Since Prince George is the gateway to Northern British Columbia, it is not uncommon to meet many celebrities.
The Royal Family has come to Prince George many times. Along with other boy scouts at Fort George Park, I chatted with the future king.
At the Prince George Coliseum, I rushed up to Andre the Giant and got pushed by other boys, to be trapped behind him. My head got stuck between Andre’s huge buttocks and the Coliseum hockey boards. At his rear-end, my face was glued to his wet, gym suit until my brother pulled me free.
At the Inn of the North, I stood with a long line up of women, to meet Premier Bill Vander Zalm. I got him to write out “fantastic” beside his name.
Like many others, I had access at the Dushess Park gym to the NDP’s Dave Barrett, who braved questions from a large rowdy crowd.
After a long delay, Pierre Trudeau came running into the old, dark, jam-packed Civic Centre like a football player, high-fiving many people (including mine) hands at a time.
In the new Civic Centre, I greeted Liberal leader Gordon Campbell at the entrance. By then, I was a seasoned handshaker and I grabbed his hand, refusing to let go, until he answered my question: “When you become the premier will you sell the province out?”
He immediately whipped his hand out of mine and happily shouted back: “Not on your life”, as he was swept into a less than spirited full house.
A year later, he sold BC Rail under a scandalous curtain.
A year before the pandemic arrived, I was absolutely thrilled to meet Bernie Sanders at a fund-raising event just outside of Burlington, Vermont.
He literally hugged many of his 150 enthusiastic supporters.
When it was my turn to get a picture with Bernie, I told him “he was my hero.” In a low whisper, he replied: “We will win it, together”.
Prince George attracts many famous hockey players for a visit and to meet fans. I have come across many of them from the massive quite Bobby Hull, to the happy go lucky Eddie Shack showing off his Stanley Cup ring.
The pandemic has literally stopped the art of meeting anyone new.
But to keep my hopes up, Bernie’s super charged positive outlook - “we will win it together” - gives me peace.
Saint Lambert, Quebec