Sometime along the way (late 2019?), Grant Lawrence, BC broadcaster and writer (and Tin Tin fan), had some question for me about the erstwhile pandemic which was here in Japan before *everywhere else* plus lots was going on in our little world, while his extraordinary wife Jill Barber was preparing for a virtual show at the legendary Palomar where my Uncle Lorne was once the maitre’d and the memory inspired this letter. I am stashing here as a diary of sorts as it catches a lot of the spirit of the time as i share some thoughts about his book Dirty Windshields and other topics. Might make sense to you, either way, carry on.
Hello Grant, Enjoyed all the updates… Been a wild summer on this side of the Pacific for us ~ which recalls your initial questions to me back in early February when the schools in Japan were just shutting down and you were curious about how people would handle this… Or how far we’ve come!
We now have a wonderful little dude with the middle name of “Stanley“ born just before the NHL came back (not quite enough good luck with that name but still…), followed by a very unique Buddhist funeral circumstance, then a Typhoon, my 50th birthday (which included a personal archaeology project when my entire life archive a ride from various storage lockers to 150 year old grain barn now art studio/music lounge) and just recently, an oddly awesome exhibit of my poems and paintings at a goat farm, plus my singer wife (& pandemic rock who has also stick-handled through reams of paper work getting me and the official in Japan and a little dude official in Canada) returns to the stage at a cavernous convention center with her bossanova blues the same weekend as your wife hits (my great uncle’s old haunt) of the Palomar / we’re planning on “being there“.
Also, Dirty Windshield should be longer, not shorter… I mean I really enjoyed all of your books but this one was like reading about my own parallel life, ergo: we were in the same places in similar situation is just different years and circumstances. From punk rock tour vans in Germany to getting robbed in Washington DC to underground explosions in Olympia (where touring bands crashed at my house dubbed “hockey lounge“), bewildered in Japanese labyrinths, VW vans with lightspeed snowstorms & de-icing lighters… and many points in between.
Of course, I was Whalley trekking in by bus to York theater & making zines while you were in West Van doing the same stuff with Nards – just in different suburbs and, back in those days crossing a river *and* an inlet might as well be crossing the English channel.
Anyhow, thanks for the update – I love living here but I’ve been very much in the “Japan bubble” since all of this began so it’s nice to hear familiar riffs / let’s get you and the family over to Okayama for top-shelf beer at the goat farm, &/or a goat milk lattes! No these goats are not on the roof and they don’t do yoga.
And yes, we have trains, lots of trains which sparks a whole other idea…