I was a young 21 years old and I had made a snap decision to leave my life behind and move to the north, to seek fame and fortune. I had just experienced the most amazing summer with the MGB I had purchased earlier that spring. Life was one big party and I had no care for the future. I had a wonderful girlfriend that I had to leave behind, but other than that, there was nothing holding me back. The phone call came on a Thursday evening, that there was a job waiting for me in the Crown Zellerbach Pulp and Paper Mill at Ocean Falls BC, if I wanted it, and three days later I was on my way.
In the photo above, taken at the Vancouver docks, I am sitting behind the wheel, the last time I would be seen with my beloved sports car, and beside me is my good friend Norm, who would drive the car back to my hometown to be sold. It was sold, eventually, and I got enough to pay the repair bill for an accident I had the previous month.
As I look at the photo, I am not so much impressed with the car and the youthfulness we exude, but I am taken aback by the amount of time that has transpired since this photo was taken. Norm just recently lost his 34 year old daughter. I just spent the afternoon with my five year old grandson. Can you read any of that on our faces as we sit all cocky and proud in the car with the top down?
How fortunate for us that we cannot see our lives laid out before us in the beginning, exposing both joys and sorrow, revealing the ravages of age, and hinting at both victories and defeats that are part of everyone's life. I am sure we would be frightened off and not jump onto the boat, like I did, and change my future from one of carefree irresponsibility to one of accountability and productivity.
I do not have regrets and it is pointless to second guess decisions that were made. Instead, I get out the old photos every so often, in an attempt to get back the old feelings. These feelings are important as we age for they help to keep us young, at least in spirit.