Richard Pepper's Trip to Calgary
Andy James' 60th Birthday
March 16 - 21/2006

Richard Pepper's Music
(Mp3s solo and with The Transparencies)

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This trip was at the invitation of Andy's family who planned this for him as a (successful) surprise.

Below follows a brief account of my trip, including a few links to some pictures.
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Complete set of photos of this trip are found at my Flickr page.

Pix from Andy James's time at Dorion Bible Camp (1971-91)

Thursday, Mar. 16:
Noonish: Flew out of Thunder Bay on Westjet Flight WS493. Andy's friends from Dorion, John and Barb Harris, were on the same flight for the same purpose.

Afternoon: Arrived in Calgary c. 1445h their time. Met by Sara, Ethan and Sierra.
Sierra petted a chihuahua while we waited for Andy's sister, Erica, from England.
Hung out at with Amanda, Bradley, Ocean, Amy and Journey at Andy & Char's (where Amanda's family lives, too).
Then to Sara and John's (out in the country near Chestermere High School). Coloured with Sierra.

Evening: Supper with Sara, Sierra, Ethan plus Laura Rutherford ("the 8th James kid").
Sara drove me to Chestermere Christian Fellowship, where she had a meeting.
I visited next door with Paul & Dale Jansen, the Harrises and Ben who can just about walk.
Sara's John arrived and drove me to Safeway and then to their place.
Sierra graciously allowed me to take over her very nice room.

Friday, Mar. 17 (The Big Day):
Morning: Woke up c. 5 and got up at 7 (which felt like 9) and had breakfast alone and worked on parodies of Bob Dylan songs for Andy's party.
Laura drove me to Paul and Dale's again to practise songs with them.
Frost on the trees       The weather for most of the time
Lunch at Jansens'.

Afternoon: Amy's Garron drove me to airport for Mark and Mae and then out to Kananaskis Delta Lodge for the surprise.

Andy was in the hot tub as various surprise guests arrived. Half of the tub is inside and the other half is outside. Andy was outside and saw me through the glass darkly as I approached in my swimsuit. Once I got outside, we had a barechested hug.

Andy was the most overwhelmed when Stanley and Shirley Birke came outside to greet him. They were missionaries for three months in 1966 at North Spirit Lake, where a young, English non-Christian (Andy) ran the local store and beseiged them with questions and mockery about their faith. Andy hasn't left all questions (or mockery) behind, but he did come to share their faith in Christ.

I also tried the Steam Room. After that I returned to my room. Jon James wrote his Dylan parody for his Dad and then we practised with the Jansens.

Evening: Buffet Dinner for Andy. Various people shared their memories of Andy. I sang the Dylan Parodies with the Jansens and Jon. Then (at the Jameses' request) I sang "Time Tears Us Apart".
Jordans       Sierra       James Gang trying to behave       James Gang briefly behaving

After supper it was time for another hot tub party, this time with Paul, Dale, Mark, Mae, Jon and Ming Hon (Andy's Camp Chestermere Program Director). (Ming at Kananaskis in 1992)
Bed (Room 3089) c. midnight. I vaguely recall Jon James arriving much later.

Saturday, Mar. 18:
Morning/Afternoon: Up c. 0800h. Brunch in the main dining room. Sat with Jon and with Sandy and Martin Thomas.
Hiked alone around the Village Rim Trail.       Lookout       1992 Version       Oooo!       Aaaah!
Laura drove me (following Andy's van) back to Sara and John's. There I was alone for a while and so I read in bed.
Next I coloured with Sierra and a little bit with her cousin, Journey.

Afternoon/Evening: Andy's drop-in party at Sara and John's for Chestermere people.
Andy's cane
With Martin Thomas, Stan Birke, & Rod Muir

This was followed by a jam session with Paul, John and Ming. Bed c. midnight.

Sunday, Mar. 19:
Morning: Up 0730h. Breakfast alone. Visited the horses.      Sierra & balloon
John and Sara drove me to Chestermere Christian Fellowship.      Some enjoy church; others don't..

Andy didn't give his intended sermon that morning. Instead he read a letter from his son David in Russia and allowed Stan Birke to speak on John 15. He also requested that I sing "Time Tears Us Apart" again.      Photo Op with Andy & Char

During coffee time, I talked with Mae James about my Feb. 2000 trip to Israel.

Lunch/Afternoon: At Andy and Char's with many people in attendance. Photo session.

Hung out in Andy and Char's hot tub along with Mark, Jon, Pete, Pete's fiancee Kate, Matt Jansen, Sierra, Amy and Journey. After the ladies left, we guys discussed various invasive medical procedures. We also experimented with hot-tubbing with the lid down.

Supper/Evening: Grilled cheese with various including Andy, Char, Erica, Scott, Martha, Stan and Shirley. Chat. I went to bed c. 2130h (which still felt like 2330h). I was given the privilege of staying in Bradley's LOTR/Harry Potter/Castle room.

Monday, Mar. 20:
Morning: Up c. 0700h. Amanda was heading off to school with her boys. I had breakfast. Later I watched Ocean play a Dragon game with Shirley, in which the long-necked dragon knocks jewels off the heads of the playing pieces. That's pretty much it.

I tried to sit in the hot tub alone, but it took too long for it to cool down and, besides, it's not as much fun alone. Most others had gone out or were in their rooms.

Afternoon: Around 1500h Malcolm, Suzanne and Madalyn McMillan picked me up and took me to his cousin Steve's place for supper along with Rebecca, Aiden, Sidney and Mareesa. Before supper Malcolm, Steve and I jammed on simple praise songs, including my own Cutting Edge Praise Song (Woot!). (Right click the link and choose "Save Link [or Target] As" to download mp3 version.)
For most of the songs I pretended to play the bass (easy "because I am a guitarist"). I think it was Sidney who said she liked my "guitar" best (it had stickers).       Mareesa Janell

Evening: Hot tub at Jameses' again, this time with Jon, Pete, Andy and Mark. I'd never smoked before, but I joined Jon and Pete in smoking thin cigars (Colts?). For the record, Mark who is applying in Nebraska for health insurance did NOT smoke.

Pete asked me to recount my history at Dorion Bible Camp. Andy and I discussed Camp Dorion numbers since '99. (He had been asked and wanted my opinion.) As well, he said he'd been reading through a book I'd given him of Camp Dorion skits and songs. "It was a fun place to be." he said. I agreed.

Following a brief chat downstairs (Andy and Char's suite), I retired to my castle room at c. midnight.

Tuesday, Mar. 21:
Up 0700h. Andy drove me to the airport and bought me breakfast there. I boarded Westjet Flight WS732 at 0920 and arrived home c. 1515h local time, greeted by Mum.

Complete set of photos of this trip are found at my Flickr page.

Pix from Andy James's time at Dorion Bible Camp (1971-91)

Pictures from my Trip to Kananaskis in 1992 for a Christian Camping Int'l Conference:
RP at the lookout
Andy & Char
Ming the Magnificent

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Last Update: Mar. 10, 2008

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