Kamloops, 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.