Mothers Day, featuring David Bowie

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Blog 19

Mothers Day, featuring:

David Bowie


(Released in 1975)

I’ve said in some of the blogs I’ve written that my friends and myself grew up like a bunch of feral animals. We weren’t so much raised up by our parents, as we tumbled up amongst ourselves. I often wonder why that was the case. Maybe a small biography of my mom could explain it a little, but probably not.

My mom was born in 1935 and recently turned 78. She has two brothers and two sisters, and is the oldest sibling. The world she grew up in was much more strict than mine.

She grew up on a ranch and a farm and had many chores. On top of school and all her chores, she also learned to play the piano.

She became good enough at the piano to get a scholarship to attend the Banff School of Fine Arts when she was still a teenager, but the second she left school she rarely touched the piano again.

I mention this because, although my mom liked music, she was never as fanatical about music as my dad or me.

My dad had a large record collection, I had a large record collection, but my mom had no record collection. She usually listened to music on the radio when we were out driving, but that was about it.

Every second weekend my mom and me would go to my grandparents in Pincher Creek, Alberta. Some of my best memories are of driving there in the summer while listening to music on the radio.

Outside were golden wheat fields, blue skies, hot asphalt, railroad tracks, and row upon row of telephone poles and fence posts while, inside, we’d listen to the hits of the day.

I picked this song because it was one of the songs that stood out during one of our drives to my grandparents.


Every Sunday my mom took me out to eat at this tiny little corner restaurant in Calgary. The restaurant was in a mall with just a few stores, and across from the restaurant was a music store. After we ate, my mom gave me the money to buy a 45. I had a huge collection of 45’s.


The world I grew up in was a holiday compared to the strict upbringing my mother had.

Which is understandable. She was born on the prairies in the midst of the Great Depression, just before the Second World War.

She always said she was lucky to have grown up on a ranch because they always had enough food for the entire family, which wasn’t the case for a lot of people at the time. She said people would sometimes come by the ranch looking for work in exchange for food and my grandpa would find something for them to do.

The times were horrendous for a lot of people, and I believe we still live in the shadow of those times and are still learning to come to terms with them. One thousand years from now they will still be talking about the years around the 1930s, a time of scarcity and war, and how it was a turning point in human history.


My mom always struck me as a farm girl, and most of the mothers I grew up around struck me as farm girls because most of them were farm girls.

Me? I was just a little brat who felt I could do whatever I wanted.

A good example of this is an incident that occurred in the summer between

Grade 6 and 7.

A friend of mine, Johnny, (his mom was from the Ukraine), asked if I wanted to go to Penticton, B.C. for the weekend with him and his sister, who was very pretty, and his sisters’ friend, both of who were about five years older than me and Johnny.

I said sure. My mom said no, and I jumped in the car and went anyway.

Penticton has beautiful beaches but we spent most of our time swimming in the hotel swimming pool.

That summer Kiss released their Love Gun album while we were in Penticton. I bought it, Johnny and me listened to it, and we thought it sucked.

Our allegiance to the KISS Army expired that day in Penticton, and we moved on to Led Zeppelin.

When I got home my mom gave me the silent treatment for a week.

I was always quite protective of my mom because, except for my grandparents, she was pretty well all I had.

What was odd though was that my friends seemed protective of her as well, and she was protective of my friends.

If I got in an argument with my mom, my friends took her side. My mom really liked my friends, so if I got in an argument with one of my friends, my mom took their side. I was in a no win situation.

It was the same with my teachers. My mom would come home from parent-teacher interviews covering her face with her hands and crying and telling me what a rotten kid I was, but If I told her my teacher was a jerk she wouldn’t listen.

And my teachers loved my mom.

On more than one occasion I had a teacher say to me, “That’s your mom?” What they were really saying was, “How is it possible that a jerk like you has a mom liked that?”

Actually, that reminds me. My mom always looked young for her age. There were some girls in my Grade 8 class who were at our school during a parent-teacher interview and ran into my mom while she was there. They thought she was my sister and wouldn’t believe she was my mom. I couldn’t convince them otherwise. They tried telling me that my real mom was my grandmother and that my mom was just pretending to be my mom but was actually my sister. Stupid girls.

Anyway, that’s my Mother’s Day story.


My mom was a secretary, and is quite petite, and always dressed nice for work.

My mom’s friend Donna often told me the story of how she met my mom back in the 1960s.

She said she saw this woman at the bus stop who really stood out because of how nice she was dressed. She struck up conversation and they became life-long friends. My mom eventually introduced Donna to a man who became her husband, and remained her husband for the rest of their lives.



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