Monday, May 24, 2010

The All Star Band

Surprisingly enough it wasn’t Lennon or McCartney that left the biggest impression on me but it was Ringo with the line “You got to pay your dues if you want to sing the blues and you know it don’t come easy.” On that note the career situation hasn’t resolved itself as cleanly as I had hoped. We are still going through the process. So far I’ve sat in with everyone short of the janitor and everyone I’ve met thinks I’m great and a good fit but they have yet to pull the trigger on when.

I don’t know when he started it but for a few years, in the first couple of months of a new year, my dad would give the new year a one word theme. My uncle Don can recite each year and each theme but the couple I remember were “The year of Choices” or “The year of Prosperity”. Those themes went a long way to inspire the year’s events - sometimes. In that vein, this year, a word has started to materialize in my brain. The word I have decided to apply to this year is “Faith”. It may not be my business to do so but in the absence of my father I have decided to christen 2010 the year of Faith.

Unfortunately my parts from Len didn’t arrive in time for the weekend. Len gets a pass on that because he has been as reliable as rain thus far; not to mention nimbly-bimbly when it comes to payment methods and part changes on the fly. I don’t think it was Drake’s as much was it was his suppliers who dropped the ball.

It wasn’t the end of the world that the parts didn’t get here as I still had things I needed to finish before most of those parts could be installed. To help get those things done I had the assistance of my lovely fiancé.

To capitalize on Krista’s help I focused on all the things that I hate doing and made Krista do them. For the most part she scrubbed and grinded. Those were two tasks I was happy to give up mostly because I was a bit hung over from dinner out the night before (reluctant theme).

The center of Krista’s attention was the driver’s side rear wheel well. I focused on breaking down the rear brake drum plate, cleaning up the parts and repainting the plate. That and I painted the independent suspension hangers.

After that I moved onto cleaning up the passenger’s side floor so we could paint that with Por-15.

By dinnertime Krista had the rear quarter wheel well ready to paint. The passenger’s side floor was ready also. We coated everything and we were done for the weekend. This is what I wanted to get done this weekend as now, with this done, next weekend is all assembly. Assembly is my favourite part.

That evening Krista and I watched “Crazy Heart” and barbequed some hotdogs. Krista retired early, such is her way, I stayed up and with an empty house (my mother went with my brother to the cabin for the weekend) I decide to look through some DVD’s my uncle Don had burnt. They were converted video of my Dad’s 50th birthday and a deep sea fishing trip my dad and uncle went on around the same time.

It was neat to see the video of dad’s 50th in 1998 because we had given him a ’48 Chevrolet 2-door for his birthday. It was significant because it was the car he had at sixteen, from the same year of his birth. My uncles, Jim and Jer, of fame had found it in a field where it had been planted for 30 some years. I was 19 years-old and had helped a mechanic friend fit an engine from a ’50 into it.

On the video was the moment we surprised my dad with the car. Being that we did minimal to get the car on the road it looked like it had been driven out of a swamp. It was a really cool night. On the video is my dad’s surprise and a lot of milling around the car.

The video eventually cuts to a moment where dad must had just taken the car for a drive and both I and he are walking away from this car. It’s fleeting but there we are stride for stride – slightly bent because all Sutherland move this way. It was cool to see that video.

The other video, the video of the fishing trip, I had never seen before. I wasn’t on the trip. It was my dad, my uncle Don, my dad’s friend Frank (a Texan) and some people I didn’t know. A lot of it is very funny and typical. A lot of it was also really uninteresting. What was significant was that the time and date stamp would pop up now and then. A first I ignored it but the more I watched it, it started occurring to me that the date was September 15, 1999 and the time was between 5pm and 6pm for most of the video.

That time was exactly 9 years to the moment he passed away. It irked me more than anything else. That time and date had passed 58 times in life without significance but this one had been caught on video.

I started the task of looking through these videos for footage to use on this site. Something significant caught on video to relate in a moment who he was and why it’s important to, to me, to do this. But as I went through this footage it became very personal. I could look at him, especially on the fishing video, and know what he was thinking, know when he was uncomfortable and he was excited or annoyed.

I’m not sure it was healthy behaviour to look through these videos but it’s the first time I’ve done so and I’m not sure I’m going to do it again for a while.

On Sunday we celebrated Brother Neal’s 29th birthday at the family cabin. For only the second time since dad’s passing we were all there. For the first time Neal and Michelle’s new daughter – Kessie was there also. I’m not sure I’ve mention this before but that’s where dad resides – at the ranch. His ashes are under a 100 year-old blue spruce and are marked by a small cairn that my mother piles more rocks on every time she visits.

Brother Lachlan and his girlfriend Ashley got engaged this last week. Things keep moving forward.

Stay tuned….

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