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I am Parca's Chosen.

Parca is the Roman Goddess of Childbirth and Destiny and after you get to know me, you will see why I believe she has, without doubt, made me her Poster Child.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

OUTLANDER CLOTHING: My SweeTEEs

I am trying to raise some moolah so I can publish my books properly (editing etc first) and what better way that to design cool Outlander shirts/hoodies!! Here they are...and you can buy them by going to Teespring1743 or TeespringGaelic or TeespringJamie or TeespringScrabbled or Teespring Geillis or TeespringOath or Teespring LordJohn or TeespringOutScroll or TeespringMurtagh or MY FAVE Teespring Frank or TeespringFrank2 or TeespringClaire.
 If yes, THANK YOU! If no, then NO WORRIES!! But thanks for looking!

Here they are:























**Take a peek around my blog and enjoy some fun posts and snarky opinions! :) Cheers! -Denise










Wednesday, October 15, 2014

PUBLISHING A HISTORICAL FICTION: Invest In A Dream!

 Sponsor/Support the Arts!

KICKSTARTER is a program where investors around the world can pledge any amount of money (a dollar, ten dollars...a thousand!) ANY amount is appreciated, to back a project...and gain a small reward besides helping an entrepreneur or artist have their dreams come true! 

My dream is to publish my novel and pitch it to Hollywood to have it adapted into a movie!  Please click here and read how KICKSTARTER works and check out MY PROJECT: click on  Denise's Kickstarter Project


 THANK YOU FOR LOOKING IT OVER AND ANY SUPPORT YOU CAN MUSTER! *maybe there's is a part in the movie for you... (wink & a smile)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

OUTLANDER 'Episode 8': FRANKLANDER



It’s official. 

Frank has now become The Man.  Numero Uno in the Starz saga that is exploding ovaries and re-heating cold marriage beds all over the world. *but especially in the United States and Canada where, apparently, ovaries are particularly ripe and the beds unusually cold. Or so reactions to the Outlander phenomenon would have us believe.

I am talking about TV Frank, not Book Frank.

I never felt either of the two big PATHYs for Book Frank (SYM nor EM) which made it easier to fall for Jamie, whom I now refer to as 'Fido' (explanation forthcoming).  I believe Dr. Gabaldon made Book Frank unappealing on purpose for 2 reasons:

1)      Book 1, as a practice novel, didn’t need all the characters fully fleshed out, and in all honesty, who really cared what Frank thought? Not an issue at the time. 
2)     Diana didn’t know Tobias Menzies would own the show from the moment he opened his mouth and that Voice unlocked myriad psychological chastity belts worldwide


From Day 1, Frank is given to us on a plate of stability and thoughtfulness, with a generous helping of tenderness and romance and garnished with intellectual prowess (yes, it is almost lunchtime, why do you ask?). His sexy confidence and self-assured posture made trench coats the crotchless panties of menswear, and Frank is to sweater-vests what Dolly Parton is to tank tops. No mean feat that one.

He has a ruggedly attractive face that grows more handsome upon each word he utters and by the time he is bouncing on the bed with Claire, you want her to scoot off to the bathroom with an hour long bout of diarrhea so he can sit by the fire and read aloud a love poem by Browning …or the labels off his shirts…anything to keep him speaking. *It was a very wise choice not to have Frank’s voice as the narrator of the story thus far, as nobody would have seen their screens with their eyes rolled back in eye-fluttering ecstasy.

In Episode 8, we first see him with his back to us in the police station as he sits rock solid and immovable, a Standing Stone personified, as he demands answers from a detective who just happens to drink my favorite brand of coffee (let’s call it Justice Juice)



And he is as unwavering, relentless and dogged as any tax collector after a 2 dollar underpayment.  Dissing the entire precinct with his acerbic insults, 

he angrily refuses to believe that Claire has run off with another man, and channeling his inner Kevin Costner, he becomes Fist Slams On Desk and almost wastes an entire cup of Justice Juice.  He can’t seem to make them understand that his wife would never leave him willingly. Personally, I don’t know why he just didn’t show them the Castle Leoch pictures of his Table Top Tongue Tango with Claire. I mean really, WHAT woman would leave THAT? *I know I am not the only one who noticed that Frank kept his camera on his shoulder when he hit third base face-first that day…

Frank was so magnificently desperate and filled with such exquisite grief that I didn’t even care about the screen jump to the Quickie in the Grass with Jamie and Claire and I actually hoped it would live up to the 'quickie' part. The juxtaposition of Frank’s suffering and Claire’s lusty indifference was painful to watch and instead of feeling excited about some Push Push In The Bush, I felt appalled...the sound of Claire's laughter skipping and bouncing over the sounds of the cracking and crumbling of Frank's broken heart. If she was a man, I would be all over him for cheating on his sweet loving wife who never did him wrong and to whom he seemed devoted...and it IS cheating when you go past Wedding Night Duty to save your skin, into becoming Siamese Twins from the waist down. Me and Aretha know that R.E.S.P.E.C.T. is what you need and Claire is losing mine quickly...

TV Frank has me rooting for him big time and more importantly than Jamie losing his Cherry, Claire lost her Excuse.  And it was the Excuse of a loveless marriage to an apathetic ‘stranger husband’ that made it okay for her to fall for Jamie.  But TV Frank deserves a faithful wife. A loving D̶e̶n̶i̶s̶e̶  wife.

I LOVE Book Jamie beyond reason, but TV Jamie is a tough sell against such a massive hunk of good guyness. I don’t blame Sam for his portrayal of playful and youthful exuberance as it he was obviously directed to do so, but I couldn’t help but think of Jamie as a new puppy (hence the 'Fido') who can’t get over how much he loves playing with his new bone (pun intended)....licking (that wasn’t kissing) his play toy and copping a 2 second Squeeze N’ Suk on some gratuitous boobage. Meh. Quickie can still be hot. McQuickie...not so much.

In comparison to the rhythmic rattling of the chandelier at the Inn and that seductive love fest, the GITAS (Grass In The Ass Scene) just felt wrong.  I admit, I am a sucker for a throaty, passionate whisper of lustful sex-talk whilst in the midst of a rollicking great fuck, whatever the speed with which it is being delivered…so the GITAS high school giggling left me colder than the gun barrel pressed on Jamie’s face, which, by the way just pissed me off even more because FRANK would have turned around and bitten that barrel in half with his teeth and spit the bullet in the soldier's eye, then he would've shitkicked them both for the interruption. Just sayin'...

This isn’t just adoration talking here.  The ambush after the bar scene proves that well enough. Two attackers were nothing to Frank.  He smoked them like a cheap cigar and even had the presence of mind to NOT snap the neck of the bitch that suckered him into the trap in the first place. I would have saved her the trouble of ever needing fillings, but that’s just me. Frank has control, even half drunk, enraged, disillusioned and without his hat.

That BJR gene is well diluted methinks (too bad in this case though)

I also like the fact that Frank went up to the Stones even though he'd never heard of nor believed in that Time Portal fiddle-faddle folklore (which was a major plot flaw my opinion because prior to that, Frank was a veritable encyclopedia of Anything Scotland and could quote everything from the dates of pagan celebrations and obscure 16th Century political minutia, to the measured radius of Bonnie Prince Charlie's anus, but I will let that go for now...). I was hoping the directors would keep straying from the book as they have been doing so expertly thus far, and for a blissful minute there, I thought they had whipped out a biggie and were allowing Frank to see Claire again (that piercing, haunting music gave one real hope for such). The unspeakable hope etched on his face was almost unbearable to witness...


but her being snatched away last second kept things on track and Frank’s ruin was complete. I was both crushed for dear Frank and thankful that Tobias had a chance to work his magic and stretch his acting muscles. He was devastatingly devastated.


In the best scene in the series so far and the only one so far that brought me to tears, Frank baying at an invisible moon, his lover’s name ripped from his lips at the foot of the Stones that took her, I was left bereft of any feeling except a wish that my husband would run downtown and buy a sweater vest. 

And a trench coat.

I like this unexpected twist of my affections. This Unexpected Hero of The Heart (and this unexpected attraction to tweed). Frank was rather an afterthought in the book, a necessary plot device, but in the tv show he is, thankfully, a Force of Nature. Maybe I am just not cougarish enough for Jamie to be the one to light this old fire. He is a fine laddie, but a mere puddle to the tsunami that is Frank Randall. 

*How a tsunami and an old fire can possibly amount to anything good is beyond me at the moment, but I am willing to examine this more closely, as always, over a glass of Cape Ruby...



Saturday, September 27, 2014

OUTLANDER: Rebuttal To A Wee Coward and Her Sheep

This post is specifically made to address a blog that attacks me and a group I moderate on facebook. It is made by an anonymous blogger (how convenient) who had a friend banned by a group I moderate. She knows nothing about the group but felt qualified to denounce it and she labeled a post I made as 'body shaming'...

Alrighty then. 
I will not give it any more attention by sending you to read it, but you will get the gist of its laughable content easily enough. My rebuttal:



Hi Anonymous Blogger Tee (sorry I don’t know your real name!),

I am the OSFG moderator you have been blogging about and attacking like an angry ex (were we ever married? I am sure I was never married to a chick but you know...the 80's were kinda wild). You have put my name and picture up on a public forum and I have had many people message me saying you are attacking me personally but I disagree. You do not know me and are only repeating things you have heard. How can that be personal?  I think it is fine to discuss important issues and where else if not one’s own blog? I certainly say what I please on mine!

However, I think you have been misinformed by ex-members who have issues they cannot resolve and therefore are striking out anyway they can. I feel for them as I have been banned (once) too and it can be painful, especially if you are the type of person who does not take rejection well. I take it like a boss...with a glass of vintage wine. I think most of them have Snack Bar issues but that is another story (inside joke...sorry). I have, over the years, joined about 12 groups on FB. I left 4 groups willingly because, one, Outlander United, tried to ban my fun meme...offended a couple of religious folks 

and I tried to appease with this one but it didnt help my case much:


and one site, Heughans Heuligans, tried to make me unblock a couple of nasty mods, but that is nothing horrid. Shit happens. I just recently left 2 because the mod on one, April Steele from Catriotnation, allowed a few of her members to tag team abuse me and plan a spam-attack on our forum...to which I had to walk away from. Please note, the other mod, Laura Stewart was lovely and very kind. It is April who is unfair and ruining that great site with her hypocrisy (she says she does not censor anyone, but I should have censored my members who criticized the show and Cait as Claire. I guess her values shift at will). And finally I left a Canadian group that did the same thing...it's moderator Kay'ee Pippin said she 'liked the article for the writing only' (content be damned! Who needs content?) and made the group too uncomfortable for me to stay.

Four walk outs out of  a dozen...justified indignation, right? No crime there I would think! Okeedokee.

It IS true, as someone posted that I was banned from my present group once just days after I started: I had posted a thread that continued teasing a flouncer (someone who announce their intent to leave with a flourish!) and someone complained that it wasn't very nice to do so. I apologized and came back to the fold. Today, flouncing is teased at a Black Belt level and EVERY single ex-member who at least had the balls to put their names to their whining on your blog are guilty of doing exactly that...they are truly professionals. Green eyed professionals.

I once was a mod briefly at a large fansite but left after the place got full of teens that were vulgar and just too silly for me. I don't use the C word unless it is for a cookie or cake, thanks. (I am old. We are a modest bunch.) The page creator and I are still buds and the group was never ruined by me and in fact, is almost bigger than our group now!

The ‘body shaming’ post of which you talk so much (but have never read yourself, right?) was never, EVER, such a thing. It is being touted as one to make it easy to attack me and Alex and so it is an authority issue, NOT a body shaming issue. Making it one gets attention, as we can clearly see, although the attention you get once the TRUTH is out may be not so pleasant?

I have been a mod for 2 months only. We have rules set out by the page creator Alex, and I agree with all of them. Here they are (except for NO SEX while we are PM...it should be understood, okay?) :


Your piece about Claire being 'body shamed' comes from reactions to a thread I posted in our group immediately after the Episode 7 of Outlander on Starz (*I got a flood of complaints saying their negative reviews were being hijacked and they were being bullied by fanatics so I decided to give these people a space to vent). It was a ONE TIME ONLY post. I never did it before, nor since. This is my OP (original post): 



IT READS (for those with my crappy eyesight):

"September 21 at 11:02am

DIDN'T DIG IT? WHY NOT?

This is an opportunity for those, who, like me, did not fully enjoy Episode 7 and want to discuss why. Would like to have an adult, rational discussion and rude or impolite remarks will be deleted. THIS IS NOT A DISCUSSION ON WHY IT WAS LOVED: IT IS FOR OPPOSING VIEWS.

There are lots of threads about how great the wedding episode was, but THIS one is for those of us who were not happy with it...I want to know why and see if it was for the same reasons I have. I will delete comments that do not stay on THIS topic. SCROLL AWAY if you can't read opposing views.Thanks!"

I have enjoyed the series thus far...and really had no complaints...got used to the main actors fast and keep the book and show separate...but this episode was disappointing to me as it was so choppy and disjointed. The first glimpse of the wedding was them kissing and sealing the deal! I spent 10 minutes thinking CRAP! That's it??? THEN they stared flashing back etc ...and I saw that they would fill in the best bits. That initial feeling of OH CRAP stayed with me though and the back and forth flashbacks killed it for me. This is the one episode they should have had it flow like a revealing story...building up to the ceremony and kiss then the sex scenes. It would have had us invested in the tension and emotion better. The way it was, made me not really care by time they made love. Overall, I found the acting stifled and awkward in a poor acting sense, not nervous virgin sense. I felt absolutely no chemistry (but have in other scenes with them) and Claire's unease was too intense...she seemed almost revolted half the time until the very end. YES, Jamie has a fine bum etc...but I needed more than that. But my disappointment will not taint the entire series for me...I love the show for many other reasons and still look forward to a LOT of things. One misstep will not drive me away!”
**

As you can see, there is NO body shaming requested! There were almost 400 comments on that thread and maybe 5 or so talked about how squished and uncomfortable Cait’s breasts were and I agreed. Damn that must have been awful! LOL! (Late addition: found a pic to show you how restricted the girls were) I have the entire post saved but cannot reproduce it here for the security of our members, who have their pics and names exposed. What they say in our group is private...and I respect privacy, unlike others who hide behind their computers. I took it down from the site as I felt it was getting the wrong attention and not conducive to the groups best interests anymore.



Anyway, as I was saying, a few people mentioned Cait’s breasts but 99.9% of the comments were about the exact things I mentioned in my OP.


The few that DID complain about her breasts did so for 2 reasons: 
1) they looked too pressed and overflowing in her dress and
2) the BOOK Claire had voluptuous breasts and a ‘fine fat arse’ and TV Claire did not. They felt gypped. Out of those few, one person said something about uneven breasts and a body double should have been used, which is stupid, but stupid is not a crime (if it were, our jails would full of politicians and reality tv stars and anonymous bloggers). They deleted their comments on their own volition. There was only one or two of them! I did not demand they do it because I do feel that if everyone can talk about Sam's bum, they can talk about Caite's chest. If they were members of our group or related to members, I would not have allowed any callous opinion as it is too close to home. Celebrities put their nudity out there and deserve attention in all its myriad forms.

That’s it. NONE of this was ‘body shaming’ post…only opinion. I promised the members they could speak their minds under the umbrella of my authority without being attacked by bullies and I did just that. Yes, I got a few PMs saying I should delete the post but not many because of body shaming (which I disagreed was not happening), but a lot about jealousy over not being able to have mod powers of deleting and controlling ones thread! Those who hijacked the thread were deleted, and they only had to read the OP to see that they would be, and those who were banned got banned for ignoring the warnings they got or for insulting a mod (me). All in the rules. Perhaps 5 people were banned that day (never counted but it is a fair guess). Out of 35,000, that isn’t too bad I must say…and those people, many who are complaining on your blog, are simply vindictive and have twisted the truth to suit their own vindictive purposes. How very sad. *Do banned people ever take responsibility for their actions? Nope.



To those who have issues with Alex, I cannot speak to that, but I can say that Alex Garcia is very fair, but like me, is human, and he and I may make mistakes (I know that I have gotten snippy with PM’s at times…my patience level HAS been tested! HA!), but he created that page out of a deep love of Outlander and has made it a VERY successful page that grows larger every day, in part because of your blog actually, because frankly, people want to be part of a site where mods stick up for the underdog and where bullies are censored, but censorship is not the Name of the Game. 

I sometimes WANT to post this, but am far too professional:

 I found it interesting that you and your banned friend are angry over our censoring 'attacks' on members and celebrities (who are paid well for public attention good or bad) but want us to censor opinions about characters and their appeal...and do not ban your readers from attacking me or Alex. Confusing really.

Might I quote one of our members, Kristi Mc, who said:   

“The whole 'If you are critical you’re just jealous' thing is really high school mentality imo, because people can be critical for a whole myriad of reasons. I'm sure one of those reasons could be envy, but there are plenty of other reasons as well including good ole boring aesthetics, some might find her breast shape and size not aesthetically pleasing.



If it's socially acceptable to comment on a woman's breasts in a positive critical manner, then it should be acceptable to comment on them in a negative critical manner....so I guess the bigger question is, should it be socially acceptable to comment on a womans' breasts at all? I personally don't think it should be- but apparently STARZ and most viewers disagree, or they would not be filmed nude, inviting these conversations.”

Exactly. Bravo!

We cannot possibly please 35,000 people but we volunteer (NO pay) to spend a, lot of our day making a safe place for fans to meet about a great series. Not everyone loves me but hey, that is quite alright…my husband, kids and dog love me and I am content. My cat is indifferent but I hear that is normal.

Outlander Series Facebook Group is a FUN, intelligent and highly attended forum where lovers of Outlander can meet, talk about the books or show DROOL over Jamie and hate Black Jack Randall (sorry, I know you dont know the books or show but you SHOULD…you’d love them!!) and everyone is welcome to join us!

That post is all I have to say about this subject and I will NOT get into the game here of replying to old woes and swipes, so comments are moderated (see what I did there?). Don't have the time or energy to debate this all year long. Frankly, now that I have said my peace, I could give a flying fuck about any of it. You had your say, I had mine. Anything more would be redundant, repetitive and really, very boring. We are done. Others may stretch it out but I wont read a word more about it. Those people, like the ones crying on your blog, remind me of this meme I made. So true!

PS-  Someone just sent me a ss of a Hope Bennett posting on your blog saying she was banned with no warning. Hmmm, well, I ALWAYS warn before banning someone, which I rarely do anyway as I like to leave it to Alex’s discretion. It IS his page. I have 2 pages of pre-written warnings and repeat answers to save my poor fingers…so the ‘no warning’ claim is just idiotic. A few things will warrant a direct ban with no warning: Ignoring warnings and repeating an offense; name calling; attacking the group or mod and homophobic attacks. EVERY person banned from our group has committed one of these offenses. Period.


*here is an example. Familiar name?
 Really? Then what is this?

In fact...that was one of many of warnings I gave that day. I could have banned Ms Bennett (oooh! How Pride and Prejudice that sounded! especially the prejudice...) and a few others easily after a repeat offense but didn't. The banning came after they insulted me for deleting them! Alex banned them but I agreed, of course.

So, I am sure you will carry on and do whatever you do, but I won't be bothered again with your pretend outrage and attention whoring (thank you to another anonymous writer who mentioned that in your blog comments...great line!). You got some blog coverage from it and that should make you happy! I would never do that! *giggle*

And here's a tip Anonymous Tee (honestly... how can anyone with intelligence take you seriously? Embarrassing that a fellow Canadian can be such a coward): the people who share your blog around the net are sheep...obtuse, petty and uneducated sheep that are prone to mob mentality so please, do NOT ever jump off a ladder...the crowd behind you might loose their balance and crush you.


Monday, September 22, 2014

A Scottish Tale: Life Is A Boal of Cherries (Parts 1 & 2)



I met William Wallace last night.
Well…damn close anyway.


Amazingly enough, as Fate would have it, a couple came into my motel last night with an elderly gentleman and I thought they were a family: they weren't. The couple said this man knocked on their door, upset and confused, and lost. He was from a town about 10 hours away and had become confused and disorientated in the fog and dark, and stopped at the first house he saw to ask directions. 

They felt kindly towards him and guided him into town and to my motel. *He had actually come to my motel 6 hours earlier but didn’t recognize the new signage we had just put up and thought he was lost…and drove around all that time trying to figure out where he was!)

So, however unlikely, here it was, late at night on Sept 17th 2014, and I was talking to a tiny, sweet old man from Scotland who probably knew William Wallace personally (well, he was coming 90 so I MAY be exaggerating slightly). And if I paid close attention, I could actually understand him! 

He was spry and so funny and verra opinionated (he will be a happy man today, and that is all I have to say about THAT) and he had the BEST stories. A writer’s dream. I could have talked to him all night, but he was rather pooped out from his ordeal so I tricked him into telling me about his family and tucked him off to bed (older people do NOT like to be treated as such and this man obviously cherished his independence, so I didn’t want him to become angry that I was checking on him). I then called his son to make sure his dad was okay to still drive etc…and the son was relieved and grateful to know everything was okay. His father left on the spur of the moment and should not have been driving at night.

So it is that I am now sipping my morning coffee and whipped cream out of my Scotland mug and looking out the window, making sure that Scotty (real name Bob) says goodbye and is good to go on his next leg of his journey. He had mentioned briefly that he just may stay another night…and I sure hope he does.

I have a few stories to squeeze out of him yet…




I Met William Wallace: Part 2


I waited until the whipping cream was down to a thin ring of white hugging the inside of my coffee cup before I decided to check up on Scotty. Was he going to leave us this morning or stay another night?

I knocked on Room 31 with a gentle tap and he opened the door immediately, remembering my name and giving me his best ladykiller smile. 

He was just lining up his pills and was heading out for his morning routine of breakfast at a restaurant and then Tim Horton’s for a coffee and strudel. With a wistful gaze, he mentioned that his wife was usually part of the routine…and taking my cue, because I know my place in life, I asked him if he wanted some company. His eyes lit up and off we went. I drove, but not before my husband Peter told him he'd better have me home by 11. 

There aren’t many things sweeter than an 89 year old Scotsman giggling. 

And so it was that I found myself, on the day Scotland made their historic vote, sitting at Rolly’s Restaurant, eating a bowl or parrich with Robert ‘Scotty’ Boal, a perfect stranger that made my heart glow. 

The man was charm personified.

I asked him about the politics of Scotland and all I will say of that is his words: “Why break up a 2000 year old marriage? It may have been an arranged marriage but we got used to each other…and it works!” *I hope you said that to yerself with a terrific rolling R and a lovely lilt. And a grand twinkle in yer wee eye!

Scotty talked the whole way through his parrich. He was a storyteller, like all Scots, and the writer in me burned for a tape recorder or a nail to carve notes into the table top! I made mental notes instead:

He spoke of the war and how he joined the British Airborne Paratroopers at the fearless age of 18 and after hundreds of jumps, never broke a bone… until he was 87 and fell off a ladder;

He spoke of finding German soldiers who would have been shot dead without a second thought had the Americans or Russians found them, but who he let go with a few rounds shot in the air because "Ye dinna wont ta shoot thim if ye didna hafta!”, and how a Captain in full regalia, along with his 2000 men surrendered to him and his 15 men because “They were forced ta fight ye ken…nobody likes ta fight and all them billionaires and their sons sat back and watch the rest of us make their war.”

He showed me his tattoo, a shadow of an airplane that represented the British Paratroopers braced atop with the word India on one side and 1945 on the other, and a thick blue bar under it all that represent the Rhein River in Germany (where my husband was born, oddly enough). He had been stationed in many countries and they were probably beautiful he said, but he hadn’t seen them as a tourist and they didn’t eat well, so that ‘taints yer view of things’.

Then we talked about the Vancouver Canucks and the twinkle in his eyes grew bigger. The man loves his team. Luckily, I am a hockey mom so I could talk without embarrassing myself in front of my date.

Pills and parrich done, Timmy Ho’s called our name. Scotty offered to pay, gentleman that he be, but it was my treat…the entertainment factor alone was worth a hundred times the cost and I gladly paid the ticket price. 

Scotty was the best show it town.

We scooted off to Tims where we enjoyed our strudel and coffees and he told me how he moved to Canada in 1957 and found out one of his neighbors was a German named Fritz. When they met, the man asked Scotty if he was in the war and after saying he was, the man said “I think you shot me down!", to which Scotty replied, "Looks ta me like I missed!"  They became very dear, lifelong friends.

Scotty had been born with bowed legs and as an adult with a good Chrome plating business underway, he underwent extensive surgery to straighten his legs. The surgery was a success but the business wasn’t. He was taken advantage of whilst in hospital and ended up losing his business .Tough little fighter that he is though, he survived that calamity and has had a comfortable life with a loving wife and family nevertheless. How tough was he? Well, he told off a ‘mean bastard’ Hell’s Angels member who tried to scam him out of getting free chrome work done for his bike, but after telling the ‘big strappin’ fella’ that he would earn a ‘punch right in the windpipe’, the guy backed down and paid for the service.  

If you could have seen the fist I saw, you would believe it too.

We covered a lot of territory over strudels, and I never stopped laughing, and then we headed back to the motel where I dropped him off at his room. He decided to stay another night and we invited him for a cold beer after he was done watching wrestling on TV which was ‘the best acting ye’ll ever find!’.

He arrived in our manager’s suite and was verra pleased to see that we had bought some ‘real’ beer: Guinness Draught from Dublin. Scotty came in at 7 and didn’t stop telling stories until 11, when I reluctantly told him that I had to close up shop and call it a night. I could tell you most of them but I will only repeat a few briefly as they are good examples of how the night went:

Talking about the war, Scotty said that being tested to get into the Paratroopers was hellish. They gave punishing physicals and intrusive psychological tests, and finally, they would take a bellows (the big pump fans for blowing air into fireplaces) and pump it in one ear. Then, if air came out the other ear, you were accepted. *yes, he had me going with that one too!

Then at one point, he said he remembered a car he once saw in Singapore. He looked past us and relived his memory. The car was eggshell blue and a blonde was at the wheel…but the nose of the car was in a foot of water under a bridge and the blonde was slumped over the wheel. Running to see if she was alright, they saw she had a slit throat from ear to ear. The Japanese had killed ‘fer no good reason and without a blink’. Piling body parts and seeing death up close became the norm and he saw it in his mind’s eye every day. 

To change the subject, I asked about his schooling in Scotland and he laughed and said his mother would bring him lunch at noon and squeeze it through the bars so he could eat it. Seeing our quizzical faces, he explained that the schools were fenced and locked up tight when school began and nobody got in or out until school was over. The parents would bring sandwiches to their children and pass it through the bars. He had a laugh at the memory and shook his head. I asked him why they needed protection but I’ll be damned if I can remember what he answered. *I curse my addled old brain! 37 years older than me and I wish I had Scotty’s memory!

He came late into the war as a Paratrooper as he was always found exempt previously for he was a welder. They needed his sort at home in the seaside town of Greenock (25 miles from Glasgow). He welded battle ships together, balancing 80 feet in the air, welding like a Scottish Leonardo DaVinci on his back on a wooden plank, cramped so his face was only a foot away from his task. He one-handed his torch because the other hand was used to hold up a wee mask on a stick that protected his face. His assistant Willy crouched near him with the sole purpose of patting out the embers of fire that fell all over his body. Endless hours of wiggling over planks on his back, hands held overhead to weld, being patted down as to not catch on fire…and when he got home, there was no need to wash his overalls as you could hold them up and see right through the hundreds of holes burned through. His hands were so black that his wife made him hide them under tables when they went out. “They couldna’ ever get clean”.

The HMS Colossus 1945


The drudgery was lightened by a noon hour soccer match on the pier. That helped a lot he said, because every day someone died there…either from falling off a plank, getting a rivet drilled in the head or eye, or burning to death from an oxygen leak near a torch… like his assistant. He had heard a scream and a thump and there was ‘not much more thanna couple'a feet lefta poor Willy’.


We drank our beers and he showed us pictures he had with him of The Boys having a cold beer in a pub in Palestine, he recalls with a grin (Scotty is seated first), but the back reads 'June 1oth 1947 Italia'. I don't correct him;


one of his lifelong neighbor and pal: (ink on back said: Captured in Palistine, German sailor; Afrika 28/9/47. "In remembrance of your friend Fritz");


and one of himself when he enlisted at 18. The inked inscription on its back reads: Singapore, 7th Parachute Battalion 6th Airborne Div LOST HALF BATTALION


Such a happy and innocent face, but the penned notation brought tears to my eye. But I hid it. I didn’t want to spoil his fun: pictures of his RCMP son, Robert Jr. of whom he is exceedingly proud; great granddaughters with familiar twinkly eyes; his ‘good lass’ wife and many shots of wartime prisoners and his mates. As a photographer, this was the icing on a beautiful cake for me. He allowed me to copy them and gave permission to share a few with you (above). Here is my favorite that I took: Scotty and my husband Peter looking at the photos:


Peter walked Scotty to his room after fond goodnights, and as he left, I heard him tell my husband as they melted into the night “I like ta walk, but in the British Airborne, we had ta make 124 steps per minute…” 

We said our farewells and got a fierce hug the next morning, and after another joke or two, off went our sweet Scottish Scotty (real name Bob) Boal, Canucks flag whipping in the wind over his hood, and I couldn’t wait to come and share him with you all and make his words as immortal as I hoped he would somehow magically prove to be. He deserves to be remembered as a hero.

Like William Wallace. But funnier.