ALAN FREW

Musician. Author. Speaker.

YOUR MISSION MR FREW, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT.....

As I write this blog I have already spent the night in Mission, BC, having travelled 9 hours (including an hour stop) through the beautiful mountains of stunning, British Columbia, Canada.

 The morning sky. 

The morning sky. 

 How’s that for a backdrop. Joe, Alan, Carmela, Sam & Al.  

How’s that for a backdrop. Joe, Alan, Carmela, Sam & Al.  

Yes the journey was long and “stiffening,” and yes, it was a very “Long & Winding Road”, but what beauty. My goodness Canada, you are a sight to behold. Within the space of 8 hrs of driving we felt like we had passed through, Switzerland, Wyoming, Arizona and the highlands of Scotland. No camera seems to be able to capture the beauty that your eyes behold on a journey such as that. Yes we took photo’s but nah, it just doesn’t grab the majesty and glory of it all.

 Coming into Osoyoos.  

Coming into Osoyoos.  

Coming down from one of the mountains, nestled near the border of Washington State, we looked down on the town of Osoyoos, the southern-most town in the Okanagan Valley. The origin of the name Osoyoos, was the word sẁiẁs (pronounced "soo-yoos") meaning "narrowing of the waters" in the local Okanagan language,(Syilx'tsn). The "O-" prefix is not indigenous in origin and was attached by settler-promoters wanting to harmonize the name with other place names beginning with O in the region.

 Meet me at the corner of Main & Ponderosa Hoss. 

Meet me at the corner of Main & Ponderosa Hoss. 

What a lovely spot this is. Tucked down in the basin, surrounded by glorious mountains it felt like we were coming down into a Tuscan valley in Italy, as opposed to a Canadian one in BC.

 Sam couldn’t make his mind up...eat fish & chips or.......sing. 

Sam couldn’t make his mind up...eat fish & chips or.......sing. 

We found and stopped for lunch at the The Owl Pub. Sam, like I, is not a big fan of eating and drinking outside, so we sat inside while the others took to the patio. The weather is Spring-like and lovely and we spent about an hour there before moving on. We arrived in Mission around 6pm just in time for me to catch the last part of the Patriots victory over the Packers. Then bed.


Mission is a district municipality incorporated in 1892, in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

 

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With a 2016 census population of just under 40,000, Mission began its history as a land promotion. The town's core commercial properties and residential streets were auctioned off at the "Great Land Sale" of 1891, then quickly populated primarily with Europeans and anglicized French-Canadians alongside the usual English-Scottish Canadian mix typical of much of the Fraser Valley.

 Today......I did NOT do soundcheck, yay!!, and hopefully won’t need to for the rest of the tour, for we are pretty much dialed in now. My not going was a break for Carmela, because she also got reprieved. Just getting those few extra hours to yourself not having to use the voice is a big deal and I decided to work on yesterday’s blog before taking to the little fitness room for a workout.

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The Clarke Foundation Theatre, was opened in 1996 and since that time it has been the cultural hub of the community of Mission with hundreds of presentations highlighting the enormous wealth of local, as well as Canadian and international talent. The theatre is owned by the School District, which I kinda guessed right away when I saw certain wording on a few of the backstage doors. Let’s just say that wording on the doors suggests one of two things. Either the message is tantric in nature or some kid is running about with a razor blade in hand turning all the G’s in Gum to C’s.........you decide.😂😂😂

 No food......No drinks.....No wonder.... 

No food......No drinks.....No wonder.... 

Our crowd was perhaps the smallest one so far but that didn’t deter them from being loud and enthusiastic and better yet, they lead the way in “signups” for CAMH (Centre for Addiction & Mental Health) THANK YOU GUYS! Afterwards when we met the folks who signed up for CAMH one chap waited until the very end quite deliberately. When it was just him, he spoke to Sam and I saying, “I am 11 years sober and I have awaited for this moment to speak with you for quite some time. Back in the day, I was very active in soliciting drugs for your crew. Also I embezzled money from you, by padding my expenses. Now that I have got this off my chest and come clean with you, what can I do to make it up to you?”

 Sometimes a hug is all it takes  

Sometimes a hug is all it takes  

How brave of him. How painful it must have been for him to get that out to us personally.

It’s part of the “Twelve Steps” of recovery, whereby one makes a searching and fearless moral inventory of oneself and in doing so, makes a list of persons they feel they have harmed, and becomes willing to be truthful and make amends to them all.

“So what can I do to make amends, “he asked humbly.

“This” said I as I opened my arms to him and we gave each other the longest, warmest, hug that both of us could muster. He got a little emotional before telling me thank you.....  “No, thank YOU!” said I. What a lovely moment that was.

CAMH is making a difference not only in the lives of those addicted but also in mine. I love meeting these wonderful people who are all fighting the good fight.

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Tomorrow is a 5:45am lobby call. 2 hr drive, 2 hr ferry ride, 2hr drive again. Gonna make for a long day methinks.


Head hit the pillow around midnight but it was 1 a.m. before I nodded off. I had CNN on in the background. Tomorrow is a major day in the life of American politics as the people go to the polls for mid-term elections. I would never use my blog to “punt” my political views, especially those of a country that I am not a citizen of, HOWEVER, all of my adult life I have considered myself a friend and fan of the “good ol’ USA” and it saddens me deeply to see her so divided, so ripped apart, so violent and angry and I can only trust that one day, hopefully sooner than later, the people will “get it.” They will truly realize that only through love & kindness, caring & sharing, can we survive. Thankfully as in all the countries I have ever visited, thankfully the majority of people ALWAYS march to that drum and it is always a minority that wishes to tear it apart. Goodnight all. 

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