The old man raised me from the age of four. I used to think that no two men could ever be less alike. Over the years I slowly realized, grudgingly at first, that no two men could ever be more alike, especially two men not related by blood. Both of us stubborn and prideful, we had a falling out that led to ten years of silence. The last six years have been a crash course in self realization and acceptance. It slowly dawned on me over the years that the old man taught me almost everything I know. I got to decide whether or not this was for better or for worse. It’s only been recently I opted for better. These pieces are a chronicle of that process. They are also a little bit of his story. The old man died January 24, 2016.

Rosedeer Hotel, Wayne, Alberta
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Ashes to Ashes: 2016 in the Rearview Mirror

New Year's Eve at the Blackfoot Truckstop Diner Blackfoot Truckstop Diner, in Calgary, watching fireworks go off at the zoo across the river with a handful of folks all of whom had seen better days. New Year's Eve, Rhubarb Pie, having spent…
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Family

Election Day. 95 degrees in sunny LA. I came back from a short run, took a shower, and turned on the TV, looking forward to the end of this awful election, history being made with the our first woman President, who aside from being female was…
Layers
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Calico 50K, 2016

Calico 50K was the first ultra I ever ran, six years ago. My bib number for that race was 666, which disturbed a lot of folks who urged me to request a new bib or at least wear it upside down. This year, 2016, was the sixth time I've run the…
Trans Canada Highway
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The Old Man's Last Winter

The old man is dying. This is a series of notes I wrote while visiting him in Canada.Return of the Prodigal Son1974. I was touring artist colonies in the French countryside with my Grandpere, a retired French diplomat and hobbyist painter. He…
Salton Sea
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Smell the Barn

The old man isn't getting any better."Experience Vibrant Seniors Living!" says the brochure for Rocky Ridge Retirement Community.It doesn't seem like his experience was all that vibrant.He took a spill 5 weeks ago in his apartment there. The…
Vancouver Island
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The Old Man, pt. 2

The old man is in his 80s now.He's not doing so well.Always taciturn except when drunk (and, often, even then), it wasn't so easy to see his mind slipping away. He was never a fast man - his speech, his movements, everything about him was tightly…
Bart & Bernice
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The Old Man & the Wedding

My stepfather and I had not talked in 14 years. Our relationship had never been that terribly close because we're both suspicious, distrustful characters, and we'd both given up on each other by the time I got to be about 10 years old.My little…