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Today is Don Ho’s Birthday! (August 13) I know this because every year for as long as I can remember, I received a text, phone call or facebook message (sometimes all of the afore mentioned) that went like this. …

“Today is Don Ho’s birthday, my Cutes. Have I ever told my Cutes my Don Ho story?”

That message won’t come this year and it breaks my heart. We lost my “Cutes”, Harry Warner Reid, December 5, 2018.  Harry would often tell me he was still waiting for his miracle and my response was always the same…”You are the miracle.”

Harry Warner Reid • Photo Credit Judy Breadner

It’s hard to say when Harry became “Cutes”. I can’t say I remember either one of us calling each other anything else. Applying the perfect nickname to anyone he came in contact with was one of his special talents. If Harry was your friend, you had a nickname, and you were a friend for life.

Cutes & I • Out front of the Chimney Restaurant in the early ’70s

Harry’s best friend is “Wheelz” who in later years became “The Doctor”.  They had the kind of friendship that made them inseparable even when it was physically impossible to be together.  In December of 1973 they headed off on an adventure of a lifetime and spent nearly three months backpacking on a shoestring through Europe, Morocco and the Canary Islands. Actually, it was more than one adventure. It was many, many adventures and I received documentation of the craziness in the form of a postcard from every stop. But, those stories are best left to Wheelz to recount.

When they returned they went about their “normal” lives, with Harry eventually landing a high paying job at the Ford Glass Plant. He had a car, a motorcycle, a girlfriend and multitudes of friends. Life was good. And then, suddenly, not so much.  I don’t know if you can still do this, but in the ’70s, you could rent the ice dirt cheap at a local arena for use in the middle of the night. Friends would get together and play hockey. In July, 1975, Harry & company did just that. They played hockey with skates, a sponge puck and a stick. There was no other equipment, including helmets. Somehow, Harry was hit and received an unremarkable little bump on the side of his head. He left the arena and drove to his girlfriend’s. Early the next day he was rushed from our local hospital to a bigger city hospital in Hamilton. When Wheelz called me to come (I was away at college) nothing could have prepared me for the trauma I witnessed. To Harry, Wheelz and Harry’s parents. Things got worse before they got better and often it was one step forward and two steps back. Harry fought hard along with everyone who loved him. He survived, regaining all his faculties but not all of his physical abilities. There were some very dark times, but eventually, our Harry, with his big smile, breathless laugh and keen sense of humour returned to us.

I spent many hours at Harry’s home and became very attached to his dad, Earl, his mom, Lorna and his brother Stan. I’m pretty sure I spent more time there than at my own home. They were family. My memory fails me as to exactly when Harry’s Love, Linda joined him. That’s probably because it’s hard to picture her ever not there. She is the love of his life. He called her his “Serendipitous Angel”. I called her a Saint, oh, and also, Mrs. Cutes. My faith in miracles was restored when these two found each other. Linda’s energy seemed endless and because of her, Harry didn’t miss out on much. Even after his MS reared its ugly head, they lived their lives to the utmost.

Mr. & Mrs. Cutes

Harry kept a journal and made note of absolutely everything. He would often contact me and tell me things like, “Today is the day, when three years ago My Cutes brought me a Hard Rock guitar pin from Maui”, or “My Cutes visited me on this day five years ago”. I don’t know how he kept track of it all or how he remembered the things he did. There were times he would entertain me endlessly with wee stories in what seemed to be his own language. A few years ago He-Who and I drove to Florida. OK, I drove, He-Who passengered. Harry started texting me and because I was driving, He-Who had to read them out loud and respond for me. Up to that point He-Who had not been privy to what I like to call “Cutes Speak”. Harry had us laughing, tears rolling down our faces through several states. He was relentless with his tongue-in-cheek humour and often pranked me when I least expected it.

Many years ago I bought the first car that actually had my name on the ownership. It was a maroon Monte Carlo. I loved that big beast. It wasn’t new…just new to me. One day as I was making a left hand turn from St. Paul St. on to Pelham Rd. in St. Catharines, Monty just stopped in the middle of the intersection. The person I called for help was my Cutes. Somehow, he managed to organize a rescue mission with Stan leading the team. I say “somehow”, because this was long before cell phones. All I know is a tow truck took my car to the Reid’s house where it sat in the driveway, while I sat at their kitchen table. That’s where I was when Stan came in and asked me when was the last time I changed the oil.

“What do you mean? Changed the oil? When the oil light comes on I put in more oil.”

Stan’s eyes did that bulgy thing and I could see my Cutes trying really hard not to laugh.

“No. I mean when was the last time you changed it?”

“What do you mean change? I told you every time the oil light came on I put oil in it.”

Apparently, “changing” the oil was a different thing from “adding” oil. My engine had seized. Monty was in a bad way.

Every day after work I would go to the Reid’s and Monty would be there with Stan trying to bring him back to life and my Cutes was in his wheel chair with his head under the hood. I would ask for a progress report and then go inside to commiserate with Lorna.

Finally the day came when Monty and I were reunited. Stan handed me the keys and made me promise to change the oil on a regular basis. Cutes had a grin a mile wide on his face as I pulled out of the driveway. Days later I stopped at a gas station on Lundy’s Lane and asked the attendant to fill the gas tank and to please check my oil. He did. When he closed the hood and walked towards me wiping the grease off his hands he had the goofiest grin on his face. I recognized that grin. I had to dig back, but that was the postman’s grin when he delivered postcards from Harry to me addressed in big bold letters to “Cutes”. When I got home I parked Monty and went around front and lifted the hood. There, in big bold letters, hand painted on the air filter cover, was the word “Cutes”. I can still hear Harry laughing.

Harry loved Rock & Roll, bands and guitars. The band he kind-of-sort-of organized was called None The Whyzer and he was always teasing me that He-Who was to join them on his banjo. Last year Harry was absolutely thrilled to be able to participate in Day of 1,000 Musicians in Niagara.

Harry at Day of 1,000 Musicians in Niagara Falls 2018 • Photo Credit Tim Shafley

This year his band, family and friends sported a specially designed designed T-Shirt in honour of Harry.

 

Day of 1,000 Musicians 2019 • Photo Credit Dave Wheeler

Designed by Zach Bury

Through The Harry Warner Reid Memorial Music Fund, Harry has been able to continue to share his love for music by donating cash &/or instruments to the Niagara Elementary Instrumental Music Program, DSBN Academy, Beamsville Secondary School, Eden High School, Thorold High School, Greater Fort Erie Secondary School, A.N. Myer Secondary School and Eastdale Secondary School.

Harry had the ability to make people feel like they were the most valued person alive. He made me feel that way every time I had contact with him. Being a part of Harry’s life was a gift. A gift, I for one will cherish forever. As I always said to him whenever we said good-bye, “I love you, my Cutes”.

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He-Who is constantly telling me I have my head in the clouds. Sometimes this makes me contemplate divorce. Other times it doesn’t bother me at all. Then there are those times when, well, I just have to agree.

One of He-Who’s other favourite people also had his head in the clouds. Pops (that would be his Dad). He-Who once wrote,

His most important source of information, however, is ethereal.  He sees numbers in the clouds, numbers in his dreams, and numbers in coffee stains.  He lives to see numbers and then reroutes them onto tickets at the track.

I don’t see numbers but, I am always fascinated by clouds and often get lost in them. Recently, we were at our favourite restaurant, Burger Barn, located in Ohsweken, Ontario. Ohsweken, is a village on the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation Indian reserve near Brantford. We frequent the place about once a week. He-Who was behind the wheel. We were quite content as we headed away from the remains of our lunch. My head was against the passenger side and I looked up into the sky…

“WOW!” Oh My God! WOW! WOW! WOW!”

He-Who was alarmed but kept his cool. Apparently, I quite often over react to some visual distraction…like a red light or a stop sign that he considers to be just a suggestion.

“Look at the clouds! Look at the clouds!”

“What clouds?”

“What do you mean, what clouds?”

“All I’ve got is blue skies above me.”

I implored him to pull over and I leaned across him and looked up. This is what he saw.

I was shocked and amazed and quickly returned to my view. All I had with me was the camera on my phone and I could only hope I that I would capture the breathtaking vision in above me.

He-Who was reluctant to actually get out of the car to witness what I was making such a fuss over. Who could blame him? His view was pretty, shall we say, blue. I have never seen anything like it. No one I showed them to (pretty much anyone I even came into remote contact with since) had ever seen such a thing. You tell me what you think.

I can tell you this. He-Who wishes he had looked from both sides now.

*We continue to follow Heirloom Portraits Photographer Katelyn Krueger in Northern Canada through her pictures and thoughts.*

Hall Beach, Nunavut

Fear not! I have not abandoned Kate in the Great White North. I know it may seem like I have, but we are always connected one way or another.

Kate’s next stop was Hall Beach,  Nunavut, an Inuit settlement with the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. It is called ‘Sanirajak’ in Inuktitut and it is the oldest known permanently inhabited community existing north of the Arctic Circle.

Hall Beach is home to some of the most beautiful and photographed sunsets and icescapes.

 


Mother Nature is not the only artist in Hall Beach. There are a lot of creative residents and they show us how talented they are by decorating The Youth Center with their artwork.

Inside the school you will find the hallways painted with some magnificent murals.

Beauty to be found inside and out.

*We continue to follow Heirloom Portraits Photographer Katelyn Krueger in Northern Canada through her pictures and thoughts.*

Kate redefines the “Big Chill”

Our Kate seems to have garnered a bit of attention with her journey. Just before Christmas a reporter from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) contacted us and wanted to know more. In our eyes Kate has always been a “Star” but now a few more people can appreciate her.

The first installment read like this – Travelling Photographer ‘brought to tears’ watching northern kids grow up and had a lot of fun pictures in it.

This version actually is a little video of what Heirloom Portraits does and has Kate’s voice telling the story – One travelling school photographer describes watching northern kids grow up

When all is said and done, Kate is still on the road (or ice highway, if you like) and has a few photos for us from Pond Inlet, Nunavut.

Pond Inlet is a small, predominantly Inuit community in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada, located in northern Baffin Island. Pond Inlet was named in 1818 by explorer John Ross for John Pond, an English astronomer. Wikipedia. As of the 2016 census, the population was 1,617, an increase of 4.4% from 2011. – Wikipedia

 

Welcome to Pond Inlet, NU

Was lucky to see this as the next day it snowed to never be seen again this year by me.

A harvested Narwhal

… another cruise ship

It’s easy to see why there are cruise ships around when you can see icebergs and spectacular sunsets like these.

I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to Kate’s next stop. See you there.

*We continue to follow Heirloom Portraits Photographer Katelyn Krueger in Northern Canada through her pictures and thoughts.*

Now, where were we? Ah yes, Clyde River, Nunavut.

Clyde River is an Inuit hamlet located on the shore of Baffin Island’s Patricia Bay, off Clyde Inlet, an arm of Davis Strait in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut Canada. It lies in the Baffin Mountains which in turn form part of the Arctic Cordillera mountain range. – Wikipedia

Clyde River in the Inuktituk language is Kanngiqtugaapik (Nice Little Inlet). It is also known as the “Gateway to the Fiords”. Here is Kate’s Clyde River…

Town in the background — at Clyde River, Nunavut.

In love with the view here.

Still in love with the view

This very small town provided Kate with some of her most memorable moments. There was extremely diversified subject matter, including

boats of many colours.

Magnificent giant bones.

Bowhead Whale Bone

Ribs of the Bowhead Whale

Part one of Bowhead Whale (head)

Part two of Bowhead Whale (body/ribs)  *(this part attaches to the head with those two black spots of part one photo)

Part three of Bowhead Whale (tail) — at Clyde River, Nunavut.

The next discovery was a first for Kate.

Polar Bear tracks (not so recent ones)

More Polar Bear tracks (more recent)….

Then we found him & followed him! NANUQ!!!! (my first)

NANUQ!!!! (my first)

NANUQ!!!! (my first)
*jumping over the waves*

There were a few other white furry surprises for Kate.

Pupppppppppies! Will be sled dogs next year.

I wanted to take this one home. Just too cute.

There were icebergs a plenty.

So many Icebergs in the distance – This is what the tundra looks like for anyone curious.

Lots of Icebergs

And the inevitable…

Of course there is an Inukshuk and I have a photo with it. What’s not to expect?

Town in the background

I think it is safe to say that this is one visit to Clyde River that Kate won’t soon forget.

Community of Clyde River from the hill across the pond.

*We continue to follow Heirloom Portraits Photographer Katelyn Krueger in Northern Canada through her pictures and thoughts.*

We have all been somewhere that we feel a connection with. A place you might even feel instantly at home, like you belong there.  Somewhere you will go back to  over and over again. Of course, the people who live there contribute a lot to that sense.  Personally I have found a couple of places like that. One is Las Vegas and the other is Glenlea, Manitoba (I know, opposite ends of the spectrum).  Rankin Inlet is that place for Kate. As soon as she lands I receive a message from her, “I am in my happy place.” (It’s on my bucket list)

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Rankin Inlet

“Rankin Inlet is an Inuit hamlet on Kudlulik Peninsula in Nunavut, Canada. Located on the northwestern Hudson Bay, between Chesterfield Inlet and Arviat, it’s the regional centre for the Kivalliq Region. In the 1995 Nunavut capital plebiscite, Iqaluit defeated Rankin Inlet to become territorial capital of Nunavut.” Wikipedia

Kate’s first comment on her first image pretty much sums it up.

Welcome Home! — in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

The Big Dipper!!! NICE

Don’t think this turned out too bad using my cell phone. — in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

Love its reflection. — in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

The annual photo with my favourite Inukshuk.

You can tell the star of the show was the “Northern Lights” this trip with Kate’s favourite Inukshuk playing a very strong supporting roll.

Part of my job working for Heirloom Portraits is to scout for new photographers. Working as a photographer for Heirloom is one of the coolest jobs on the planet. Literally. It envelops all meanings for cool.

The ad for the job reads like this…

“Are you looking for adventure? Do you live to photograph? Our Photographers visit towns and experience travel that the average Canadian will never get to enjoy. Every day is a new and interesting experience.”

Job Title: Travelling Mobile Family and School Photographer
Location: Northern Canada including Ontario, Manitoba, Nunavut, North West Territories, Labrador, etc.”

It’s not an easy job. Photography skills are involved (although plenty applied that had none). It involves a lot of travel to remote areas in Canada. You are away from home for long periods of time (no you cannot make it home for visitations on the weekend). Your accommodations will not be 5 star hotels (because they do not exist in these remote areas). It is usually cold. You will probably be snowed in at one point or another. It is the kind of job that you either love and never want to give up or you find out pretty quickly that it’s not for you.

Heirloom is an amazing company to work for and the people who work there are a remarkable team. Our photographers know that although they may be out there on their own, the team is just a phone call/text/message away. It’s really kind of tricky to explain to you what our photographers experience. I listen to the stories and look at the photos and I am alway in awe (and a whole lot jealous). As our 2018-2019 season has just begun, I thought it would be interesting to see Northern Canada through the eyes of one of our photographers.

Say “Hello” To Photographer Kate

Kate is now in her 5th year with Heirloom. In my opinion she was born for this job. So, I asked her a few questions…

Me: When we first hired you, what was it that made you think you would like to do this job?

“I have always loved going to new places or even returning to the same places. Travelling in general is exciting to me. Photography was something I have always loved. So to find a job where I am travelling and doing photography, it’s a dream come true.”

Me: What is it about the job that makes you want to keep doing it?

“I still love travelling and I still love photography. The connections I make with the people in each community keep me wanting to come back. I have seen children grow from babies and are now in Kindergarten. I have become “Aunty” to some of them in a few different communities. Why would I want to give that up?”

My plan is to share Kate’s season with you through her pictures and her thoughts. Her first stop was Baker Lake, Nunavut.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Baker Lake, Nunavut 

This is where Baker Lake, Nunavut is in Canada. GoogleMaps

According to Wikipedia, Baker Lake is a hamlet in the Kivalliq Region, in Nunavut on mainland Canada. Located 320 km inland from Hudson Bay, it is near the nation’s geographical centre, and is notable for being the Canadian Arctic’s sole inland community. The hamlet is located at the mouth of the Thelon River on the shores of Baker Lake.

Here is Kate’s Baker Lake…

Welcome to Baker Lake, NU — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

The Airport In Baker Lake, Nunavut

The town

Made friends with a Siksik — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

He liked getting his picture taken… — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

It’s hard being a model so he needed some food. — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

 

In Baker Lake, Nunavut.

This is one way to transport myself and gear to a new school – in a grocery truck! A great way to start a morning, with bananas — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

Apparently I’m funny. The kids all wanted me to have a picture so this is what we got!  🙂  — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

 

Sandhill Cranes

In Baker Lake, Nunavut.

I have been visiting Baker Lake now for four years and this is the first time I made it to the Inukshuk. Every year I’d say I will get there. I finally did it!  — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

I hope you will enjoy seeing more of Northern Canada through Kate’s eyes in future posts.

Tom Lucas

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