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1925-2008... Well Done Dickie

March 30, 2008 @ 09:42

Thanks for all the kind words and wishes over the past few days everybody, but I'm sorry to say my dad passed away on Saturday.

Don't feel sad for me; be happy that the world got to have such a great man for the better part of 83 years. We feel blessed that we got to have him so long.

Back in September Dickie's diabetes started to gang up on him. It affected many things that resulted in him having to be hooked up to oxygen twenty four hours a day.

If you knew my dad, you realize how punishing that was.

This was a man who loved to "putter" right up until last summer. He loved to plant his flowers and walk his dog and jump in the car and go wherever at a moments notice.

All of a sudden he could do none of that and it just wasn't fair. In the end, we welcomed his passing because no one who did so much for so many others deserved to suffer the way he did. It was hard to let go, but his time had come.

What a man he was.

At 12 years old he'd work all day Saturday for 75 cents, and then go right to the butcher shop to buy a roast for his family's Sunday dinner. He was adored by his three sisters who all claimed he was their best friend.

He gave not only to family but anyone else who came into his life and needed help.

Friends, relatives, organizations, societies, food banks and his fellow veterans, Dick was always there to offer his time and lend a hand.

The Wexford Hockey Association, the Milton Legion, the Stayner Horticultural Society, it went on and on. He raised pigeons and canaries and rabbits and dogs. His green thumb was legendary and his friendship was worshiped.

I never met anyone who didn't inevitably say, "Your dad's a great guy."

He was a great husband, a great father and beloved Papa Dickie to seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Big Dick had the ability to fully appreciate the simple things in life and from them get great pleasure. It's just one part of his legacy that I will try to focus on and learn from.

I know a lot of you out there are probably wondering about Junie P.

She's doing OK, as well as can be expected.

She and my dad started going together when they were barely teenagers and last year celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They made a great pair and that's why Junie spent a good portion of yesterday wondering how she'll go on.

But she will. She's a strong old bugger and like the rest of us she couldn't stand to see Dickie suffer any longer.

I'm sure we'll spend a lot of time crying over the next few days, but through the tears we'll talk about all the wonderful things he did and how much better the world is for having had Richard Joseph Patterson in it. And we'll smile.

As for funerals and memorials and all that kind of stuff, it wasn't Dickie's style. He left strict instructions that no fuss be made after he died.

Instead, in remembrance of my dad I ask you to pay it forward.

Do something nice for someone. That's all he'd want.

Category: Family

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Where Are You Freddie P?

March 28, 2008 @ 17:18

I’ve received several e-mails asking why I haven’t posted for the past couple of days, and I really appreciate your concern.

Unfortunately, my father hasn’t been too well lately and I’ve had to deal with some personal things.

Big Dick is hangin’ in there and he actually improved slightly today, but he’s got some struggles ahead of him and I want to be as close to him as I can.

If I don’t post over the next few days, I’m probably down at the Milton Hospital sitting with one of the greatest guys in the world.

Category: Family

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Hanging On

March 24, 2008 @ 10:11

Sunday morning as I hid Easter eggs all over the house, I wondered how much longer this would go on.

My kids are 22 and 25, but every year my wife still buys them a whack of chocolate eggs and I hide them in same places I’ve hid them since we moved into this house.

It seems a bit weird to hide eggs for people who often come down the stairs the morning after the type of Saturday night most young adults enjoy.

They’re hung over.

But my sweet wife Delyse insists we keep doing it because to her it’s got nothing to do with age, but everything to do with tradition.

Your kids grow up so fast it makes your head spin, and there are only so many things you can hold on to from their youth.

They’re establishing their owns lives and even though they still live under the same roof you hardly see them

They don’t play organized sports anymore. There are no more singing lessons or dancing lessons or days at Wild Water Kingdom.

The only thing you’ve got are days like Christmas and Easter, so you keep treating them like kids, those little kids you so dearly miss.

Delyse says one day they’ll both be gone, and I’ll be wishing I could hide those eggs just one more time.

True man true.

Category: Family

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He Said She Said

March 20, 2008 @ 09:31

My sweet wife and I had words last night.

It was a heated argument over the Barack Obama controversy and how much he should be held accountable.

There’s part of me that wants to cut the guy some slack. I don’t think he should be pulverized for the words of his Pastor, but my wife disagrees.

“He’s running for President of the United States” said Delyse. “It changes the rules.”

Delyse thinks if Obama had political aspirations he should have disassociated with this guy long ago and the fact he didn’t makes him pretty stupid.

What Jeremiah Wright said was way over the line and it’s ridiculous to think that Obama wasn’t aware of it, and disgusting to think that he’d continually sit in a pew year after year listening to Wright's crap.

“And what about his young daughters” asked my sweet love dot. “Have they sat there and listened to all that venom about white people? What kind of impression has it had on them? Why wouldn’t Americans start to have doubts about Obama and what he really stands for and thinks?”

Good questions to which I only had feeble come back.

Category: Family | Stuff

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March 17, 2008 @ 09:27

My sweet mother-in-law phoned me on Saturday and she was quite excited to tell me something.

“Freddie! Have you got a copy of the Star today?!”
“Yes Joan, why?”
“There’s a good article in the “Idea’s” section that everyone should read!”
“What’s it about?”
“It’s called Multiculturalism’s nemesis and it’s very interesting!”
“OK, I’ll check it out.”
“You should!”

Let me explain, my mother-in-law is a very intelligent women, and whenever we get together she likes to discuss the state of the world with me.

I should also explain that she was born a “coloured” South African who now considers herself nothing but Canadian having lived here for 30 years.

She has no time for hyphenated Canadians, segregation, black centric schools or anything else that divides people.

And she especially has no time for people who come to Canada and use it for a few years before trotting back to their homeland.

Living under apartheid will do that to you.

As for my take on the article, I think Phillip's perception of what's going on in Canada is a little naiive, because the British warning signals are all around us and until people wake up and stop worrying about being so goddamn politically correct, we’re heading for the same trouble.

Category: Family | Stuff

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Junie P. Checks In

March 7, 2008 @ 08:46

My 80 year old mother sent me this touching story.

"My grandmother died in the 50s, but her birthday is coming up, and that always causes me to reminisce.

The long walks we used to take to the store in town, the quarters she gave me for meaningless jobs like pulling weeds or washing the sidewalk...

Those gems were all good, but the one I remember most, the jewel in the crown of grandmotherly advice, occurred when I was only about 13. We were sitting in a park having just finished collecting some 40 soda bottles for the deposit money on a beautiful spring day.

She told me that one day, I would find a wonderful woman and start my own family. 'And always remember,' she said. 'Be sure you marry a woman with small hands.'

'How come, Grandma?' I asked her.

She answered in her soft Newfoundland voice.

'Makes your dick look bigger."

Category: Family | Fun Stuff

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Have A Good One

December 24, 2007 @ 10:19

It's Christmas Eve so I thought I'd get away from the usual tone of this blog and extend my best wishes to each and every one of you.

I had a look at my most recent postings and thought, "holy cow, they're a little on the serious side for a couple of days before Christmas, I better soften things up with a little dose of nicety."

I can get back to all that other crap on Wednesday.

I don't plan on doing much today, other than just hanging out with the family and preparing for tomorrow.

I shipped in a big order of beer. I got some Moosehead, which my son likes, one of those Molson Pleasure Pacs for those who like Canadian or Coors Lite, and of course I got myself a big box of Bud Lite to get me through the next couple of days.

The Bud Lite cases come with NHL toques and I just know 2008 is going to be a good year because the first case I bought had a Leafs toque in it. Since then I've gotten Washington and Colorado, but hey, that's better than Montreal or Ottawa.

Have you ever had bark? My wife makes great bark and she's really gone to town this year and I'm paying for it with a couple of extra inches of flab on my midriff.

Bark is salted crackers covered with a mixture of brown sugar and butter, and then a layer of melted chocolate. It sounds simple, and to some I'm sure it might sounds gross, but its bloody good.

It's addictive. As fast as Delyse makes a pale I wolf it down which means she's had to keep the production line going. Yesterday she hid what she made and in order to get some more I had to bark for my bark.

That's right, she made me bark for my bark. But that's OK because I used to bark a lot on the Humble and Fred Show. For no particular reason, sometimes it's all I could come up with.

Maybe that's why my ass is on the sidelines right now.

Hey, here's a turkey tip. Try one of those "cook from frozen" turkeys. I know right now there are millions of people throughout North America who are worried that their turkeys might not be thawed by tomorrow. A turkey of size takes about three goddamn days.

A while back we tried one of the Butterball cook from frozen bastards and it was fabulous. They're already stuffed. They take longer to cook obviously, but they are so convenient.

Simply remove from the freezer and plunk in the oven. (remove the wrapper first)

I've got a twenty-two pounder, which means I'll have to put the son of a bitch in the oven about eight o'clock tomorrow morning, but who cares. Throw it in and let her go.

Here's another turkey tip. Take it out about ten degrees earlier than recommended. Then let it rest covered with a thick towel for about 90 minutes. Remember, turkeys continue to cook after you remove them from the oven.

By taking them out early, they don't over cook, and there's nothing worse than a dry turkey.

You go to all that trouble and then ruin the prick.

I'm also making a ham tomorrow. Not one of those fully cooked ones that you heat up and always have a funny taste to them. No, this one you actually have to cook and I'm going to do it on the barbeque. Mmmmmmmm.

I'll light the burner on one side and then place the ham on the other side and close the lid for about two and a half hours, medium heat. Good shit.

My wife makes a fabulous ginger gravy to go over the ham and I'm telling you right now, its makes the ham every bit as inviting as the turkey.

It should be a great day tomorrow; however we will have a heavy heart when we open gifts in the morning. It will be our first Christmas without our beloved Billie. We treated her like one of the kids with a stocking and presents every year.

But hey, what are you going to do? Time and age can be such a fucker.

Anyway, all the best and I'll leave you with this video.

Category: Family | Stuff

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I Can't Shop For My Wife

December 10, 2007 @ 08:35

This is a significant year in my relationship with my wife. This is the year I’m actually “not” going to buy her anything for Christmas.

I just can’t shop for my darlin’. No matter what I buy her, she takes it back.

It went on for years. I’d buy her something and she'd break it to me gently that it just wasn't right. At the same time, she'd complain that I didn’t pay enough attention to the things she liked. Whatever.

Over the past couple of years we started taking the easy route. She’d buy her “mainer” gifts from me, and I’d wrap them and hold them till Christmas day, but I’d always buy some other stuff so she’d be surprised on the big morning.

But even that started to backfire. I just didn’t choose the right stuff. So this year, I’m not going to bother at all and I have her blessing.

She has instructed me not to buy her anything. Why go through the exercise of having to take stuff back. She’ll just wait till after Christmas and buy a couple of things for herself directly.

It will eliminate the middle man.

Category: Family

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JFK And Barney

November 22, 2007 @ 11:29

It was mid-afternoon November 22nd, 1963; I was sitting near the back of Miss Werenga's grade two class at Ionview Public School in Scarborough.

There was a tapping on the door and Miss Werenga went back and opened it only to be greeted by another teacher who was crying. She said something about President Kennedy and Miss Werenga left the room but was back in less than a minute.

When she returned she explained to us that somebody had shot President Kennedy in a place called Dallas. She didn't get into a lot of detail because we were only seven years old and we really weren't sure who this President Kennedy guy was and Dallas could have been around the corner for all we knew.

Shortly before we left for the day our Principal Mr. Carter came on the PA and briefly re-capped what had happened and encouraged us to go home and ask our parents about it.

Needless to say the magnitude of what happened really hit home when I got home and started to watch our black and white Philco. And it escalated even more when my mom got home from work and I could see how upset she was.

Again, I wasn't sure what or who the president was but even at that age I could appreciate I was experiencing history by the reaction of everyone and everything around me - it was a very sad day. And then things changed dramatically.

I remember seeing my dad's car pull up the driveway and I was anxious to hear what he would have to say about President Kennedy but he didn't come right into the house. He stayed out in the driveway until finally my mom told me to get my coat on and go out to the car because dad needed some help.

As I approached the car my dad rolled down the window and started to ask me a few questions. I had wanted a dog for the longest time after seeing the movie "The Incredible Journey" but my parents had resisted. My dad said something like. "Do you like black dogs?" And I said yes.

And then he said "How about black dogs with white fur on their paws?"

And I said yes.

And then he said "How about this dog?"

And he reached across the seat and held up a beautiful little Heinz 57 that I immediately fell in love with.

I called her Barney (Fred and Barney) and I would have her for the next 17 years. She lived through the 60's, all through 70's and hung on until we had to put her down in 1981.

I got Barney when I was in grade two and she was part of my life through public school, high school, college and getting a job at CFNY.

I got Barney on the day President Kennedy was assassinated and she was around for Bobby Kennedy's assassination, Martin Luther King's assassination, two Maple Leaf Stanley Cups, the breakup of the Beatles, Canada winning the 1972 Super Series, the Montreal Olympics, the birth of the Blue Jays, John Lennon's assassination and my wedding day.

She was a darlin' and I'll never forget her, especially on November 22nd when we're all reminded of what an historic day it is.

Category: Family

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Vimy Ridge

November 9, 2007 @ 08:46

From April 9/07

Today is a significant day in the history of our country, and it must take precedent over hockey, and golf and politics. Today is the day the Canadians attacked Vimy Ridge.

It's was a defining moment in our history and a story that's as wonderful as it is horrific.

Just imagine for a moment in 2007 Canada being involved in a four day battle that would see 11 thousand Canadian casualties including close to four thousand dead and most of them in their late teens or early twenties.

My son Danny is 21 years old and I couldn't stand him being in Mexico at a resort for one week, so I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to have a child half way across the world in a time of war.

The primitive communications alone would have made this excruciating for families.

Imagine if you can, a son or daughter thousands of miles away in the heat of battle and there's no way of getting updates. A soldier would be killed and the family wouldn't find out for weeks, and it was usually by telegram with very little detail and most families never got the opportunity to claim a body.

Again, the thought of putting myself in this position makes me shudder.

On Remembrance Day I wrote about my grandfather Fred W. Perrin who was 18 years old when he was in trench on the Western Front and the Germans started experimenting with mustard gas.

Papa took a good dose and for the rest of his life lived with the affects of those few moments.

I don't know if my grandfather actually took part in the battle for Vimy Ridge. I was only 11 years old when he died and my mom says he never wanted to talk about the war, it was too painful and something he wanted to push out of his mind, so it's something I'll probably never know.

But on this day, the 90th anniversary of the Canadian military attack on Vimy Ridge we should all take a few moments to appreciate the sacrifices that were made for future generations.

Google Vimy Ridge, or take the time to watch one of the many documentaries that will be on television today. Or, at the very least take seven and a half minutes to watch the video below.

We owe it to the men, women and "kids" who gave their lives for us.

Category: Family

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