Thursday 10 February 2011

His Daughter was a Student of Mine

I see that Bobby Kuntz died.  A lot of those old CFL stars have died recently--Ron Atchison, Cookie Gilchrist, Herb Gray.

Their obits featured the single stock photo that was always used in the sports pages and game-day programs of the time, '57-'64.  The one of Atchison shows him in his lineman's squat, arms bent and elbows forward, set to repel some unseen foe.  Gray's too, all crew-cut and shoulder pads, ready to take you on.

Photo day would be a day to pretend. The Atchison photo was shot in the old Rider practice field next to Campion in NW Hillsdale.  Some phtog making the rounds, telling each player to strike a pose, imagine the game was on.

In the CFL at that time, the players didn't earn much and held other jobs.  But they earned enough, some of them, to buy a new house in the newest suburb of Regina, say, where they hosted block parties and built swings for neighbour kids.

Or they ended up running an electroplating company in Kitchener, like Bobby Kuntz.

Monday 7 February 2011

It Gets This Way Sometimes

"Just sitting here with all your friends?" said Herb, the Maintenance guy, grinning, with a nod toward the table that was empty except for me.

"They're out writing," I told him, and changed the subject.

My students were scattered around Luther, writing from a line that opens Joan Didion's "Los Angeles Notebook"--There is something uneasy in the Los Angeles air this afternoon, some unnatural stillness, some tension, a line I love. 

I'd stayed at the table, reflecting in my own notebook on the air around my workplace this morning.

It was good to see Herb grin, anyone grin.

Saturday 5 February 2011

Weather Like This in Portugal Except for the Snow

Just now I sat down with a tea and fired up my netbook in a cafe in downtown Regina.  Everything's in the past.

I'd stood at the counter beside a guy I used to work with.  He was buying his 2-year-old some banana bread.

A simple workout this morning: push-ups and a rowing machine.  Now weak, I've fortified my tea.

Yesterday I had to pull some poems from one of my favourite litmags because by accident I'd submitted them somewhere else, which also wants them and pays more, like way more.  Sent the mag a donation to appease my guilty conscience.

The day before, my creative writing students had rolled the dice to come up with a number of lines with which to write on a random topic assigned to them (taped to the bottom of their chairs, actually).  Outstanding results.

Monday night I found I'd lost 1.8 pounds in a week.

A year and a day ago I found my old friend in Vigo, Spain.  Received an email from her just now.