it’s funny how much you resist your elders telling you that your
youthful times in highschool will be the most carefree of your life. I
know that’s not necessarily the truth for everyone, but for me, I know
it is the case. nobody breathing down my neck to get things done, no bills – except for those of my own personal
entertainment, which a part time job always adequately covered. Summer for me
was always a cakewalk, and once I got my driver’s license, it was even
more so. The all-time best was the summer of 1995, though.

I was 17 at the time, and didn’t have much of a care in the
world.  My parents left for the Yukon to go on a special guided
hunt over a 2 week I had the house to myself and a fairly
new vehicle to drive, with no supervision, and no boundaries placed on me
other than those my concience imposed.

let me put you in the mind of a small town teenager. the lamest
thing you can do on weekends is to stay in your hometown. and other than a
small handful of close friends who generally work the summer away or take
off anyways – there’s but a few people left in your age group.. and of that
remaining group, all the girls are irritable cunts/bitches, and
the guys are all ignorant dicks.

so what option do you have left as a teenager in a small town? simple: take your close
friends with you and go plunder other small towns. In summer, all your
free time should and will be used to this end. ahh..if you’re from
a small town, especially small town saskatchewan, you’ve no doubt got a
lot of great experiences of your own chasing the opposite sex in other
towns. but i digress.

anyways, this particular summer I had built up a circle of friends in
humboldt, and pretty much had a place to crash there the whole time my parents were away. (which I took
advantage of)

I hung out with a fellow named Ryan at the time. He was the uber cool,
and much wiser than me bad-ass guitarist. I remember one example of
just how badass Ryan was – one
night watching me and the rest of my highschool band jam, he got the
itch to show our guitarists how to REALLY play. The problem is, he was
wearing a cast on his fretting arm at the time. I remember helping him
hacksaw his cast off in my parent’s garage and thinking it wasn’t
the brightest thing I’ve ever done. But it was WAY cool to see him so
itchy to play! – that he’d suffer the physical pain, and embarrassment
of going back
to his doctor just to shred .. that moved me!

Ryan was a strange mentor to me. Although he brought
a lot of questionable things into my life (Ryan introduced me to pot,
had no trouble twisting my arm into keeping up a regular consumption of
alcohol, and wore a lot of plaid clothing), he also taught me a lot
about music appreciation, why and how not to sweat the small stuff, and
perhaps most importantly, how to pickup girls and avoid the real dirty
ones in the act! (Ryan was like a bulldog around the real trash of
Humboldt and would screen my choices, haha)

that summer I met and played around with a lot of different girls, and
met a bunch of really great and questionable friends as well.
to look back now considering my social phobia, it’s like I was a
completely different person. I had a hell of a lot of confidence, I
took everything in stride, not to mention I didn’t ever experience a
minute of drama, and could shut down other people’s drama in a couple
breaths. I had so much fun every night of those two weeks, it’s still
all an exhilarating blur.

the days at the lake in the hot sun drinking long island iced tea in huge jugs on
the sand with the hot ladies in their swimsuits… the nights spent at
seedy bars and poolhalls swapping stories and looking tough smoking
cigarettes…and the huge farm parties with wall to wall people,
slugging beers and laughing the night away baked on ditch weed. ah, the

those were the best days of my life. Whoa yeah, back in the summer of ’95.