Dav’s Column - December 20, 2008

Author: dav  |  Category: Uncategorized

To paint a portrait of a person you must use as many colours as the person lived. So many people live in black and white and so few with the vibrancy of a rainbow and my aunt was one of the lucky colourful ones. You name it, she did it.  She wrote and directed plays, taught school, flipped houses and back in the day made the best Kraft pizzas in the world. Maybe it was growing up the only girl with seven brothers, you learn to fend for yourself early on, nothing could stop Mary Ellen when she put her mind to something.

When she was diagnosed with cancer last year she made a decision that she would live, that she would fight it with all that she had, that this would be a blip on the radar of her life and asked us to all to accept this doctrine and I completely believed her. Even after enduring relentless battles with Chemo and trips to and from the hospital  there was no stopping her from coming to my wedding this summer. I emailed her the week before to say  maybe she should reconsider and  save her strength for her fight, but she was having none of it, she got on that plane and made it to the ceremony when all the signs in the world were saying she’d never make it. She looked, of course, completely different, frail, hair shorn, in a wheelchair but that was only for the first minute, then you could see nothing  but the funny, loving, fighter who looked no different than she did a year ago. I am so blessed to have a wonderful, loving family and she was right at the heart of it, if anybody needed anything Mary Ellen would do it, she wore out the path from Avondale to St John’s driving everyone around. Not only was she the best sister and aunt, she was the best daughter a mother could ever have and she adored her mother. I remember having fake fights with her about Nan when I was growing up, I’d say “ but she’s MY grandmother”  and she’d say “ I win cause she’s MY mother!”. Even though Mary Ellen passed away last Friday she won the biggest battle so many lose, she loved and was so loved in return. I believe she is up there smiling, her time here was much too short but she did things while she was here that most people can only dream about.

Dav’s Column - Dec 6, 2008

Author: dav  |  Category: Uncategorized

Sitting in a stadium in Europe waiting to do a sound check, wish I could say where I was but before I left Canada I signed a form agreeing that if I revealed my destination I had to give away my firstborn. What I can say is that I am overseas (not Afghanistan), doing a military show tour performing for soldiers and that the only danger I am in involves staying up way too late in the hotel bar and the only enemy is ourselves.  That’s what you get when you put a bunch of Newfoundlanders together, a party no matter where you are! Garrison Hill Entertainment put together a great bill of musicians and comedians from the East Coast and Quebec, the dear Rex Goudie and I get to do his song  “Like I was Dying” and every night I have the extreme pleasure of playing with The Fables. Can’t tell you how exciting it is to turn around onstage and see this band of musicians that I have admired for so long playing my tunes. Needless to say on the road there are always crazy road stories and getting here yesterday was no exception. After a very long flight where we were jammed in like a bunch of chickens in a coop; the only possible escape was the TV (it turned out that mine didn’t work and neither did my light), so to say I was delighted to reach land was an understatement.  We arrived to find out our next flight was cancelled so we had to take a train instead, this was actually a bit of a relief until we tried to get all of our gear on the very prompt and uncaring train and it left the station with only eleven of us and half our gear. We stood slack jawed staring out the window at the three who had been left behind with a stack of road cases a mile high. As they were jamming themselves into a van to make the eight hour drive, we relaxed on the train. After four hours they announced our stop, so we grabbed our bags and headed for the door only to be bombarded by throngs of people rushing the train.  Put it this way, only seven of us stood on the platform as we watched everybody else waving frantically as the train took off to destinations unknown. Basically we lived out Rex’s hit “ Run”.  We took a bus, a plane and a train, sitting here trying to figure out what song to live out next and hoping against all hopes it’s not going to be “ Heave Away”.