Sunday, October 18, 2009

Good Sportsmanship and "Wolf Howls"

Anyone who knows me knows I am competitive but after 20 years of coaching everything from baseball to basketball to even soccer they also know I am a good sport. Well I was thinking about our toughest competition in Algonquin Park , currently ranked #1 in this contest. As I mentioned before our Pinery Provincial Park is quite a bit smaller but it is magnificent none the less and we do have all those other things that Algonquin doesn't have like a sandy beach that is part of a 6,000km shoreline. A GREAT lake (3rd largest in the world) as opposed to a bunch of little ones. World ranked sunsets. A downtown strip that would knock your socks off, you can buy new socks there as well but you don't need them in the bend - no mosquitoes. Ten great pubs, Twenty-five great restaurants. A legion, a skateboard park for future surfers, a dragstrip, a parachute club, Huron County Playhouse a new beachfront and boardwalk. Crowds of beautiful young people but quiet secluded walks on the beach if you want that. But, Algonquin Park has had world famous "wolf howls" since 1960. To show I am a good sport, I will put a link over to the right that describes these howls. I first heard about them over a couple of beers and it sounded like this ... a bunch of people drove for hours in some kind of convoy to a designated location where the Grand Master of wolf howls would start howling and everyone gets out of their car and starts howling too. Eventually, if it's a successful howl, the wolves will respond and you have a whole bunch of people and wolves howling at each other. On the website they say wolves howling "is akin to community singing among humans". Well guess what. Two months ago when Brian released his CD there was a surprise backup singer on "miss grand bend". Shelby made the list of credits. Now, ever since, when Brian closes a live show with "miss grand bend" the locals add Shelby's backup vocals (she would get carded in the bar) and what do you know, it's a Grand Bend "wolf howl". Luckily I caught it on video this past Saturday night with a packed house of worm dancing beach bums and jammers hugging each other and singin along. Here they are - the first video is off Brian's CD with Shelby doing the backup work on cue. The second video was recorded live at the Oakwood last Saturday as we all said good bye to one another for another season. Dave likes the lights dim so the picture quality is not HD off my little Kodak, sitting on the table right next to my wings, but we capture the moment. For the first time ever, we saw professional Brian laugh during a performance but he still finished the song. Have a look. Go Bend, go wolves, go howl in your back yard or on your balcony (no one will notice in GB or Algonquin but I wouldn't try it in Toronto).

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