The Outsider: Local boys and their stories
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | June 21, 2018|
I feel very lucky to mix in many circles here in Haliburton County. I hang out with artists. I drink beer with contractors. I hunt with good ol’ boy hunters and I discuss environmental issues with friends of a green persuasion. Being able to dip into this melting pot of humanity has given me some, shall we say, interesting insights into Haliburton life and, as such, I have come to the conclusion as to what it takes to make a true, born and bred, traditional Haliburton boy. That is, apart from being born and bred here, of course.
You see, I went fishing on the weekend with a whole smash of such fellows and as we laughed, joked, fished, drank and ate, I came to realize that there were quite a few similarities when I looked around the group. And, that’s not counting the fact that there were three generations of the Perrin clan bearing down upon me at all times.
The true born and bred Haliburton boy is tall, a good few inches over six foot and he’s strong with it. He must be able to chop wood, and, if fishing with me, strong enough to drag my boat trailer sideways into the parking spot.
Dependability is also a required quality among these fellows. In addition to strength tests such as trailer dragging, he must be able to be relied upon to laugh long and hard when you fall in the lake, and then faithfully pull you out. Relied upon to eat a mountain of fried fish but always leave some for the cook. Relied upon to help you fix your broken down truck, after calling you unthinkable names for running it dry of oil, and so on.
That said, he might not be particularly clever, academically. His elevator may not go all the way to the top floor, as they say, but he will have ‘smarts’. He’ll know how to fillet a fish, gut a deer, change tires, repair chainsaws, plug holes in boats, and not smirk too much when you tell him how you couldn’t park the boat trailer, fell in the lake and ate the last piece of fish before the cook got any.
But most of all, the true born and bred Haliburton boy must be able to tell a story and it was at my fishing weekend that I witnessed the blossoming of one such Haliburton boy. He’s a big kid, been kicking around for awhile but only now is he becoming a real man. And you know how I can tell? Because he told the story of the recent storm with such finesse that he’s truly becoming that traditional born and bred fellow that I love to be around.
“Ya should have seen ‘em, the trees, bending right over,” he said. “And the sky ... sort of green, it was. I couldn’t hear myself talk on the cell phone ...”
That was the first time he told the story. By the fourth or fifth rendition – as folks arrived at the fishing weekend – he had suitably embellished his tale to gain maximum response.
“The trees were bent to the ground, flattened like, by the wind. And the sky, a dark angry green. I struggled to get back to my truck and my cell phone blew right out of my hand. Then there was the rain. Sheets of it, hitting so hard I thought it’d peel the paint right off of my truck ...”
I smiled as I looked on, at him and his audience. Some newcomers were truly taken aback by the story. Others, who’d heard it before, simply sat back and let this new traditional born and bred Haliburton boy spin his yarn and grow into a full-blooded hunting, fishing, storytelling local
WILL JONES - is The Outsider