My Life Story – The Final Chapter

Accepting that no one really cared and there would certainly be no memorial for me I started writing my own eulogy, just in case I was wrong and someone did care about what happened to me. Maybe a long-lost friend or someone in my dysfunctional family, like the grandkids I have never met. It will not necessarily be the case with me, but sometimes people are consumed with guilt that they didn’t listen when they should have and offered any help, so this lets them know that I don’t blame anyone other than myself for the mistakes I’ve made or why I did what I did. You may well find yourself somewhere in my story so read on, please. It’s a very long story because it was a very long life, although it would have been great if it could only have been longer.  

Gary Christopher Jones, 1949 – 2019

He isn’t lying here and we don’t really know where he is, and neither does he. Let’s just say he’s lying here in our imaginations.

Gary wasn’t anything special, as he’s learned from many of you recently, much to his surprise. He always thought he was a pretty decent guy, a good father (although his kids don’t apparently agree), a good friend, fun to be around, reasonably bright and, in recent years, not a bad dancer. He was a good husband and provider in his twenty-three-year marriage, always trying to make it better even though his ex-wife, Janice, never did. He could always be counted on to lend a hand or loan a little money if he had it when needed, even though he seldom, if ever, got it back. So much for the Golden Rule. He always worked crazy hours, first to support his family and then to try to afford the life he never had after finally ending his failed marriage.

His parents, Donald Lloyd, better known as Jimmy from his time in the Navy, and Alice Joyce, known to everyone as Joy, moved out West back in 1970 with his brother, Kevin, and his sister, Wendy, and Gary had only visited them a couple of times in all those years, once with Janice, his son, Chris, daughter, Heather and his ex, Janice’s, mum, Marion, to visit Expo ’86. After a week at Expo, staying with Don and Karen, friends of his Mum and Dad’s, they piled into a camper van and toured up through Alberta to Jasper, then back to Westbank (now called West Kelowna), where they got to sit in the rain for a week, unusual for that time of year in the Okanagan. At one point with family and friends, there were seventeen people crammed into his parent’s small mobile home, with only one bathroom between them. He was sitting on the picnic table looking out at the lake and his Dad came out with a drink for him and asked what he was doing. Gary said that he was going to sit there until the damned sun came out. It finally did but the rest of their holiday had been ruined.

In 1989 Gary had hit the road after the business he had been working for, GlassVision, owned by Jim Webb, crashed and burned because one customer had failed to pay them as Gary had warned. He knew it was over but just couldn’t take losing everything especially when he had been the one who knew better than to trust this customer. Gary had made promises to pay their suppliers in good faith and he knew they would be screaming. The company had just come through the most successful National Home Show ever, with some three hundred solid leads from people who wanted solariums, ones that now would never be built. The last thing he did was mail back every deposit check they had from customers so they would not lose their money.

When he headed off out of Brampton he had no clue where he was even going. He always loved the open road and just getting away was all he wanted at the time. It was late May. The sun was shining. The car sunroof was open. The music was playing and he felt a tremendous sense of relief even though he had no plan. Even though as a kid he had been with his parents when they drove to Port Arthur/Thunder Bay, as it was called back then, to visit his Uncle Earl and Aunt Peg, he had no clue just how big Ontario was. When he stopped in Dryden and bought a map he realized just how far he had driven. The thought came to him about driving to see his parents in Westbank, BC. Boy, that would surprise them, eh? No sooner had that crazy thought struck him than he realized he was almost halfway there! He could actually do it! Only a couple more days on the road and he would really be there! He finally had somewhere to go and wouldn’t that be fun? So, off he went with a new spirit of excitement at the thought of surprising his parents.

Manitoba wasn’t bad, although he drove through what had been a huge forest fire. Everything was so black and ugly. He couldn’t wait to get passed it. After an incredibly boring drive through Saskatchewan, he finally stayed in Medicine Hat, Alberta. He left as the sun came up and soon saw the mountains in the distance, thinking he’d be there in only a few hours. Boy, was he wrong! He didn’t even reach the sight of the foothills until early evening but, having chosen the scenic route of the Crows’ Nest Pass was soon in his favorite place in the whole world, the mountains. He remembers coming down out of the mountains, where there was still snow and frozen lakes, into Grand Forks. As he rounded a corner he noticed what he thought were deer ornaments on the front yard of a house, that is until they all turned their heads to follow him. Before he knew it he was driving into Shady Rest, heading for number thirty-four to greet his Mum and Dad, who he hoped would be home. They were and, as expected, heard his Dad holler, “Oh, my God. Look who it is!”.

At some point, probably not too soon after arriving, he called Janice to let her know where he was and she was, of course, not amused and only asked when he was coming home. The next few days were spent just enjoying being with his parents and loving the beautiful Okanagan. He was in no hurry to go back, although it didn’t take him long to start missing his kids. Soon he was trying to figure out if there was any way he could afford to bring them out while he was there and somehow he managed to pull it off. They both came out for what turned out to be the best three weeks of his life, right up until the last day. They had the first real holiday they had ever had and every single minute was a ball. They did far too much to go into here but the best time was when they went dirt-biking up at the Kettle Valley Railroad trestles. His Dad had managed to put vice grips on the back wheel of Gary’s dirt-bike for Heather to put her feet on. She took to it like nothing else and was soon squealing with delight. At one point they took a wrong turn going back down and ended up at the top of the power line road, which Gary knew was really steep and dangerous. Not wanting to scare Heather, he asked her to just get off the bike at the top of each drop and walk down, then he gingerly coached the bike down, trying not to lose it. By some miracle, they made it down and soon found the others, who all said they could not believe that Gary and Heather had survived coming down the power line road.

Although he fully expected to drive back to Brampton at some point, probably soon, he still hated the thought of the day when his kids were leaving to go home. Heather shocked the hell out of him when she told him to stay out West. She said both Chris and she had never seen him happier and they knew the marriage was a disaster. All they ever saw was him working his butt off, coming home to cook and clean and renovate every place they ever owned, without a minute’s help from their mother. They knew he loved his parents and spending time with his brother and sister and could not love BC any more than he did. Even at that tender age, she said he had done enough and deserved some happiness himself. They don’t know that after he dropped them off at the airport he cried his eyes out for hours alone in the car, disbelieving that his daughter did not want him to come back.

After many hours of agonizing thought, he just knew that he could not leave Heather. He loved her more than life itself and the thought of staying out West without her in his life was simply impossible. He headed back to Brampton, wondering if he was doing the right thing for himself, his kids, or not for anyone.

He left Westbank at 10:30 Thursday morning, dreading the trip home every second. When he stopped at a gas station north of Dryden Friday night the clerk looked out to see who else was in the car when he said he left BC yesterday morning. That was impossible, he said. He would have been home the next day had he not had a flat tire in Parry Sound, but he still made it home late that night. As he was heading down the four hundred highway he thought that there must have been a huge accident or major oil spill because of how much it stunk, but he soon realized that this was just how Toronto smelled, especially after having spent three months in the fresh air of BC. Not only that but he couldn’t stand the humidity, which was like breathing water, again after the dry heat of the Okanagan. It took him staying in the basement of their four-level townhouse for five days before he could handle the humidity. How had he handled this all his life, he wondered?

Soon life returned to what had passed for normal. He was back working day and night, selling their townhouse after renovating it top to bottom and selling it for more than anyone had ever sold in their neighborhood before, and buying a builder’s upgraded home on Mara Crescent, believing as always that if they just had a better home or car or something that things would get better. They didn’t. As his wife sat on her ass, not working or even filing for her unemployment, he landed the biggest contract of his career, a major upgrading of a large thirty-five station computer network for Fellowes Manufacturing, the makers of the famous Bankers Box, in Markham, taking them off a mainframe in the States. Considering that he was from Brampton and Fellowes was smack in the middle of computer junction, it was a real coup. Not only had he quoted them a nice rate for himself, but he had also quoted them half his rate for travel, knowing that much of his day would be spent getting back and forth.

Several things happened then. First, it was making less and less sense to spend all those hours traveling back and forth, so he started staying a few nights at what was back then the Journey’s End motel. Then he started spending more and more nights at the hotel, mostly because when he got home his wife wasn’t there anyway and he had to be gone early in the morning. Then he started spending time with Gale-Ann Duxbury, the incredibly gorgeous executive secretary of the company. They snuck around during the day, of course, to keep it secret, but they started spending more and more time together outside of work. She was the most amazing woman he had ever met and soon he was falling head over heels for her. She asked him to move in with her and there ended the marriage. He still continued to pay for everything for the house because Janice was still not working, but something had to change. He was also literally making appointments weeks out to see Heather as well. This was no way to live.

Then disaster struck. His mother had been diagnosed with fifth stage melanoma and given less than six months to live. Having spent more than twenty years apart from his parents he knew he had to go out West to be with her for whatever time she had left. His contract at Fellowes was coming to an end and he started declining the referrals he got. Their house sold and he drove down to Brampton to sell everything off. At this point as a result of all his work over the years of owning and renovating various houses, without any work whatsoever by Janice, he had turned the original investment on their first home into equity of a hundred thousand dollars, every penny of which went to Janice. So much for her agreement that any split would always be fifty/fifty. Twenty-three years of tireless work and smart Real Estate decisions and he ended up with nothing, starting all over again. The day he left for BC was the hardest day of his life leaving his darling daughter, Heather, but he never realized at the time that he would never see her again. He left believing that she would come out on vacation again to spend time with him and his parents. That never happened. His ex cut off all contact with him, his parents and his family, he believed because she was worried that they would join him out west.

His fourteen years in the Okanagan were simply incredible. He had a much better balance in his life, no longer a workaholic as he had been his entire life, always working for the benefit of someone else and not himself. Finally, at long last, he was able to only be concerned about himself. During those wonderful years in BC he played hard. He had a number of boats and learned to water ski, at one point even being able to slalom. He had several dirt-bikes and always enjoyed going biking with his father and family around Kelowna and Revelstoke. He had a snowmobile and often went to Revelstoke to sled with his brother and brother-in-law in the glorious mountains when his parents went south to Yuma, Arizona for the winter. He danced his butt off at the Corral, often three nights a week. He took lessons and had about thirty dance partners, many of them young, gorgeous women whose partners didn’t dance. He learned to roller-blade and went blading most Sundays in the good weather. He played racquetball regularly in the winter months. He learned to downhill ski and skied both Big White and Silver Star, his favorite. Thanks to his friend, Brian Wall, he also took up cross-country skiing, something that really improved his fitness level. Living around beautiful Lake Okanagan there were numerous times he went swimming or boating or camping across the lake. Life was beautiful, well, except for the daily anguish of missing his kids and never understanding why. He also, most importantly, got to spend time with his mother, playing bingo, playing poker for hours with the family and going to the horse races. She defied the odds and lived until 2007.

Here are just some of the many friends he made in the Okanagan –

His life changed dramatically when his father died in his arms in May 2005. It was the most traumatic thing that had ever happened to him. He had never taken that St. John’s Ambulance course in CPR that he had always planned to take and he was so worried that he was killing his father by doing it wrong, mostly because he wasn’t getting a drop of water out, but when the paramedics showed up minutes later they told him to keep going because he was doing it right. It didn’t matter. After almost thirty minutes he knew his Dad was gone. The guilt was still strong, especially when his Uncle showed up and asked what did you do? Not until the coroner told him the next day that his Dad had “dry drowned”, meaning that he had an asthma attack in the water and his throat had closed instantly, meaning no water could get in, did he feel the anvil come off his shoulders. The coroner was very clear that it was not his fault in any way. 

The death of his father was traumatic enough, but now there was the question of who was going to care for his mother. She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and could not be left alone. His brother and sister begged off so it was left up to him to give up his former life to care for his mother. What followed was the most difficult year and a half of his life. No one who has not cared for someone with Alzheimer’s could ever understand just how difficult it is. More than forty times his mother blew up and threw him out. He had arranged to have a caregiver to come in once a week to wash her hair and spend time with her so he could run around doing the shopping and so on. On one occasion after he had come home and his mother was in the middle of screaming at him, yet again, the caregiver called to check on something she had forgotten. He just answered the phone, apologized and waited for his mother to stop screaming. After his mother stopped screaming at him the caregiver was in total disbelief about what she had just heard. She asked if this was usual and he said only every day. That incident moved her up on the emergency care wait list. 

He knew that she needed professional care in a facility that dealt with Alzheimer’s sufferers. He had spent all day, every day, trying to get her moved up on the emergency care list. At one point the person responsible for the list told him that there were currently three hundred and fifty people on that list, which came as quite the shock to him. Somehow, magically, after the caregiver heard the call, he got a call that she had been placed in Winterhaven in Kelowna and she was to come the next day. The Director also told him that he was to just drop her off and leave and not have any further contact with her. What followed were thirteen excruciatingly painful voice messages from his mother, begging for his forgiveness and wanting to come home. It tore his heart out every time she called. Over the next little while, the Director called to say that they had moved her into a room with another lady that she liked and that she was now taking part in some of the activities. It was a relief to know she was finally getting the care she needed.

Then his sister, Wendy, came down to visit her. She was horrified at the security and the walls, all to stop patients wandering off, as his mother had done at home in the dead of winter. She insisted she was going to pull her out of the care facility, partly because she had no clue just how bad their mother really was now. After everything he had been through to get her into a proper care facility, he told his sister that he would no longer be responsible for their mother in any way and that she would now be totally responsible. She agreed. What followed was a complete disaster that ended up killing their mother, something he could never forgive her for. She had put her in an assisted living facility in Revelstoke, which was not equipped to handle a person with advanced Alzheimer’s. His mother was found wandering around Revelstoke without a coat on and with no idea where she was. It was just lucky that someone who knew her and his sister saw her and took her to his sister’s store. His sister went nuts with their mother calling her at work all day because, of course, she never remembered calling. Their mother went from an overweight, but a happy person to a shell of her former self. Skinny as a rail. Frail beyond her years. Her cancer had returned, this time to her brain. She has too old and in such poor health that they would not operate on her. Thankfully, she died in October 2007. He was so angry with his sister that he couldn’t even attend his mother’s memorial service because he wanted to kill, his sister for what she had done. That was over twelve years ago and he hasn’t spoken to her since.

After selling his mother’s house for more than any place had ever sold for. then moving into a place where he was kicked out of by the by-law officer shortly after he moved in because the lower level apartment was illegal, he took over a dilapidated mobile in another park near his parent’s park. He basically just took over the existing private mortgage and the pad rent. He then worked seven days a week completely renovated the place, gutting it to the walls and starting over. After a year and a half of tireless work, he had turned it into what several Realtors called the nicest manufactured home in the Okanagan. Several Realtors told him to list it at $139,000, but he insisted it be listed at $129,000 to sell quickly because he had designs on three other homes that could be renovated and sold at a nice profit. 

Then, as is so common with his life, disaster struck again. A local Westbank Indian Band chief, Noel Derrickson, was quoted in an article in a local paper as saying that anyone who bought a home in a band-owned park was “stupid” because there was no tenancy in their parks and they could get notice to vacate soon, rendering their investment useless. Overnight, not a Realtor or lawyer would touch a property on band land. Even the mortgage he had arranged, just in case the place didn’t sell, and with the band’s own trust company, Peace Hills Trust, fell through, despite their written commitment. He had used the proceeds from his mother’s estate for the renovations, fully intending to pay back every penny when he sold the property. He had run up debt with local companies, like Canadian Tire and Home Depot, who had surprisingly given him credit despite going bankrupt, twice. All his work was going down the drain and he was in big trouble. His doctor told him that he had to get out from under all the stress or it would kill him. 

He started researching where to go and decided on Panama. He transferred the ownership of his home to his good buddy, Wade Silver, to hopefully avoid creditors coming after him, forcing him into bankruptcy. He also told Wade to keep trying to sell the place just in case things changed. A short time later Wade gave him the disastrous news. The guy he had let stay in the place for just the pad rent let the snow build up on the roof, something he had warned him to watch and clear, and the roof collapsed, destroying much of the work he had done, like all the new flooring. It would cost twenty-five thousand dollars to repair, which was impossible. A few months later Wade said he had found someone who could repair it to buy it, although, of course, it was at less than half what it was going to be listed for before. The guy also did not have enough money from his parents and needed him to take back a five thousand dollar mortgage. Despite the loss, it was the only option on the table so he took it. A short time later Wade advised that the guy had sold it but defaulted on his mortgage. Just more grief. 

Panama turned out to be a disaster which has been described elsewhere. When he was left beyond destitute and had to go back to Canada, his cousin, Joan, stepped in to offer him shelter back in Canada. After a few months there he met someone on the internet, fell in love, and moved to London, Ontario to be with her. That quickly turned into yet another mistake with women when she secretly went to Ottawa to be with someone else she met on the internet. He discovered what happened and yet another relationship ended badly. He still ended up spending five years in London with nothing to show for it, in fact, at one point he ended up living in his car. 

As pension age approached, and he knew he wouldn’t receive enough to live anywhere in Canada, he again started researching places with a lower cost of living and discovered Ecuador. He sold everything he owned and booked a flight to Ecuador heading for Cotacachi in the Andes. Although he had received two of his pensions, the CPP and the OAS, he had not yet received the GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement). so he spoke to the pensions people and they assured him that he would start receiving it the following January. He asked if he maybe should stay in Canada until he received it for sure, but was told there was “no problem” and to go ahead and go. Big mistake!

Ecuador was yet another disaster. He nearly died in Cotacachi from carbon monoxide poisoning from the unvented fireplace in his cabin, but the worst part was not getting the GIS as he was told. It took six months of emails back and forth with Service Canada, at one point them telling him that he could not apply until he returned to Canada, something he didn’t plan to do. Finally, he wrote an email to the Minister responsible telling her that there would be a letter on his cold, dead body clearly blaming the government for his demise. In three days he got his money but it was too late. The person who he had hired to handle his visa application stole his three hundred and fifty dollars US that he had given her for the visa application and she also refused to return his passport. He had to go to the Canadian Embassy in Quito to get a temporary travel document to be able to fly back to Canada. That also meant he would need to apply for a new passport again.

This time he returned to just north of Belleville. His friend from some forty years ago, Heather Paul, who had worked for him back then, said her son had a place that he was renovating and suggested that maybe he could help him with the work and in exchange, he would let him stay there rent-free. Sounded like a good option to him, but it soon turned into yet another disaster. He nearly froze to death when the place had no heat for five days. The place was also so far out of Belleville that it cost over forty dollars to go shopping in Belleville for food. At one point he completely fell apart and found himself crying his eyes out at the local Salvation Army center. The people there were extremely helpful and compassionate and managed to get him an appointment for housing. The next day he was allowed to move into a group home run by a local charity, All-Together Housing. For the next two years he moved around different housing they had, but eventually was wearing out his welcome. His rent for a room also increased from $379 to $479, which was totally unaffordable. Again he started looking for other places to live with a lower cost of living and discovered Mexico.

His life in Mexico started off much better than he had ever imagined. He fell in love with Ajijic the day he arrived and his planned six-month visit quickly turned into figuring out how to stay forever. Then he met the proverbial love of his life, Elba, and everything changed. Now he was certainly going to stay in Mexico no matter what it took, get married and live happily ever after. As has been the case so often in this eulogy, disaster struck yet again. The day they arrived back from the worst trip in history to Canada she dumped him by text message. No explanation. Nothing. It tore his heart out and he cried for days. It was a very dark time and he considered swimming out in the lake far enough not to make it back. He felt totally worthless and saw no future for him. Luckily two friends stepped in and convinced him that he wasn’t worthless and that he would be missed, He improved and managed to go on, well, for a time anyway.

Although there have been many, many women who have had an effect on his life, there are some whose influence was greater than others. No disrespect is intended to those who at a time he may have called his “girlfriends”, or thought they were, such as Heather, back in Kelowna, who was the best dance partner he ever had, but as hard as she pursued him it just wasn’t a relationship that worked outside of dancing. Lord knows he tried. They made love, well, sort of, and he took her water skiing one time, but couldn’t stop laughing at how bad she was at that. Others were those he met in his travels. One girl he met on his way back from Ontario to BC in Sandpoint, Idaho actually came to visit him in Westbank. They had a great time together. Made love on the beach and got along very well, but she went home and he never heard from her again. Another girl he met on the internet also came to visit him. They went snowmobiling in the hills around Kelowna and it turned into a very funny situation. As they were bombing across a lake he realized that they were about to come across a path from another snowmobile that had melted. The only thing to do was hit it fast, but in doing so he threw her off into the water. They did sleep together but nothing ever came of it despite how much she wanted more.

Solely because of his horrible marriage in which his wife refused to make love or show any romance, he admits he wandered, far too many times. No sooner had he got married than one of his wife’s friends, Bobby Munday, invited him over to help her babysit. She was gorgeous and he really liked her, but he had just got married. Things got a little passionate but he stopped it before it got out of hand. Later he thought maybe he should have let it progress. There was a brief affair with Miss Brampton, She was obviously gorgeous but she wanted to do anything he wanted to do, which got a little boring. Many years later after he started working for American Hoist they hired a gorgeous blonde, Carolyn Cummings. Despite the fact that she worked for him they soon got involved. One night she invited him to her place. He knew she was married so the thought of her husband coming home terrified him. He really cared for her though and often wondered if they could have been good together. 

Later he met the company broker, Cheryl, and the relationship started. They met for lunch and she drank too much and was sick. He held her head in the bathroom and she was so embarrassed, but soon the relationship got very intense. After things fell apart at American Hoist and he and his partner set up an office in Oakville he and Cheryl started spending a lot of time together. He ended up going to her apartment in Burlington several times, often not getting home until four in the morning, but his wife never cared. Cheryl had a nine-year-old son, who he never met, and a boyfriend, although that didn’t seem to be working too well for her. They talked about him splitting up but nothing ever happened. For years after he wondered if she had not been the “one”. 

Another time he met a woman, Barb, on a flight from Halifax to Montreal. Long story but fate stepped in when both their luggage didn’t show up. He took her to the baggage claim office then asked her where she was staying, then offered her a ride with his dealer who was picking him up. That led to an invitation to dinner and they had a wonderful time dancing after dinner. The ride after to her hotel could not have been more passionate and she agreed to come back to his hotel. That night set a lifetime record when they made love seven times! In the morning he asked her where she was going and learned that she was going to the abortion clinic! Later she called him and put her mother on the phone, who invited him to come to visit them in Newfoundland. Yet another missed opportunity because he really liked her. She showed him the kind of affection that he was missing at home. 

Here are the photos of his life with women. He always regretted that his ex took all of the twenty-three years of family photos and refused to share them with him, although he could never remember a photo of him and his ex ever being taken.

Gallery – Women in my life: He’s always been described as a hopeless romantic. In his case, the operative word is “hopeless”. From his failed twenty-three marriage to various affairs in various countries, he always seemed to fall for the wrong girl. His relationships always started off great, but then fell apart for various reasons, some more complicated than others. In his final days and despite his efforts he was alone for the last year of his life. This was all that much harder on him after losing the proverbial love of his life, Elba. More about her later. 

Pat:

Primarily because he was a drummer in a band he never lacked attention from women and had several girlfriends, some of whom he can’t remember their names. Marilyn Adams was one he always remembered. She was gorgeous. The band got a gig as the house band at the famous The Bluenote Club in Toronto. They backed many incredible musicians, like The Ink Spots, The Platters and many more for the floor show which ran from one until four in the morning, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. That’s where he met Pat, who was a few years older than him. He was only sixteen at the time. They spent a lot of time together and ended up making love at his parent’s farm in Streetsville. He was a virgin so she basically led the way. Soon after she informed him that she was pregnant. He had no idea what to do. He was too young to be a father and it would change his entire life if he married her. He told his father, who asked: “do you love her?” He answered “no”. She ended up coming to see him in Streetsville and his father intervened. He met her at a local hotel to talk, and this is where things got dicey depending on who you believe. Years later she told him that his father had brought a bottle of liquor and he hit on her big time, something his father had never told him at the time. His relationship with Pat never went anywhere after that. 

Years later he was with his then wife, his son and his Aunt at Ontario Place. When they were leaving he was going ahead to get the car. As he was coming down the ramp a young boy came up to him and called him Dad. He looked up and saw Pat and her girlfriend standing at the top of the ramp. He panicked and ran to get the car. It was a very traumatic moment for him. Although he had told his wife about the affair before they married and that he believed that he had a son, he didn’t want her, or obviously his Aunt, who knew nothing about this, meeting his son or Pat. 

Decades later Pat and he reconnected. He also tried to connect with his son, Andrew, on Facebook, but Andrew didn’t show any interest in getting to know his father, so he let it go. It got even stranger when Pat introduced his other son, Chris and his daughter, Heather, to Andrew and his family. There’s a photo he has not been able to get from Andrew of him and Chris together. They could be twins. Pat came to London where he was living at the time and they had some good times. Later she came to visit him in Belleville too, but they were just friends, not lovers. He eventually posted how they met on the club’s Facebook page and she got very angry and told him to delete the post, but the club refused to delete it and she stopped talking to him.

Janice:   

When he was dating Bev he went to a house party with her. Fate stepped in when Janice and her friend, Lynn, came walking down the stairs. Lynn had warned Janice that he loved blondes. She was so right because the minute he saw her he left Bev and introduced himself to Janice, asking her to marry him. She replied with words that can’t be printed here. It turned out she had a long-time boyfriend, named Doug. When he learned that she had been going out with him Doug met them as they were coming home to her mother’s house. That’s when he made a fatal mistake by spitting in Janice’s face, and in front of her mother. That quickly ended that relationship for good. Things then progressed and eventually, they made love, at his parent’s place in Streetsville while they were away. Just like two lovers in that long ago era they didn’t use any protection and she got pregnant. Back in those days getting pregnant and not being married was a sin, so they got married August 16th, 1969 in Streetsville. Their reception was at her parent’s house in Brampton. His father had arranged for a room at the Thunderbird Motel for their wedding night, and this was the first sign of disaster. She wanted nothing to do with him and he spent the night sitting on the floor beside the bed, wondering what was happening. This set the stage for what their lovemaking would be, or rather wouldn’t be, for the rest of their horrible marriage. Chris was born on March 27th, 1970. The only other time they made “love” resulted in the birth of their daughter, Heather, only because she didn’t tell him that she had gone off birth control. She also got pregnant again but made the decision to have an abortion without even asking him. He knew right then that their marriage was over. At one point they went five years not even sleeping together. He had tried for years to rekindle their physical relationship, but nothing ever worked. It was only on the last day they were together, the day the sale of their last house was closing, that she spent thirteen hours admitting to him that everything was her fault. She said she was a terrible wife and that he had never deserved to be treated so badly. It was a tragic end. He moved to BC to be with his mother, who had been diagnosed with fifth stage melanoma and given less than six months to live.

The year after he moved out west to be with his mother he spoke with his daughter who asked him to drive down to see her. HIs parents had gone to Arizona for the winter and he still had his van despite not making any payments on it, but they hadn’t repossessed it yet, so off he went. It was the trip from hell in the dead of winter and he almost kicked the bucket when he woke up in a resting spot in North Dakota. It was minus fifty-five degrees and his truck wouldn’t start. He also drove through terrible storms in Michigan and elsewhere. It’s a wonder he made it to Brampton. When he finally arrived his ex and her new husband had hidden Heather away and refused to let him see her. HIs ex wouldn’t even have coffee with him, apparently because of the objections of her new husband, previously a friend of his. He stayed with his son for three weeks, praying that he could see Heather, but it never happened. He drove back to BC crying all the way. Little did he know that he would never see his daughter again.     

Gale-Ann

His last major contract was with Fellowes Manufacturing, the makers of the Bankers Box. Shortly after starting to work there he met Gale-Ann, who was the Executive Secretary. Over the next few months, and partly because he started staying at the local hotel to avoid driving back and forth from Brampton, they got more and more involved. Soon he moved in with her in her tiny apartment. Of course, they had to keep their relationship a secret at work, which was hard sometimes. After he decided he needed to go out west to be with his mother for her last days they talked about her moving out there. She was open to it but wanted to visit to see if she liked BC. Her kids were both grown so they could come to visit if she decided to move. What followed was the worst trip ever. No sooner had he paid for her flights for a three-week vacation than she started saying she wouldn’t leave Markham or her job. They started arguing all the time, and in front of his parents, which was embarrassing. Finally, after only a few days he had had enough. He told her to find somewhere else to vacation and was taking her to the airport. She ended up going to Calgary for the rest of the vacation he had paid for. They were done. 

Some years later when he drove down to Toronto he learned that she was in the hospital so he arranged to visit her, but it was more of a courtesy visit. Nothing ever came of it because their relationship was long over.  

Jackie:

Although he had no shortage of girlfriends after arriving in BC, there was no one special. Then he met Jackie. She was an incredible dancer and they were good together. Soon they were dating and did so for three years. They never talked about getting married or said they loved each other, but they did everything together and friends just assumed they were a couple. So did he. That is until one fateful night when she said she couldn’t come dancing. Something didn’t sound right so he went to her place in Kelowna. He knocked on the door but she refused to answer and told him to go away. He knew someone was in there with her. He just about broke the door down but he knew this meant they were done. It nearly killed him that she did this and he lost it. Thanks to his wonderful friends, Wade and Bianca, they talked him down and convinced him to get over it.

 

 

 

Soon after Wade asked him to come over and help with a renovation he was doing. Again, fate stepped in when his “girlfriend” Tracy and two of her kids, were also helping. Tracy and Gary ended up working together in the kitchen and he commented about her legs when she was standing on the kitchen counter. They shared a lot of laughs working together. Then something happened with the kids that pissed Wade off and, as usual, he said something cruel. Tracy got angry and left. Somehow he had gotten her number so a short time later he called her to check that she was okay. The first thing she said was, “Oh. It’s you.”, thinking that it was Wade calling her to apologize. That started what at the time turned out to be the best relationship of his life. He talked to Wade about his relationship with her because you don’t cut someone else’s grass and Wade said it was okay. 

Soon they moved in together in her house. They were so very much in love. When together they wouldn’t let more than fifteen minutes go by without kissing each other. It made their friends gag. Their song was “Let’s Make Love” and she would call him at work when it was playing on the radio. Every night when they climbed into bed they would each share their “special moments” of the day, and more often than not they were the same. They would sit on the porch at night talking for hours and hours. 

They did a ton of renovations to her place while they lived together. He completely reorganized her garage which before you couldn’t even get into because it was so packed with “stuff”. He built what he called “fire and water” in her backyard using her grandfather’s pot-bellied stove and a sump pump he found buried in the garage to recirculate the water from the pond he installed to the waterfall. He also dug up the lawn and added a dump truck worth of beach sand. They called it Molnar Beach. the street they lived on. He installed pole lamps for atmosphere at night. They had parties with friends and spent many a romantic hour on the “beach”. While she was away with her mother for a week he completely renovated her son, Brayden’s, bedroom and the entire kitchen, and in very hot weather to boot. She was delighted when she came home and saw what he had done.

Whether what happened next was a mistake on his part of not is for debate. He came home one day and all his work in the kitchen was a disaster. Tracy was never the most organized person but she had piled stuff all over the kitchen, making a mess out of it. He was not pleased. The way that she seemed to make a mess everywhere she touched was getting to him. He was no “neat freak” but he liked things to be somewhat organized, especially with three kids around. He had taught them to put their toys away when they were finished playing, Make their beds. Clean up after themselves and so on, but their mother was the worst offender. Despite their love and the fact they talked for hours about every subject under the sun, he just couldn’t bring himself to approach her. Instead, he wrote her a letter asking her to please be more organized and set a better example for her kids. It was a big mistake. She went to spend a weekend in Kamloops with her friends from school. When she came back he knew something was terribly wrong. Although she said she might be making the mistake of her life, she asked him to move out. It nearly killed him. The night he explained to the kids what was happening and they all broke out crying was the worst night of his life. 

There’s more to the story with Tracy, like when she told him she was pregnant from a weekend fling with a guy who immediately dumped her when she told him she was pregnant, but this has nothing to do with his love life.

Ans:

Shortly after moving out after Tracy, and living in a basement apartment in Westbank, which was a nightmare because the guy who owned the place had noisy parties all the time, he met Ans at The Corral. They spent some time together, mainly hiking with her three-legged dog, Skipper. She eventually asked him to move in with her in her very nice house up on the hill above Westbank. It was more of a marriage of convenience because he was never really in love with her. She drove him crazy with a lot of the things she did, plus she had expected that they would get married, which is not what he planned. Just like when he lived with any woman, soon he was completely renovating her place. 

Then Tracy called and said she couldn’t handle their dog, Spade, anymore. He was shitting all over the house and she asked him to take him. He talked it over with Ans and she agreed. After Spade joined them they went hiking many, many times with both dogs. Then they came home one night from somewhere and Spade had shit on the living room rug. He scolded him and put him outside. It was raining and Ans didn’t like that he was outside in it. She wanted to let him in but he told her that if she did that he would be gone the next day. Maybe she didn’t think he was serious so she let him back in. The next day he took Spade back to Tracy, telling her what had happened. That ended any relationship between him and Ans. Right away he slept in the spare room and things were very tense between them.

 

Shortly after Tracy called and told him to come and get Spade because she couldn’t handle what had happened. As soon as he opened the front door Spade came bounding down the stairs to greet him, as usual, except this time he was on his bum because he had no use of his hind legs. Something was obviously very wrong and they both knew he had to be put down, horrible as that was. To make things so much worse Madison wanted to come to the vet’s office. He knew he had to keep it together for her devastated as he was about putting his loyal companion down. The last sight of Spade as the vet prepared to end his life was one of the saddest moments of his entire life. Then, as far as his relationship with Ans was concerned, fate stepped in yet again when his father died and he had to move in with his mother to care for her.    

Karla:

From the day he met Karla he was secretly in love with her, despite the fact that she was a handful, to say the least. They had so many good times together and although there was never anything going on between them romantically, their friends always assumed that they were together. One of his fondest memories with her was the day they were together in his boat, racing across the lake. She kept trying to drink her beer but bouncing across the waves was making that difficult. Finally, she said to him, “slow down to drinking speed!” Later she told him she was pregnant but the guy who had come into town for the weekend and got her pregnant had disappeared when she told him she was pregnant. Over the next few months, he sort of took care of her, going over to her place to give her backrubs and help her out. He was at the hospital when her daughter, Carley, was born. Another great memory with her was when they played pretend husband and wife at a Murder Mystery party at Laura’s house. He only wished it were true. To his last day, he called her “wifey” on Facebook.

 

 

Crystal:

Although she never considered herself his “girlfriend” or ever acted like it, they were good together, especially on the dance floor. She was unquestionably the best dance partner he ever had. People at The Corral often applauded for them when they danced. When she went to the bathroom other girls would ask her how long had they been married? They did everything together outside of The Corral, something that had never worked for him with anyone else. They did sleep together but it was never great. They did try once to shower together at his place in Westbank, but that wasn’t great either. They went to Vancouver to spend a weekend with her son, but that turned into a disaster and they didn’t speak a word on the trip home. 

At one point he got a promotion on a trip to Puerta Villarta, so he asked her if she wanted to go and she did. He happened to have a credit card at the time so he told her that he would book the trip and she could pay him back later. The night they left was a sign of what was to come. The plane from Calgary was hours late so they got to their hotel, often referred to as the Royal de Canada because of all the Canadians who stayed there, very late. It was not a great start to their two-week trip. Worse, she refused to sleep with him in the big bed so he ended up sleeping out on the balcony on chairs put together. The hotel was quite the party place and people would party on into the night, making sleep very difficult. At the start, they did things together like going into PV to all the flea markets. They walked down the beach to another little village, again with flea markets. The resort was all-inclusive, meaning you didn’t pay extra for anything, but you had to book for your dinner at one of the many restaurants there. Then she started going off on her own and wanted nothing to do with him. They barely spoke to each other. He ended up going to the nightly floor shows alone and eating alone. She never said what was wrong or gave him a chance to talk about it, so the rest of their “vacation” was a disaster. They flew home not even sitting together or speaking a word. She left him very confused. When they got back to Kelowna the relationship, whatever it had been, was clearly over. 

Sometime later he ran into her and her face was all bashed up. Turned out she had gone boating with a guy somewhere and he had crashed the boat, injuring her. He felt very sorry for her but it certainly wasn’t his fault so there was no point in trying to rekindle the relationship that they had had. It was the last time he ever spoke to her or saw her. 

Sylvie:

The relationship with her was during the time he was caring for his mother, so getting to spend much time together was very difficult because he could only see her when his sister came down on the weekends to care for their mother. Despite that, they did manage to spend good times together. They slept together a few times and it was awesome. She had two dogs that she couldn’t control so he asked her if he could train them and she said sure. He spent hours and got them both very well behaved, which she appreciated very much. They just drifted apart and she ended up moving back to France, so that ended that. 

 

 

 

 

Fran:

They had met online and decided she would come to Westbank for the weekend. Again this was during the time he was caring for his mother and when she showed up with her kids in tow his mother blew up at him and said that they couldn’t stay in “her house”. He explained that the kids were going to sleep in their tent outside and she was his friend that he had invited and eventually she calmed down. They went boating, which the kids loved. At night they slept together on the porch, where the obvious happened, despite her saying that they weren’t going to do that. At a very bad time, his sister and brother-in-law arrived and walked into the porch on them. She was not impressed and made Fran very uncomfortable. Apparently, he was not allowed to have a life.

 

 

 

 

Magaly:

Off to Panama to escape the nightmare at home. After the disaster of the house he rented in Boquete he moved up on the mountain to a place owned by a guy back in Kelowna. The plan was for him to renovate the place, which turned into yet another total disaster, but he met an electrician, Amilkar, who he hired to do some work. Amilkar told him that a friend of his, Magalay, was very interested in him, so they met. Despite his still poor Spanish and her total lack of English, they got along very well, especially when it came to sleeping together. Magaly was a very typical passionate Latin woman and he worked hard to keep her happy and he did. She had four kids, which he met and things were going great with them. Then it all came crashing down when he was forced to leave and go back to Canada. It broke his heart to leave her because none of this was her fault. It was a very tearful good-bye when he left. 

 

 

 

Denise:

While he was living with his cousin in Toronto he met a girl online, Pattie, and started chatting with her. Soon he met her friend, Denise, and they started chatting too. The first chats were about how he was going to meet Pattie and if she was interested at all in him. Very high school. Before he knew it Pattie was forgotten and they spent hours and hours chatting online and by phone. He learned that, although she was married, she wasn’t happy. She had left her husband before but returned when she couldn’t handle it on her own. She had three kids and was having trouble keeping things together for them, so she moved back home. One fateful night she was sitting in her van at a local church not far from home and chatting with him, as was usual when she was heading home. Suddenly he heard her husband yelling at her and he knew what was going on. Long story short but he moved to London to be with her and she eventually left her husband. He met her amazing daughter, Emily, and they got along really well. She was the daughter he had lost. 

Just when things looked great, disaster struck. She said that she was going to Toronto to visit her niece who had just had a baby. When she came back he was surprised that she didn’t have any photos of the baby. He just knew that she was lying. A week or so later he was cleaning her apartment, as he often did, and moved her luggage from under the bed to vacuum. That’s when he noticed the baggage tags reading Ottawa, and for the weekend she was supposedly in Toronto. He confronted her about it and she broke down crying. She told him that she and Emily had gone to Ottawa to, surprise, surprise, meet a guy she met on the internet. He was so in love with her and had treated her so well, and this was the way she repaid him? That ended that relationship, obviously. Just a sidebar here. The guy was moving to her place. The night he was coming Gary and Denise went out for the night and ended up back at her apartment, where the obvious happened, dumb as that was. The guy ended up going back to Ottawa after a short time together.

Patricia:

Off again, this time to Ecuador, still trying to find that elusive place he could afford to live. Thoughts of finding love were not really on his mind. More just about survival. Then that old fate stepped in again. For him, It was love at first sight with Patricia. The night they met at The Bar he went out for a smoke and saw her. She took his breath away. Despite his poor Spanish, they talked for about an hour. He got bold and asked her to put her phone number in his phone. Later when he got home he checked the number to see if she gave him a real number. He couldn’t find “Patricia” anywhere in his phone but eventually found her under “Esposa” (wife). Cute. What followed was the most torrid romance he had in his life. His plans quickly changed to coming back to Ecuador as soon as he could to marry her, but that all fell apart after he returned to Canada. She wanted money more than him. It ended badly. 

Despite the fact that things ended so badly between them he did love her and missed her. He has often wished that things had gone better for them. Although he created a photo gallery of her, many of the photos of their last night together are far too hot for the internet, plus he respects her privacy and wouldn’t want her kids to see these intimate photos.

 

Elba:

It’s said that there are only two perfect matches for any of us in the world. That makes it incredibly rare to find them among the billions of people in the world. He was lucky enough to meet one of them in Mexico. 

The night they first met he assumed that she was far too gorgeous and far too young to ever be interested in him, but a week after the night they met his friend, Bill, called to say they were at La Bodega and she wanted him to come down. He figured she just wanted to dance with him because they were good together on the dance floor, but what followed came as a huge surprise to him. At what seemed like the right moment he gave her a quick kiss. She responded with the most passionate kiss he had ever had. He wondered if this was going to turn into anything? Soon they were living together in total bliss. They talked for hours despite her knowing no English, other than “I Love You”, something she said to him very often. Once in a while, they had to resort to Google Translate on their phones when things got a little complicated. 

The day they got together the plan then became him going back to Canada to apply for his temporal visa so he could return to Mexico, marry her and live happily ever after. She said she wanted to come with him, but he had to tell her he couldn’t afford to pay for her flights so she said she would pay for her own. Off they went together to Canada on what turned out to be the trip from hell. Everything went wrong that could go wrong, from their flights to their hotel to the fact that it was the coldest time he could ever remember in his life for the start of April. Despite the troubles and the freezing cold weather she was a trooper though and never once complained. 

The day they got back the plan had always been to find a place to live together in Ajijic because the landlords where they had lived put the rent up almost sixty percent. Even on two pensions they could never afford that. Instead, she said she had to go back to her apartment in Guadalajara because she had a meeting with her lawyer the next morning. Despite their many talks about the importance of trust and honesty in a relationship he just knew she was lying. That night he got the worst news of his life when she sent him a brief text message ending the relationship. No explanation as to why. He fell apart and cried for days. He felt worthless and saw no point in going on. He had very dark thoughts about swimming out in the lake far enough that he would never make it back. It was the most tragic ending of a relationship of his life and has led in part to where he found himself now.       

That’s it for the women in his life who he has loved and lost.    

Now on to his many travels in his life. Thee galleries on his site are broken down into the various places he has gone, in order. First his fourteen years in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. At various times he lived in Westbank (now West Kelowna) and in Kelowna. He said that creating this photo gallery for BC brought back a lot of wonderful memories, plus a lot of tears for what was then, and what is now. Other galleries are for places like Belleville, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador and, of course, Mexico. If you are reading this and remember him you might just find your photo in one of the galleries. 

Back to the story. In October of 2018, he discovered he only had twenty-eight dollars in the bank and a whole lot of month to go. It looked like things were over for him. He appealed for help on Facebook, but was only met with a bunch of cruel comments, like “suck it up”, “get over it”, and “stop whining”. It only showed how little people understand mental illness and how incredibly damaging and hurtful their comments were, to the point of pushing someone over the edge and taking their life. Fate stepped in. He got a deposit of tax refunds. Not a lot but enough to survive until he got the next month’s pension deposits. Saved by the government? Who knew? 

Well, as you can guess by now, disaster was just waiting for him, yet again. When he checked the bank in April for his May pension deposits he learned that he got nothing! Not a dime! No money to pay the rent. No money for food or medications. He called Adrianna at Neil Ellis” office, his Member of Parliament, and learned that his pensions had been suspended. His last few days were spent emailing and phoning the government, in which he learned that the department had made numerous mistakes and his pensions were suspended in error. Despite the official at the government admitting their mistakes he still did nothing to release his pensions. That sounded the death knell and he lost all hope. He had just enough money to buy the sleeping pills he needed to end his suffering and anguish. A very sad and tragic end for someone who did nothing to deserve it.

So what led to his demise? For some months he wondered if he would suffer a heart attack or stroke without his critical diabetic meds. He went so far as to try to make arrangements for his own demise. He checked with John Kelly at the Legion to learn what would happen with this body. John told him they check with family back in Canada to see if anyone would pay the thousand dollars US to cremate you (no one will) and if they get no response they just get rid of your body. He had also tried to make arrangements with someone to handle his affairs. Originally his friend, Arnie, agreed but they returned to Canada. Months earlier he had approached Christine Philipson to handle his affairs and she originally agreed, but she never showed up to go over things on his computer. He also approached John Kelly, the President of the Canadian Legion but he couldn’t find anyone willing to help.

It boiled down to whether he would suffer a heart attack or a stroke, in which case he lived alone so nobody would find him in time. He knew that he could not possibly afford any hospital care so it was good that no one would find him in time. Then there was the ultimate end when the Canadian government failed to pay his pensions for May, in error by their own admission. That left him with no money to pay his rent or to buy food or meds, meaning the end. He was also in pain with his teeth, popping Tylenol like candy, and with no money for urgent dental care. The dentist who had agreed to finance the work he needed backed out of the agreement and refused treatment. His last days were spent fighting with anyone in the government who would listen, but that got him nowhere. No one cared. The wonderful lady, Adrianna, at his Member of Parliament’s office, Neil Ellis (Liberal), worked tirelessly trying to get his pensions released, but she was frustrated at every turn. It went so far as to email the Minister responsible for pensions, Prime Minister, the Canadian consulate in Mexico, with copies to gopublic at the CBC network, who investigate and report on issues like his, threatening that there would be a letter on his cold, dead body clearly blaming the government for his demise. No one cared. 

So the only option left was to take his own life, certainly not something he welcomed but he had no other choice. He had certainly gone through more than his fair share of challenges, from the heartbreak of losing his only true love, to trying to survive without his critical diabetic medications. He had no money for anything. He was suffering major pain with his teeth but couldn’t afford a dentist. His temporal visa was up and he needed to pay almost four thousand pesos for another year. His website business was a total disaster not earning him a penny. At sixty-nine, he faced the idea of having major medical issues in the future that he could never afford. He had no money to get flights back to Canada and had nowhere to go anyway. His dreams of living out his life in Mexico were shattered. There was no hope left. 

He could not handle the idea of having a stroke or heart attack. To him, that was a terrible and painful way to go. Instead, as he had done all his life, he took charge of his life, right or wrong, and ended it peacefully. He left this world regretting that in ten years no one ever commented on this website, so if you might remember him in any way please add your comments. It won’t matter to him, but it would be nice to say something about how you remember him, if at all. His last thoughts were how disappointed he was that people, especially those he considered to be friends, rarely commented on anything on his website that he maintained for more than ten years. 

As the saying goes, Good-bye cruel world!       

Rest in peace wherever you are now, Gary. Although everybody knows that you were never a deeply religious person, it’s hoped you have been surprised to end up in a better place, free from the disasters you have so often experienced in your life. 

So long, buddy!

Editor’s Note: Never one to have a lot of time for hobbies, and despite spending way too many hours in front of his computers, including writing for hours and hours on his website, he always loved doing two things. One was designing house floor plans and the other was creating a photo gallery of all the beautiful women he had come across in various movies, TV series and even in his own life. Even though none of his relationships ever ended well he was very fortunate to have been involved with a lot of exceptionally gorgeous women. He was also fond of taking photos whenever and wherever he could, although he wished he had taken a lot more, so he created the photo galleries on this website. Regrettably, his ex-wife got most of their family photos and refused to share them, so they are a great loss. Enjoy! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

          

           

              

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