When issues Collide

Summer so far in Montreal

It was anotherBob White new typical July day in Montreal: hot, hazy, humid… Summer has taken over. So the Barbershop was crowded. Everyone was still on the mantra: It’s Miller Time!
Lisa Montgomery, political attaché for Marc Miller, MP for Southwest Montreal was telling everybody through social media that “Oliver Jones is a national treasure” and that she’s working with Parcs Canada to “do something special for the world’s greatest Jazz pianist down around the popular Lachine Canal.”
Oliver Jones was born in the area, Little Burgundy, so he could talk to everyone about growing up in that part of the city where he grew up.
Everybody in the Barbershop said “Amen! Whatever is in the works is greatly deserved. Too bad Oscar Peterson isn’t around, he would’ve gotten the same treatment…”
A resounding “Amen!”
Just Chillin’ walked into the barbershop and said he was talking to one of the regulars of the Ways and Means Committee. He said he met a friend of Downtown Don who gave him an article from a Toronto newspaper about Caribana. The sponsors for that world-class event include CTV, Toronto Star, Porter Airlines, Government of Canada, Grace, Red Stripe, Hilton Hotel… The list is long. Which is why Caribana generates $450 million for the city of Toronto during that weeklong package of events which generates more money than the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Grand Prix combined.
Now you know why Toronto’s Caribana is successful, compared to the Montreal’s Carifiesta, which has few or no sponsors at all.
Back In the day when Muhammad Ali, “The greatest” was on top of the world, and had all his faculties, he came to Montreal to see what at the time was the best carnival in North America. Muhammad had a great time. The regulars of the Ways and Means committee will never forget his visit; the had lengthy talks with “the greatest.” The late Leroy Butcher sponsored Ali’s visit.
Everybody in the barbershop shouted “Amen!”
Just Chiilin’ put up his hand; he said one of his friends told him that he’s getting a headache with what’s going on in the U.S., and what’s also happening here, like the police arresting that blind man with a white cane just for listening to his music in a park. His friend shouldn’t get a headache; he should go see a psychiatrist. Ore better yet, stop by the barbershop [and talk things out].
Crystal was telling Clear about P.K. Subban, so Downtown Don pulled an article out of his pocket, handed it to Clear and said, “here’s an article; read it so everyone in the shop can hear. It’s from a local newspaper.”
“I’ll tell you why P.K. Subban got traded. You heard it here first. Because he got bigger than the BRAND. The Habs are the brand; you can’t get bigger than the brand.”
There was another “Amen” in the barbershop.
Dropout put up his hand and said, “I want a one minute of silence for the kids that drowned on July 13, 1954. It was in CommunityCONTACT, REMEMBERING A TRAGEDY 50 YEARS LATER: THE 12 WHO DROWNED. Get a copy of the July 7 CONTACT and read the story.”
Everybody in the barbershop agreed that that horrific tragedy should’ve never happened.
Misery came into the barbershop and said he met one of the regulars of the Ways and Means Committee on St. Catherine Street. He had a document and asked me to bring it to the barbershop and read it.
It’s called How True Is This, and goes like this.
George Carlin’s wife died in early 2008 and George followed her, dying in July 2008. It is ironic George Carlin—comedian of the 70s and 80s—could write something so very eloquent and so very appropriate. An observation by George Carlin:
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less. We buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much. We have multiple possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things. We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small characters. Steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon grows up and leaves your side.
Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind. And always remember life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.
And everybody said “Amen!”
Genius remembers what happened in 1954 when 12 kids drowned at a picnic; it could’ve have happened to Oliver Jones when he was young. He jumped into a swimming pool and was drowning. If you ever meet him ask who saved his life. Or ask George Grant Real Estate agent/Bagel king, Brossard Bagels.
He said, “Everybody be quiet. I want a minute’s silence for all the police that were killed in America the last two weeks.” Then he asked: “What’s happening? Why? Why? Why? Why did that young man walk into a church, prayed with the people then pulied a gun out of his waste, and shot and killed nine people. Why, Why, Why…
Comedian Chris Rock said this is nothing new; the difference now is that all of it is been captured on cell phone cameras. When is it going to stop?
Why do Black parents have to have a conversation –“the talk” with their children before they go school each morning?
The talk does not happen with the son of the mayor of NYC, whose wife is Black. His son is 15-years-old, with a big Afro and has round the clock security so he’s safe. No one’s killing him.
Schoolboy said, “I wonder why the police is not killing people from other ethnic groups, just Black men?”
The Summer Olympics is coming up in Rio, and Trevor Williams and Wayne Yearwood summer basketball camp is almost sold out for 2017. Don’t forget to cheer for two Olympians that came out of the basketball program: Lyzanne Murphy and Nirra Fields.
People are still talking about young sports journalist Julian Mackenzie who’s at Syracuse University, the top Sports Journalism School in North America. He’ll be there for the next 18 months. Unfortunately, when Julian is done he can’t stay in Montreal; the city will be too small for him, so he’ll end up in Toronto or some other big North American city.
We lost a jewel.
And look out for Anthony Barksdale will end up like the Williams sisters: prodigies.
Two reasons why the Royal Arthur Picnic is always big: #1, two great people came out of Royal Arthur School, the late Oscar Peterson, #2 the current world’s greatest jazz pianist, Oliver ones.