Monday, January 2

Happy New Year

Oh what a busy couple of days.  I mentioned my friend R in past posts about Summerfolk.  He has spent New Years Eve with Mr. Lina and I the past few years.  More often than not we end up hosting.
So this year, R arrived on Friday afternoon and we had a house concert for NYE.  We first saw The Warped 45's at OCFF in 2010.  They absolutely rocked one of the evening showcases, totally made an impression and left us wanting more.  Saw them again at one of the late night performances and chatted with Dave McEathron and his cousin for a bit.  5 members is too many for my little basement, but we said we would do what we could to support them.  They played Guelph maybe 2 weeks later so we sent out a few emails and organized about 10 or 12 of us to go to their show there.  Dave remembered us and everyone in the band came by at one point or another to chat.  Mr. Lina has kept in touch and even when 6 months have gone by between seeing us, Dave remembered who we were.

A bit ago Dave reached out to Darren.  It seems that the drummer had an injury, his cousin who also fronts the band is going to be a dad soon, the keyboardist became a dad in the summer, touring wasn't going to be possible right now.  That said, Dave still has bills to pay and wanted to keep performing, was there a way we could help him out?  NYE seemed to be the best opening for us and it worked for Dave.  He's actually been working on new material with someone else, he and Bryan Butler were going to come out for the show.

It was awesome.  18 friends, 4 kids running and dancing, Dave, Bryan and Dave's girlfriend, sure made for a full house and receptive audience.  R lasted until about 12:30 or so which is pretty typical for him.  I was up until just shy of 4 am by the time the last guests left, one stayed on the couch, Dave and his gf were on the pull out couch in the basement.  Better safe and staying over, I'm happy to have a full house.

The music was fantastic.  Dave really integrated with the audience.  So much so I found my dad telling Dave stuff that he just doesn't talk about.  It's pretty common to try and find some common ground, places you've been, where you are from.  The Warped 45's did a lot of touring in Western Canada, next thing I know I hear my dad talking about living in Cold Lake, Alberta as a kid.  These aren't happy years for him, he will on occasion talk about skating and playing hockey, or the summer that they didn't have on base housing so his family lived in a tent.  The party went on and I left the room for other hosting duties.  Second half of the show, Dave sang this song, George Chuvalo, as a nod to Dad. 

I knew the name George Chuvalo, he's a Canadian boxing legend, but that's about the extent of what I knew, I didn't know about him losing sons to drugs, a wife to suicide.  Dave introduced the song talking about how many people face tragedy in their lives and some deal with it better than others. 

In November 1972, my dads brother in law died from a heart attack.  Completely unexpected, he was young, worked construction so he was active, but it turns out he had serious heart disease.  My cousins were just little boys at the time.  Dad's parents and his 3 brothers lived south of Montreal, QC at the time and drove to Brantford, ON for the funeral.  Somewhere around Belleville they hit black ice.  Everyone except my uncle who was driving was ejected from the car and died.  My aunt had lost her husband, her sister was helping with her kids, my dad was left alone to deal with one severely injured brother and 4 family members to bury.  No wills, no plans, his brothers were barely out of their teens.  My parents had been married about 18 months at that point, hadn't even known each other quite two years.  I can't imagine what it was like for him to go through that at 29.  My dad doesn't talk about these things, and yet, there is something about house concerts and the intimacy they create that he sometimes opens up to others.  I'm sure it was more about stating facts than saying how it felt, but it amazes me what he tells others he doesn't tell his children.  And I was really touched that Dave could adjust his play list.  He didn't say anything specifically to Dad, but enough of a nod in his direction that I figured out what happened after the "I lived in Cold Lake" conversation.

So I have some thoughts brewing for the New Year.  I've really enjoyed the look back posts and going forward posts others have made.  I'm not a resolution maker, but there are some broader stroke goals to consider.  I booked today off work, my last vacation day for 2011 that I couldn't take because of deadlines.  The house is empty, I'm feeling well rested after doing nothing yesterday but read a book.  We'll see how much of my to do list I get through, first step is tackling the sewing room.  It's been the dumping ground of things to hide with guests here and I'm in the mood to pitch.  Yesterday I rounded up a garbage bag of clothing I don't wear any more.  Time to take that attitude to my sewing room and de-clutter.

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