Hey all, I've just submitted two of the songs off of my 'Migration Songs' album into the Canadian Songwriting Competition! The proceeds go to the Foundation for After School Talent (FAST Canada). Winners to be announced March 2017. I'm kind of excited about this as I have never done this sort of thing before...a real competition! Wish me luck!
The competition is hosted by Songwriting Canada ( http://songwritingcanada.com/ ) and I'm pumped to be a part of it! You may have heard the songs before as they have been featured in this blog in the past but please, kick back and have another listen! Enjoy y'all!!
Yes we were a generation growing up in a boomtown and didn't even know it. We just thought it was normal to be working, making a good buck and having the ability to live our lives in the manner in which we saw fit. Some of us worked in family businesses, others at any of the local retailers and grocers. A few actually worked at jobs involving the Iron Ore industry with select suppliers and on and on. At the time I had graduated High School, did a kick at university and discovered that 'Lo and Behold, I wasn't quite ready for more schooling'. To make a long story short, I had settled into working at a local Sports shop. The owners were wonderful people and I was enjoying being kind of independent. At the shop I was doing ski equipment repairs and tune ups, engraving trophies, printing team t-shirts, sales, etc. and I even learned a neat skill! I learned how to string tennis racquets. Of course, there's a special machine and clamp weights and such...interesting though.
As the drawing suggests, all good things come to an end, and so it was with the Sports Shop. They couldn't afford to pay wages when sales were slow and I was let go. I was ready. I was feeling the confines of my hometown at that time and was longing for something exciting to do. Hell, it didn't even have to be exciting! Just not boring! This was the waning years of the 70's and things were happening 'Out West'. Guys our age were getting work out there at all kinds of jobs, and making excellent money! Getting laid off was a long overdue licence to head off into the Wild Blue Yonder!
That was a decent job, working at the Tool Supply. It was nearly always busy so the shift would go by quickly, and stock was turning over fast so there was always something to price, or unpack, or stack or whatever. And as an added bonus I learned what a lot of tools are, and what they're for (before anyone gets the idea that I'm some kind of 'handyman' tool guy I'll squash that right now. I ain't that guy!). I did some of my first commercial art work at that store, creating display materials and drawings to stick up on open spaces. Also, I did the company logo on the pegboard near the entrance. Not a huge job I'll admit, but I was learning and flying by the seat of my pants!
Ah, the old Pool Hall. Den of dens, basement billiards and pinball...and loud, loud music! Everyone dropped into the Pool Hall before setting off to where ever. This smokey room was our home base from where we could launch our assault on the world! I seem to remember it as a bit of an 'outlaw' land...the youth of the Town were in charge here, that's how it felt (even though in reality we were not in charge at all! The stern looking guys were! This was the hangout. Alcohol was not permitted, since nearly all the patrons were underage. Cigarettes seemed to be encouraged! It was really a bad place to breathe. And yet, it was here that we first realized our money was our own! We spent our hard earned wages on games of pool and snooker, playing poker pool, cutthroat and more. I really enjoyed the pinball games...especially after the Who recorded Pinball Wizard. I could hold my own, at least until I tilted!
We spent a lot of time just driving around in each other's cars. A typical evening after leaving the family home, would be to hang out at the Shopping Center for a bit, just to see who shows up, then pile into the 'vehicle of the night' and start to circle. We would drive along the near side of the center then a right turn at Dominion, up over the hill and by the RC Church. Another right down past the Library then right again across from the Town Hall and back into the Shopping Center at the Royal Theatre. After a while the driver would get bored and reverse the direction or loop down around the Ash' until eventually we would drive over to Wabush, or up to the Ski Lodge, or Duley, and so on. Through it all the music was blasting out and we were rockin'.