September 17, 2002
Well, just when we thought our travel couldn't get any more difficult, the worst happened. When we left Goose Bay at dawn on the 16th, we stopped in St. John's, then in Toronto before landing in Thunder Bay, an hour outside of Nipigon. Out of our 29 pieces of gear, only 2 pieces made it - so off we went to Walmart for toothbrushes, pajamas and clothes. Rick spent the entire day at the airport today watching for our stuff and trying to get it forwarded to our next destination (told you there was a story). But the best part of this was the Nipigon community who rallied round and found us guitars, drums, amps, mics, and yes, even a banjo. Unless you were privy to the inside scoop, no one was the wiser when we took the stage that evening.
So, while Rick hung out with the air Canada baggage handlers, the rest of drove to Nipigon for a workshop at the Nip Red Rock high school. This workshop was a little different than the previous ones as students had to sign up to participate. This made the group dynamics very energetic and the results were immeasurable. Once again these 60 youth were very candid with their answers to suicide issues and a few of them spoke with Dave privately at the concert. Dave specifically drove home the issue that even if we lose a friend by 'telling' someone in authority that their friend is feeling suicidal, then at least we don't lose that friend. Many a relationship has failed after someone who is feeling suicidal feels betrayed by a pal who was asked to hold onto the secret. Secrets kill and secrets erode relationships. Dave and Tom have special memories from this workshop.
One of the volunteers, Nancy, drove Dave back to Thunder Bay to collect merchandise and the odd suitcase of clothes that made it in time for the evening's event. Nothing like a clean shirt to wear onstage! Another exuberant audience filled the high school gym - about 400 - and they all stuck around after for autographs and photos. We got a great picture of Tom and Susan with ACL Geraldton residents who drove a long way to come to the event.
Bravo to local coordinator Susan Martin and her cracker-jack team of volunteers.
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