One very good indication of one’s character is the friends that someone has.
Those people have been my friends for many years.
We do not visit much, but I consider them very highly.
Here is my friend Don Gow. He is now a retired teacher and we have been friends for several years. Don is a devoted Mormon and his faith is central to his life. I admire Don as I see in him the qualities of a caring person. He was able to remain at the side of his younger son, through a severe form of cancer who took David away from us. Don has also many other qualities that I admire, which would be too many to list.
This is my friend Ibrahim Karidio. He is an engineer in environmental and renewable energies. I have known Ibrahim since I arrived in BC. He is a devoted Muslim and a great family man. He is originally from Niger, but has been in Canada for the major part of his life. I admire Ibrahim as he is extremely good at problem-solving and has a level of diplomacy that I have never encountered in anyone else.
This is Mike Mager. In this picture, he is with his wife. He is a software engineer for high-end integrated programs in Sacramento, California. He is a great family man and quite involved in providing for local charities. He experienced poverty as a child. He went from being so poor, that he never knew where his next meal would come from, to a wealthy and successful man. He began to support himself in his mid-teens by fixing and cracking early computer software encoding. He is extremely analytical and we enjoy lengthy discussions where we debate ideas and observations.
This is Henry Gunter. He is a local businessman; owner and operator of a small sawmill. He is a devoted Mennonite and a caring father. His faith is extremely important to him as he embraces its traditional values. Strange to say, that he reminds me of my grand father. Just like Henry, my grand father was the owner of a sawmill and he welcomed adopted children into his home. It is shocking to conclude that even with a 50 years time gap, those two individuals could have such similarities. Very respected within his realm of influence, Henry is a caring and honest person and a good friend of mine.
This is Cody Mecham. He was a student of mine for several years, some time ago. He is now 28 years old. I got to know him well, while he was in high school. What I remember best of him was a comment he made when he was 15 years old; “Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% of what you make of it”. I think that he followed that into adulthood. He is now married, and he is a respected member of our community.
Here is a nice picture of Robin and her husband Gary. I got to know them through my involvement in conservative politics. They are really nice people. Robin likes to be involved in all sorts of projects. Being the mother of a special child, she wants a world where people are accepted beyond their differences. I recognize her abilities and her talents in making harmony out chaos. Above all, a great person, in a great family and a very positive member of our community.
This is Michel Dionne. He is a lawyer but has chosen to focus his career in a different light for the time being. I have appreciated his legal advice, as he is pretty accurate in many aspects of the legal system. I have made sure to keep on his good side, as it is always good to have some lawyer friends whose advice is only a phone call away.
This is a Margaret and Walter. They are Mennonites, but they do not identify themselves that way. They take a great sense of pride in behaving in a lifestyle of honesty and caring about others. In other words, they live their faith. They have been retired for some time now, but they do not live as such. I admire them, as they are always in some form of small business venture; from selling puppies, eggs, and wood burning furnaces, to running a bed and breakfast and a paintball shooting range at their property. For all that, I got attached to them and consider them like family.
This is Marie-Jo Riel, a distant relative of the famous Louis Riel. I have known Marie-Jo for over thirty years now. I got attached to her somehow, and we have kept phone contact. I visit with her from time to time. She has had a personal battle with breast cancer, but she is a survivor and has pulled herself through. She lives her spiritual connection through Catholicism and she is very proud of her French heritage. She is in her seventies now, and she was never married, and never had children. This must be why she somehow sees me, as the son she never had.
This is Todd Blattner. He is a counselor by profession, yet he always seeks deeper meanings in his personal life. He gravitates around a world of emotions, feelings and perceptions. His favorite quote is “Carpe Diem”, yet I am not sure if he really “seizes the day” or if he is constantly trying to find other deeper meanings for life itself. In all, Todd is a highly emotionally connected person; honest and candid, and most of all; someone I trust and I consider as one of my friends.
This is Clifford Ribbonleg, he was a respected elder in Fox Lake; a Native community in Northern Alberta. We spent many hours discussing possible business ventures in his community, traditional medicine and his younger years. He was a great story teller. His favorite one was about riding a dogsled, where his suspenders were letting go. He needed to hang onto the handles, as the trail was rough and he was in a rush. He ended up losing his pants in a sharp curve. It always made everyone laugh out loud. It would be very sad for me, to go back to Fox Lake and see that he is no longer with us. Clifford will always have a special place in my thoughts.
If your name is not here, and you see me as your friend, send me a message using the contact tab. I will write up a nice text about you and get your picture. It is not because I forgot about you, it is because I am sometimes shy about asking for permission.