Lest we forget. One Hundred Years of Remembrance Day. A Reflection.

I can remember marching in a Remembrance Day parade as a Boy Scout in Kamloops. It was cold and the words of my dad sprang to mind. He is an ex-militiaman, a retired Colour sergeant of the Irish Fusiliers of Canada (Vancouver Regiment). Standing there in the Boy Scout version of “attention,” the words he had noted once in one of his drunken reveries sprang to mind. While standing to on parade, if it is cold, make sure to wiggle your toes in your boots to keep the blood moving.
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The Horsemen, ch.V


Chapter I, II, III, IV

Just before sunset Doak came in to the stables.

“How’s it going? He asked half sitting, half leaning on a double stack of hay. “Was it worth it?” He said, smiling.

“You bet, did you even see her?” Russell stood with his shovel hovering under the tail end of Haig who was dropping copious sized chunks of fresh dung into it. “She’s gorgeous!” Russell dumped the package into the wheelbarrow. Leaning on the shovel he continued as though seeing a mirage, describing a phantom image in front of him. “I swear her eyes were sparkling!”

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The Horsemen, ch. IV

mountie falling off horse

Chapter I, II, III

The barracks began to buzz as the trumpeter blew reveille. As usual over the past four and a half weeks the N.C.O instructors, assisted by the recruits assigned to fire patrol duty at that hour, roused the barracks. The fire patrol would turn on the lights for each floor before themselves getting ready for breakfast. The Instructors would prowl the floors taking a more direct approach. Corporal Jenkins banged the bedframes of the slower recruits with his riding crop, shouting “time to rise, princess!” Hooley preferred the old British cavalry exhortation and in his usual manner appeared at the door and called, “Soldiers arise! Scrub the bloody muck out of your eyes!”

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The Horsemen, ch. III


Chapter I, II

The next morning at reveille Doak was not in his bunk, and his blankets, pea coat and jacket were still missing. The Troop assembled in Sleigh square and marched off to breakfast at the division mess behind the barracks, no one mentioned Doak. By the time they returned his bed was made and the disarray of the night’s events, tipped over boots, bridles and belts scattered on the floor, socks and toiletries spread about, was put back in order, almost as though nothing had happened. Only the pea coat and brown service jacket were still missing from their hanger. His long boots and stetson were missing too.

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The Horsemen, ch. II

Russell closed the door behind him and headed out to the front of the building. A seven seater McLaughlin- Buick with its cloth roof up was idling across the street. The man behind the wheel looked over, saw Russ and smiled.

“You Bell?” He called through the open window.

“Sure am.” Replied Russell.

“Well c’mon chum, let’s go!” The driver beckoned him with a brown leather gloved hand and then rolled up his window. Russell ran across Rose, circled behind the vehicle and then climbed into the passenger seat.

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The Horsemen, ch. I

The train coming from the northwest pulled into Regina as the sun finally dipped below the horizon behind it. Wheels screeching and smoke belching from the stack atop the engine three cars forward, a young man jumped off the steps of the CNR ‘colonist car’ to the wooden platform of the train station,

“Hey, you trying to get yourself killed? Never jump from a moving train!” Called an aged baggage handler.

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Paintings, the Prince of Wales Armoury.

POWA_SEA while back I made a few posts of some small format acrylic paintings. There were two more in that series, or “fit” really, of painting. I hesitate with the word series because these two paintings thematically belong in series with another attempt at rendering the Prince of Wales Armoury in Edmonton.POWA_NE

The paintings themselves are about 5” x 7”. The small format adds tension to the juxtaposition of the armouries imposing brick structure, full of angles, against the prairie sky. It is a relic of a certain era in Canadian history that is also a monument to its time, but one that has found a new use to a modern generation.

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