Heroes in our midst

It is Saturday and time to celebrate those special people who are heroes in our midst.

It was 1pm when I left Calgary for Saskatoon yesterday afternoon, later than anticipated but still ample time to make it to Saskatoon so that C.C. and I could go experience Rory Block put on by the Saskatoon Jazz Society at their fabulous venue, The Basement. Because a Rory Block concert is an experience worth having! I hadn’t heard of Rory Block before — and I love the Blues! She was magnificent. And the venue was perfect. Small. Intimate. Close. She chatted with the audience, interspersing the Blues with stories of her life and stories of her heroes like Robert Johnson, Son House and Mississippi John Hurt. Her road to Saskatoon began like mine, except, her’s included a tour bus that broke down and is now on its way to Seattle with all the rest of her equipment and merchandise and only one of her team. Didn’t matter. She didn’t let it get her down. She was magnificent and the evening was pure bliss.

Rory Block and the Saskatoon Jazz Society are heroes.

As C.C. and I sat waiting for the show to begin, we chatted with a woman at the next table (The Basement is set up cabaret style — very cool). Linda has spent her life struggling to make ends meet as a musician. She’s always managed to do it, but, as she told us, if it wasn’t for her adult daughter moving back home to help her out for the past year, she would be starving. Linda told us about the operation to remove a cancerous tumour from her body that put her out of business sometime, a year and a half ago. And then she shared, how while she was in hospital recuperating, friends got together and held a benefit concert on her behalf. “People I don’t even know, who’ve only heard me play, maybe, came and supported me,” she said. And she shook her head and added, “I still can’t believe how many people came and helped. It’s amazing.” That’s when it struck me. Gratitude lies at the heart of making a difference. It is the driving force in a heroes heart.

Linda of the no strings bass guitar playing, you have a hero’s heart.

During intermission, Linda got up to speak to friends and C.C. went to the bar to buy me a glass of wine. When he returned, he had a drink for Linda too. He put it on her table, sat down and never said a word. “That was nice,” I commented. He shrugged and smiled sheepishly. “It’s what her girlfriend bought her earlier. I figured she wouldn’t be able to buy another so, I did.” The lights were dim for the second half of the show when Linda sat down again. She didn’t know where the drink came from, but she was appreciative. And C.C. never said a word.

C.C. is a hero.

Before I was planning on leaving Calgary in the morning, I had tentatively set lunch up with one of the most caring, enthusiastic and energetic people I know working in the homeless sector. Mark Powers was the Manager of Volunteer Services, reporting to me when I worked at the Calgary Drop-In (DI). His ability to continually seek out opportunities to make a difference, to create space for Calgarians to come in and lend a hand and learn about homelessness was inspiring. Now, as Manager of Fund Development, he continues to fight fearlessly and tirelessly on behalf of the people the DI serves. He continues to make it possible for Calgarians to make a difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness.

Mark Powers is a hero. 

There are heroes everywhere. Have you celebrated a hero in your life today?

And…. just because this is technology and just because I can, here’s Rory Block and her rendition of Robert Johnson’s iconic, Crossroads.


————————————-  And today’s Peace Poem:  War No More

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