A to Z April Challenge

During the month of April I will be doing a different spin on my memoir posts. It starts with a song. Each song will be followed by a brief essay that is evoked or inspired by that song. You might want to click on the YouTube link to hear the song as you read the piece I've written. Or you can listen to the song lyrics first and then read. Whichever way you choose, I mostly hope you'll read and leave a comment with your thoughts about my post. Thank you for visiting and please follow the blog if you are not doing so already.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kamloops, British Columbia

Kamloops, BCKamloops, BC (Photo credit: RobertCiavarro)

         When the tour coordinator for the World of Fantasy Players informed me that one of our promoters was in jail in Kamloops, British Columbia I was a bit taken aback, but not overly surprised either.  As manager of the road company it seemed like there was always something new for me to deal with.  Getting Jim Fletcher out of the slammer was just another adventure of life on the road.

         Jim Fletcher was a nice enough guy, but I could tell he'd been around a bit and didn't always play according to the rules.   After all he was a promoter and was expected to bend the truth sometimes and even circumvent appropriate legal channels.  His biggest mistake was going to work in Canada without the proper papers.  I always obtained the paperwork for the tour members--a bit of a hassle, but not that big of a deal.

          I don't know if Jim had something to hide, like an arrest record--it wouldn't have surprised me--but it could have been that he just didn't want to deal with the time involved in getting the work papers or maybe the authorities wouldn't have passed him because the job should have been done by a Canadian promoter.  Whatever the case was, Jim was now behind bars and since I was the closest one there it was up to me to help get him out.

        We had an extra day or two that we weren't working so we headed up to Kamloops, where our next show would be anyway.  I didn't expect how much the terrain would look like the Western United States. With the cactus on the hillsides it looked like we could have been in Arizona.  There were other things that gave the area a decidedly Western aura, including rodeos.

          After arriving in town I went down to the hoosegow--a Western term for jail--to visit with poor ol' Jim.  He looked kind of dejected sitting in his cell with his jail garb, but it probably wasn't so much being there as it was not being able to have access to alcohol.   Like many a promoter, Jim liked his booze.

          I had the money that was necessary to spring him and soon he was a free man.  But he still had to go to face the music in court.  I don't recall much of the process, but it all went pretty quickly.  Soon we were before a magistrate bedecked in red robes and a white wig like you'd see in the movies.  I guess that's the way it is in Canada and the theatricality of the whole thing caught me off guard.

           In the end, the court took most of the money Jim had made while there in Kamloops  and the judge sternly told him to skedaddle his way out of town and get out of the country.  I don't think Jim ever went back to try to work in Canada again, but that was fine.  Jim was one heck of a good promoter and always had plenty of work in the states.

          We went on to perform our show in Kamloops.  As was usually the case, the Canadian audience loved our show.  But that was the last time we performed in Kamloops.

         
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13 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A wonderful write Lee and so interesting and educational to read.

Yvonne.

Sally said...

It's so great to be able to share your memories and the places you've been. Thank you.

Peaches Ledwidge said...

Good story about the place and you made it funny too.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Never heard of Kamloops, but I don't think I'd go back either. After this post, I think I can live without a trip to Kamloops.

ScribblesFromJenn
Happy A to Z-ing!

ediFanoB said...

Did you ever think about to write your memoirs.
Every new post reveals something new. Amazing!

Arlee Bird said...

Yvonne -- Thanks for visiting all of my blog posts!

Sally -- I'm glad you stopped by to share my memories with me.

Peaches -- I try to see some humor in most situations.

Jenn -- Kamloops is not all that bad if you aren't breaking the law.

Edi -- The more I write these memories, the more I think about writing a memoir. That's one of the reasons I started this blog.

Lee

D.G. Hudson said...

Vancouver BC is my neighborhood, Lee. I prefer the coast.

Kamloops is at the northern tip of the Great Sonoran Desert, it IS like the southwestern US; we had cowboys up here. Rodeos, too.

Unfortunate for your promoter, but one should always be cautious when in an unknown place, especially if it's a small town.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

That was an interesting story. Really. He sounds like a character, and it certainly added drama to your performing days. I might have had a hard time not giggling at the courtroom garb.

Play off the Page

Linda Hoye said...

Loved this post! I lived in Kamloops for thirty years before moving to the Pacific Northwest where we live now!

Pauline said...

What a great story about a real character. There don't seem to be many like that around these days, do there? Seems to me your memoirs would make a terrific read.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee - you've some experiences with this troupe of yours .. fascinating .. my mother and I went through Kamloops on our way over to VI to see her cousin .. loved Canada.

Cheers Hilary

alisonamazed said...

One good thing about Canada is they do protect as many jobs as they can for Canadians - though the U.S. film industry has always walked all over Cndn talent leaving little opportunity for Cndns to get leading roles, or even supporting roles in film - though the technical people have always been able to get good gig, actors have traditionally been stuck with non-speaking background (extra) and bit parts.

Arlee Bird said...

DG -- Vancouver will be the subject of my V post. When one is breaking the law, they should especially be careful.

Mary -- Jim was indeed a colorful character, but I also found him surprisingly reserved--that's why I always thought he had things to hide.

Linda -- I'd love to know your stories about Kamloops.

Pauline -- Some of those old-timers were an interesting breed--conforming to society while living on the edge.

Hilary - I like Canada a lot.

Alison -- Countries should protect the jobs for their citizens. It only makes sense.

Lee