Tommy and Red







Long thin beard

Almost comical

Hair also long, back in a pony tail

Both of them with a shock of grey

And a shock of red

Red they call him

His wife calls him Randy

Red’s a mountain man

Tommy’s best friend since age eight

Now they are both in their 60’s

I met Tommy through a friend

Who snickers when she thinks of Red

Referring to a sleeping bag as a fart sack

I can see him saying it

The man has a lot of jokes at the ready

For many years he made his living searching for scrap

And stretching out a disability pension

I wonder how he got a property with two houses

In the rainforests of north-western British Columbia

And how he raised six kids

With all the stories Tommy has to tell about him

“One time we pulled off the side of the road”

Tommy told me

“Drank and drank all night”

“In the morning red got up to have a poop”

“Turns out we were in someone’s front yard”

“And they could see Red through their picture window”

Tommy and I drove up the 1,400 kilometers to his home

And he opened his doors to us

I was his guest for two days

Well fed and well entertained.

All the while coming home

I sat back and wondered

Would I one day live in such a beautiful place

Surrounded by those who love me

And have as many stories to tell

And friends so close they would cross the country

Just for a visit?



Leif Gregersen

November 12, 2014


Well, I drove the incredibly long distance from my home in Edmonton, Alberta to my friend’s retirement property in Northwestern British Columbia and have now returned home.  I had hoped to have a lot of time to think and philosophize, but actually I spent most of my time in great fear of going off the road into the ditch.  The weather, being mid November, was harsh for the first 500 km or so and I was going through an almost blinding blizzard the whole way.  After going through a place called Prince George BC, I started to nod off a bit and downed an energy shot which helped immensely but probably left me in danger of having some kind of heart attack.  After this point though, things went really well for a while.  It was easy to drive with just a light rain and then later dry road.  I had a bit of difficulty with my confidence.  The truck I was driving was loaded to the rafters with books, which are incredibly heavy.  We went through a town called Smithers BC just a short jaunt away from our destination and I wanted to pull over to the side of the road to take a picture of some incredible mountains that were on the other side of a lake.  Tommy, the guy who I was travelling with said the shoulder was too soft so I waited until we got to a driveway and, against Tommy’s wishes, I pulled in to take the photo.  It was a great shot, but when I tried to pull out of the property by the side of the highway, my rear wheel sunk deep into the mud of the poor farmer’s front yard.  I wanted desperately to get out of there thinking some hillbilly was going to come out with a shotgun and waste me for messing up his lawn but then gave in and decided to knock on the door.  It turned out to be a lady who was really nice and tried to help get us unstuck to no avail.  Finally I decided to call a tow truck and a guy came and winched us out.  The part that sucked was that the winch cost $210.00 and Tommy had only given me $160.00 for driving him up there.  I happily paid the money though, and even gave the lady who lived there $20 to have a fancy breakfast on me and we made it to our destination.  We unloaded and returned the trailer, and Tommy’s friend Red and his wife had us in for Turkey dinner which was absolutely divine after all that travelling and roadside food.  I didn’t want to leave the place, the cabin we slept in was so nice.  Outside everything was wet and moldy but inside things were so comfortable.  I am looking forward to taking this trip again one day soon, hopefully when Spring comes.  Below is a picture of the mess I got the truck into and the photo I got in exchange for it.IMG_8230


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