your black friend is embarrassed for you

I grew up in a city with very few African Canadians.

I recall the first black kid I met. He became a school hero after a math teacher we disliked was fired for some racist comment.

Later my black friend Dave Green became assistant coach at Altadore. He was mostly embarrassed for me. Dave was cool. I was not. 😀

disclaimer – that’s NOT Dave Green. But he is embarrassed.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

related – 7 things black people want their well-meaning white friends to know.


Oh CHRIST … let us adore him

Rockin’ Ronnie turns 60 today.

I knew Rockin’ Ronnie before he was famous.

Before he was the self-proclaimed King of Barbecue, in High School Ron was Safeway’s produce guy.

Of my friends, he was the first foodie.

He cooked the first truly great hamburger I’d ever eaten.

Alcohol abuse?

AA refused him membership, I seem to recall. Irredeemable they called him.


Now that Hef is gone, Ron is one of the few old harassers not yet under police investigation. 🙂

I first met Ron in Grade 7. He and family were already producing radio dramas on tape. An early podcaster.

He was into music too at a young age. I vividly recall the day he phoned to tell me to cycle over as fast as I could. He’d acquired Queen II (1974) – “Side White” and “Side Black”. He rightly called them genius.

Ron convinced me to buy a subscription to Rolling Stone.

Though I was the jock, Ron Shewchuk certainly took part in some epic athletic adventures. Hiking, cycling and very long runs out of Rocko’s farm.

cliff jumping an alpine lake

Ron Shewchuk has been one of the 3-4 people who influenced me most over my lifetime. I do appreciate that. And I do want to wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY WEEK.

He should be a wreck by New Year’s Eve.:-)

A post shared by Ron Shewchuk (@ronshewchuk) on

Spelunking Riverbend Cave, Parksville

Ron and I had lunch at Realm.

Kate was in town on a media junket. They treated me to join them on her tour of Horne Lake Caves.

Though it’s #1 of 29 things to do in Qualicum Beach I hadn’t been there since my Dad brought the family on a camping holiday 50 years earlier. (Closed that day for renovations, he tells me.)

There are some short sections you can explore yourself for free. Or sign up for one of the award winning tours. (From $27 / person.) An expert guide like Myles Fullmer makes for a far richer experience. Myles is a passionate caver. Seven years guiding here. He met his wife at Horne Lake Caves.

Though I’d been to a few wheelchair accessible caverns over the years, I’d never caved for real before.

It’s adventurous. Physically challenging.

Myles showed us dozens of things we’d never have noticed on our own. Best was a stone Buddha formation protected by a perfectly clear reflecting pool.

Fantastic. I’d recommend this attraction for anyone physically mobile enough to scramble. I’m already planning to return for the 5 hour advanced version.

Surprisingly, Myles likes winter even better than summer as there is more water. The caves are open every day of the year aside from Christmas.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

more photos 

details – Horne Lake Caves

By the way, Myles explained the difference between caving and spelunking. Caving means to explore, survey and document the caves, main purpose is the accumulation of knowledge. Spelunking is the visit of caves without any kind of justification, the touristic visit of caves.