FRIDAY: Remembering the Sesquicentennial


Copyright is held by the author.

I ALWAYS like to run along the canal this time of day. And this time you can come along.  I’m using my new automatic recording diary I bought last week. It’s called the DAD, or more technically the Digital Audiline Diary. Actually it’s more of an app. When you buy it you have to install the app. With a little alligator clipped attachment mini-microphone attached to your shirt it will record on your cellphone and play into the internet, in real time, so anyone can either hear or if they want, read what you say during the day. I’m guessing you are reading this online. Yes, it’s more invasive than facebook where everyone posts what they are eating as if we were all celebrities. Time for something new. A public audio diary will take away what little privacy was left in our lives but I’m always willing to try out whatever is the latest techno ware out there. I was waiting for an occasion to use my DAD. Hope it works.

The reason I’m starting this broadcast is because I’ve just seen the strangest thing. I’m coming down from Dow’s Lake and ready to cross the Pretoria bridge and looking up I see a guy in a white T-shirt running with an unmistakable limp. Broad shoulders and curly blond hair tight around his head. Looks like Terry Fox. Been running this route forever and never seen this guy. Now he’s disappeared, into a wispy cloud again, and gone. Are any of my friends listening to this? I think I’ve seen a ghost.

No, I haven’t been smoking anything. Actually my Honda is parked nearby on Waverly Street and I’m going to drive by downtown in front of the Parliament where they are putting up scaffolding for the big July Birthday Bash for good ole Canada. It ought to be crazy with everyone from every culture. I’m an immigrant, too. Holland. My public school teacher didn’t have a kid in the class who spoke English as a first language. Oh, there I go again riding my trustee steed, “Tangent.” The running adrenaline has been playing tricks with my mind. I’ve got this feeling something is going on. Talk to you soon. Turning this off. Bye.

Hi again. Looking out the window of the car along Wellington I see a crowd of people standing around the empty pedestal where the statue of Terry Fox used to be.  Coincidence? Someone took it. I don’t think so. So the statue is running around town. I know I saw it running across the Pretoria Bridge.

I’ve gotta hunch. Talk to you later. Bye.


Hey folks, facebook friends, it’s like I thought. It is pretty creepy. Coming past the art gallery looking up to the summit of Nepean Point. Champlain statue is down. Also gone.   Take a breath, count to 10. I’m tired; it’s been a long day at work and time to get home.

Yup, going home, then have a shower and call someone about this. Maybe the Citizen. I think there is pasta in the fridge. Coming across Parliament Hill and there is a protest going on. No, it’s not a protest. People are standing around in groups where the statues used to be. There’s a lady Mountie riding across the lawn. No, they don’t have those anymore. It’s too dangerous for the public. Kids can’t even play tag in the schoolyards at recess anymore. Wait a minute. Mountie’s don’t ride wear a cloak like that. That’s the queen Elizabeth statue riding her stallion across the grass. Other people are seeing it too. Trying to get a photo. No, this can’t be. It’s gone in the blink of an eye. I’m not going crazy. Am I? Well, pretty dizzy stuff happening.


Yesterday I got my seatbelt stuck by jamming my coat string into the buckle. Had to drive into the garage for help. It wasn’t funny. I was trapped in my own car. Couldn’t even get out of the seat. The straps were tightening like a boa constrictor. First seatbelts in planes, then seatbelts in cars. Soon we’ll be wearing spacesuits to keep us from breathing the air. Soon robot cars will drive us around. See you at home.

I live alone in the top floor executive suite in a tower in Westboro. Can see along the Ottawa River from the big window and balcony. I’m in the lobby now. The elevators aren’t working. None of them.

Be back soon after I climb the stairs.


Yes, as Paul Simon said, “One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.” It took every cent I had plus a mortgage to get this beauty. It’s worth it. It’s where a bank manager aught to live. Also a place to get reunited with myself while I get over the divorce. I hope the kids can stay with me this summer and travel to Italy with me. Yes, you need a note these days to say you’re not kidnapping them from the mother. Her ghost wanders around this place all the time. Now everyone is seeing them. Ghosts, that is. It sure looked like Terry Fox on the Pretoria Bridge.

Get through the front door, turn on the TV and Ian Hanomansingh is talking about a young couple sitting on an empty bench in front of the National Arts Centre where the bronze statue of Oscar Peterson is reported missing. Lots of Press and people snapping shots with their cell phones. Onlookers looking puzzled. But, I’ve got a good guess where the statue is. It’s going around downtown looking for a piano.

I’m going for some air out on the balcony. Take my beer. Take some time out. Bye.


Dear DAD, dear diary, dear whoever is reading this online. I think I set my security to Public. Anyone could be reading this, anywhere.

I’m looking down at the sidewalk here in Westboro where mothers are jogging in their designer spandex with three-wheel pumped tire strollers with coffee mugs in the arm rests with Lattes. They are heading out to the Byron strip for a workout jog between yoga classes. I should get back into doing yoga, but there are these painful and impossible positions my body doesn’t want to go. Sorry, riding Tangent again.

So I see a tall man, huge boots with a very tall hat and cape; he’s carrying a sword. On the street, he’s carrying a weapon. He’s looking like he just came off the set of The Three Musketeers. It can’t be. But, who else can it be? Samuel de Champlain is walking the boardwalk of Westboro. I’m heading down. I’ll turn this thing back on again later. Bye.


Hello again. I caught up with him down at Mountain Equipment Co-op and a small group of us are following him down toward the Ottawa River. Everybody thinks he’s an actor  in costume to celebrate this year’s “One-Five-O” Canada Day. Long curly hair, moustache and goatee. They’re trying to take selfies with him. I know better. He seems to be looking into all the alleyways, behind bushes and turning in random directions.

He’s searching for something. He’s taken off his hat with the long feather and he’s scratching his head. What’s he looking for? The Astrolabe he’s lost? Maybe? I’m going to approach him before he evaporates.

“Excuse me, monsieur, are you lost. Are you looking for something?”

Je cherche mon ami, I’m looking for my friend, Sky-Raven. Have you seen him? Wearing a feather and buckskin, also carrying a quiver of arrows on his bare back. He called himself Pachu’a. He was crouching with me on Nepean Point before they took him away. He saved my life you know.”

“Tell me.”

“On that day I had lost my navigating astrolabe and was looking for it in the marshes near Cobden just two days upriver from here. My men were at the campsite resting and Pachu’a and I had seen a snowy owl in the early morning. Pachu’a and I have been life long friends. I first met him when I set foot on Canadian shores. I was crossing a beaver dam and fell into a deep section. I was sure I had dropped my astrolabe there and was leaning over too far. I can’t swim very well and soon I was drowning. He dived in and saved me.”

“I hope you find him. By the way, they found your astrolabe.”

That was all I got to say before he turned a corner and disappeared. I’m not really sure why they moved the statue of Pachu’a.

Just a minute. I’ve got a phone call coming in.

It’s from my daughter, Stephanie.

I’ve had enough of the diary for one day. Going to give it a rest for some time before I’ll try it again.

I’ll put in one more entry to let you know what happened. Bye for now.


I’ve decided. This will be my last entry with the DAD. I’m throwing it away. Going to remove the app from my phone. Well, it’s because nobody on the internet would believe me. My facebook page is filled with nasty comments from friends and trolls wondering if I should seek professional help. No one in the city has come forward to say they’ve seen the missing statues come alive and then evaporate into smoke. Everyone is afraid of what people will think. It’s like saying you’ve seen a UFO.

Maybe I saw Terry Fox and the Queen riding her stallion or maybe I didn’t. When I phoned in to the Ottawa Citizen they kept me waiting on hold for over an hour and in the end said someone is probably stealing the statues around Ottawa and the police are investigating. No one but me has seen them walking around.  At least no one admits they did. Anyway, I am going to let you know that thankfully Steph and Julie are definitely coming with me to Italy this summer. I’ve got the handwritten letter from Su. I’ve booked a bed-and-breakfast in Florence for all of us. I’ve looked through their promotional materials and on their website they claim their villa is haunted my ghosts of famous Italians. I can’t wait to meet them. Bye.


Oh, I lied, sorry. This will be my last entry into the DAD before I discard it. It can get you into trouble. Nobody needs to have everyone know what they are doing all the time.  What is happening to privacy?

I wanted you all to know that I’m in Florence and the villa is fabulous. The cathedral is stunning especially from the inside. We are having a great time. Where we are staying is definitely haunted. I swear I saw this naked marble male giant with a stone sling over his shoulder strolling in the garden.  Vivaldi is playing violin at the end of our street.

Take care.

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