ALAN FREW

Musician. Author. Speaker.

Dear Canada Blog # 11 March 6th 2018

 Slept as well as my cough would allow before we headed off for the drive from Kamloops to Kelowna.


Oh, Dear Canada you are a sight to behold. Your Rocky Mountains are so beautiful.

 

 Glorious Canada. 

Glorious Canada. 

We arrived in town and went together for some lunch. The only place nearby the hotel was an Old Spaghetti Factory ( please don’t tell any of my Italian friends 😱)

Had a flashback due to the fact one of the old movie posters on the wall in the restaurant, was a poster for a movie called, “Angels With Dirty Faces” starring James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Pat O’Brien & Ann Sheridan.

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This movie is a true “gangster” classic and the reason I had such a recall was that it was an all-time favourite of my mum and dad’s. In my memory banks I can see us gathered around our old black and white tv watching it on any and every occasion on which it played. Released in 1938, Cagney garnered himself a Best Actor nomination for his portrayal of tough guy, Rocky Sullivan.


Angels With Dirty Faces is considered to be one of the best movies of all time, and is widely regarded as a defining moment in Cagney's career.


On the night of his execution, Jerry, a priest played by Pat O’Brien, pleads with Rocky to go to his death on the electric chair as a coward, begging for mercy on route to the death house. The priest’s logic is that kids in the neighbourhood idolize him, and emulate him, but by going to his death crying and on his belly, as a coward, the kids will shun his memory and perhaps will be less likely to follow in his footsteps.

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At first Rocky refuses, but on his way to the “chair” he does start begging and screaming for mercy. Later, the kids read of how Rocky "turned yellow" in the face of his execution. Cagney is just brilliant in the part and to me he remains the BEST movie gangster EVER!


To this day I cannot watch it without thinking of those times when gathering around the television to watch a show together was like an “event.” Also when any movie I loved concluded I always went into my parents bedroom and played out the movie again, as if I was the lead actor. Always though, inevitably, something would get broken and my father would then portray a man chasing a boy ( played by me) down the street.


How many times the following scenario played out...

“Get in here!”

“No”

“I said, get in here!”

“ No, you’ll spank me.”

“ I won’t spank you.”

“Yes you will.”


Now, let me set the scene for you. I always stood down the pathway, at the small garden gate. While he, stood in the doorway.

Now, behind him, was the washroom and if I could make it past him and reach that washroom and lock the door behind me, I was generally safe, due to the fact he would soften up and lose interest, IF I gave him long enough. Getting past him however, was alway an obstacle course, where I would have to “ duck and weave” big-time.

  “Denis The Menace and his big sister.”

 “Denis The Menace and his big sister.”

Sometimes he would say,” oh well, suit yourself,” and pretend to go back into the living room. I would pace up and down and ponder, should I or shouldn’t I go for it, before inevitably making a mad dash for it.

One of two things would inevitably happen;

Either the hand would come out and I would hear,” Got Ya!” or it would be,”Shit, ya sneaky wee bugger!” and I would make it to the safety of the washroom. I have to admit though, when he did catch me, he was never too hard on me.


At the hotel, I began the usual ritual of trying to suppress this cough, shift the phlegm, and get through the show. I had a hot bath, with hot drink of green tea, containing oregano oil and fresh ginger, followed by a short nap.

We headed over to the venue for our usual time, although tonight I had some guests and made sure I got there early enough to arrange passes for them.

 Someday (cough) You’ll be ( cough) shedding (cough) your tears. 

Someday (cough) You’ll be ( cough) shedding (cough) your tears. 

The show was great but I actually coughed tonight while onstage, which was a little unusual and no fun. I got away with it though and battled on through the short set. After the show I brought my guests backstage and had a nice chat with them.

To round off the night I headed back to the hotel with the lads for a nightcap and a bite to eat. I ordered a can of Guinness and as my friends know I am not only a fussy beer drinker ( I hate domestic beers and micro beers) but I am also fussy about he glass my beer is poured into. Let me explain.

First the beer. I only drink “experienced beers” I always say that I will only drink beers that were created back when we were still fighting each other with swords. Secondly, glasses are meant to be THIN. Beer just stays colder and tastes better when experienced from a thin glass and when the waitress brought me a big, THICK, ugly glass I headed straight for the bar and ........,

 Sorted that one out in a hurry.  

Sorted that one out in a hurry.  


Tomorrow the guys are driving the 5 hours to Vancouver but I am going to fly.

Got to bed around midnight with a Goodnight Dear Canada, I bid you sweet dreams and see you tomorrow.


~Alan