many new friends in the arts and elsewhere, in places I never thought I'd make time for. The trip through life so far has been fruitful and enjoyable for the most part. I've learned lessons along the way. I just always wondered where I'd employ these lessons. I suppose a lesson gets socked away in memory and one's character and standing in life. A lesson comes out whenever you need guidance and forethought. A lesson gives courage later on. You're somehow forewarned, man, don't make the same mistake twice. It comes in the shape of wisdom for one's future.

Anyway, I look forward to visits with people I haven't seen for a long time. Hometown gatherings is a new thing for me. Except, I went to my wife's high school reunion back in the 90's. That was interesting because back in the day, I knew a lot of people in her hometown and it was nearly like being among my own hometown friends. I did not feel like an outsider. I always found the people in her town friendly and caring. I kind of grew up having two hometowns, hers and mine. Of course, at various stages I was closer to the people I grew up with and that helped shape me. I will see many of these folks once again on this August long weekend. The sixties would never have been the same with the exposure we had to the development of rock and roll in our lives. Just as guys got kicked out of school or suspended for wearing long greased back hair and black leather, sixties types were shown little respect for having a Beatle haircut. Worse, we partied and listened to rock and roll on the weekend. We went to house parties, played spin the bottle and drank beer to all hours of the night.

I had my first dance with a girl at a house party. She wore a soft sweater and she smelt good. Her body against mine was wonderful. We got turned on. Discovering my own sexuality was a turning point and for most others around me it was too. We dated and travelled around in cars. We went to the movies and sat together. We went to dances. Teens were exciting and life was marvellous. Some over did it. Some drank to much, had unprotected sex busted up their dad's car and a few died on the highway from driving too fast. When drugs got introduced, it simply amplified the speed at which one over did things. We experimented with lots of things. We tasted life as it was handed to us. Did we have morals? Most of us did but somehow school and authorities, whoever they were, wanted us to have no part in the culture we grew accustomed to. Perhaps you should ask yourself if you were a goodie two shoes, always listened to your parent, teachers and outside authority or did you cross the line once and awhile or did you do it often? What was the consequence on your life?