It only took me about 6 years and 140 Blog Posts to get around to providing a list of the characters we’ve met over the years on our travels and otherwise. This rogues gallery includes the most notorious of the folks that we have run into, or vice versa, over the years and who have appeared in my posts from time to time. So despite the brevity of the bios the pictures should at least provide an image of these folks for reference if perchance they make future appearances.
FRIENDS ALONG THE WAY (in no particular order)
BBB – Busty Barb the Believer & LLL – Lucky Lonesome Larry & GG. These kids are 2 of our best buddies along with their springer spaniel, GG – Gorgeous Gypsy. We met BBB and LLL while on our weekly hikes in the desert at Imperial Dam just north of Yuma. Not only did they follow us around on the hikes they ended up following us on summer trips to Alaska and the east coast of Canada. Larry was originally named Lonesome Larry by Hawk, however, on our trips with LL he seemed to win every time we went into a casino, so he earned an extra L for Lucky. Barb was also originally named Busty Barb by Hawk. BB earned her extra B by her unquestioned belief in almost every unbelievable story the Captain spun her way.
BB – Bouncy Bernice & FF – Fearless Frank & their phantom poodle Sophie. We have had Bernice and Frank as wonderful friends forever it seems. BB and FF are from our home town of Vernon BC and have traveled with us for parts of several trips. DD and BB are also sewing, knitting and quilting buddies when we are home in the summers. Sophie and our last dog EE – Elegant Ellie were also playmates extraordinaire. These 2 pups, one white, one black, the same size and 3 weeks apart in age played together like there was no tomorrow.
Garry and Shirla. Garry (2 Rs) and Shirla were our neighbours in Powell River from 1979 until we got kicked out of town in 1994. DD and Shirla share the same birth date of July 25th (DD one year older) and both married a Gar(r)y. We try to get back to River City every couple of years to visit with these great friends (despite the pricey ferry rides) and their kids Lenard and Megan. A note of caution. Garry has a good sense of humour just don’t mention ICBC or ferry fares and he’ll be just fine.
JJ – Jezebel Jeannine & DD – Dashing Dave. JJ and DD are another couple we first met in the desert in Arizona. Can’t really recall how we actually met these guys (probably at a Happy Hour) and it is completely mystifying how our friendship survived after their first experience with Debbie Dewdrops in the back seat driving through some sketchy desert burro trails. I for one would have thought that after listening to DD’s maniacal screeching for an hour or two they would have politely taken their leave and never returned. We are grateful they didn’t and are also grateful for their hospitality whenever we stop by their Missouri home for a visit when we pass through that way which is usually once or twice a year.
RRR – Roland the Rockin Raconteur & AA – Amorous Arlette. Another couple we met in the desert. Both RRR and AA are talented musicians and now lead the Sunday afternoon jam sessions at the Imperial Dam Pavilion. They complement each other quite well with their music but I would have to give the edge to AA for the best singing voice and RRR for the best storytelling. Despite RRR being a rabid Montreal Canadians fan, we are sure to stop in for a visit at their home just outside of Montreal whenever we are in the area.
Andre the Giant & Danielle the Dessert Maker. Andre and Danielle are another couple we met in the desert who hail from the La Belle province. Andre became the Giant when one winter he volunteered Danielle and himself to try and teach DD to speak French. It was more than a giant of a task to take on and despite his herculean efforts DD (despite her French forefathers) just couldn’t make the grade. Now Danielle is the one you want to invite to a pot luck get-together especially if you have a sweet tooth. Her dessert offerings are delectable.
Harley Hawk Hickman – HHH and Red Fox. Hawk the original alliterative one. We met Hawk and Red Fox while hiking at Imperial Dam and became good friends even though The Canadians pretty much always beat the Yankees in our international cribbage challenges. Hawk and Red Fox were/are avid motorcyclists (Harleys of course) and spent 7 plus years on the road living as gypsies all of which can be seen in Hawks Blog. Unfortunately Red Fox and Hawk have spent the last couple of winters in the east so we haven’t been in touch as much as we should. Might be they stayed in the east to avoid further embarrassing cribbage losses??
“Cyclemaniac” Steverino. To suggest that Steverino is a “free spirit” is a sizable understatement. The Captain met Steverino while hiking at Imperial Dam. Surprise, surprise. However what really brought the two together as compatriots was our love of hell bent for leather mountain biking in the wilderness areas of the local desert. It was a rare occasion if both of us would return from a ride unscathed. Our bike adventures were truly not what mature over 65 mentally stable fellows should be doing but then we only meet one of the foregoing criteria.
Patty Cakes and Wilderness Bill. Our friends Bill and Pat most recently hail from Campbell River, British Columbia and have been wintering at Imperial Dam for several years now and are regulars on the weekly hikes and our Sunday morning walks around the lake. If you want something fixed Bill can probably do it, or show you how.
The Mayor and Virginia. Jim Tague (The Mayor) and his diminutive but feisty wife Virginia were the first couple to welcome us when we first stopped at the Imperial Dam LTVA back in 2013. Of course being the self elected Mayor of Music Row he was obligated by his civic duty to perform this service. Jim and Virginia also probably hold the record for the most consecutive years of boondocking at Imperial Dam. (over 30 years I believe). They were also the main daily Happy Hours hosts up until just 2 years ago when health issues kept them back home in Missouri for the winter. Definitely missed by all the LTVA boondockers.
Buster. Another of the long term desert denizens Buster has been wintering in the LTVA for so long he probably can’t remember when he first arrived on the scene. Buster stood in as Deputy Mayor of Music Row and from his vantage point at the top of the road he was in a great position to keep an eye on everyone. Despite his efforts to portray himself as a bit of a curmudgeon everyone knows he has a heart of gold and he may even have that Neil Young classic in his songbook.
The Cooky Cooks. Rob and Leslie are our neighbours at Swan Lake RV Resort. We met them about 2 years ago and even though we have have spent quite a bit of time visiting we unfortunately don’t have any pictures as Rob refuses to have any pictures of him posted on the internet so if you want to meet them you’ll have to follow this link to their Blog. Ha Ha!!
Uncle Normie and Pauline. Normie and Pauline have been our neighbours and friends in Vernon for over 20 years. Now Normie really is an old curmudgeon not just someone who professes to be one. Despite his sometime surley behaviour he has managed to befriend most of the neighbours. Pauline on the other hand is one of sweetest most caring people you could ever meet. The old adage that opposites attract must be true.
The Coach & The Aud One. The Coach and the Aud one live in the Bath House just outside of Kingston and are always ready with a list of chores for CC whenever we drop by for a visit. These two kids are now 91 and 88 respectively and the Aud One’s friendly greeting almost always includes a “Gary if you have time could you please look at my computer it’s _________________ (fill in the blank.) I’m sure these requests are just to make me feel useful but hey whatever works.
MODD – Mother of Debbie Dewdrops. DDs mother beats out the Coach for elder states person of the family clocking in at a cool 92 years of age. Still incredibly mobile and with all her facilities she is a marvel for her age. The only negative would be her refusal to get a hearing aide, so her TV is easily heard by folks passing by in the street. She also loves to get out to the Casino whenever the opportunity arises and she is also pretty lucky at the slots.