It was a blue-skyed evening at the Tillsonburg Airport amid a sea of lawnchairs. All eyes were on the sky to watch the acrobatics of the Snowbirds. It was loud. It was amazing. It was a crowd-pleaser. Pretty amazing considering that Tillsonburg is a town of only 15,000. I was there with my Dad and my cousin Irene and approximately 3,000 other people.
I had another close encounter with the Snowbirds years ago when I was visiting the island of Gabriola in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. I was with my college friends Barb and Denise and we were relaxing on the beach. Much to our delight, we were treated to a show which seemed like it was just for us. There were about 5 planes that flew above us which must have been a practice out of the nearby airforce base.
It was ‘Back to the 50’s‘ music for Dad and me at an outdoor concert on the lawn of Annandale House, part of the Sunday night music series. In fact, this was the 2nd performance by this band this summer. This is my cousin Jim Foris’ band and every so often he does a guitar solo, so I’ve nicknamed him ‘Fingers Foris’.
Watching Jim play reminds me of my teenage days when I was a groupie to the band Jim played in back in the 70’s. I believe they were called the Village Guild and they did rock and roll covers from the 60’s and 70’s. All through highschool I went to see my cousin’s band play at various small town community halls. I got to go to these dances because my older sister Rosemary was dating one of the members of the band, Bob Helsdon. Jim’s brother John was another guitarist in the band, Danny played the drums and Brad was the lead singer. They were all good-looking guys and except for they all had girlfriends, I’m sure there were plenty of girls in the audience who would have liked to be groupies too, especially the non-related kind. Anyway, stories about those days long ago will have to be told another day!
Back to tonight and the 50’s music. Dad was having fun clapping and singing along to the music. We sat beside cousin Marg and her Dad, Mr. McQuigan, who must be about the same age as my Dad. After the concert we said our helloes to the other cousins – Brenda, Lena, Bob and of course, Jim. We also saw Jody and her clan.
Afterwards Dad and I came back to my place for tea, some home-made brownies (a recipe by Martha Stewart) and we watched some tv.
Dad would have been twenty-two and still unmarried at the start of the 1950’s. This was my Dad’s music, but it is also my music because this was the beginning of rock and roll, a music that changed the world and is still played today. It was so good to see my Dad out and having fun. If there would have been a dance floor, I’m sure he would have wanted to get up and dance. All in all, it was a very good night.