Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tom Jackson touched my life again – and I don’t really deserve it

This BLOG is sponsored by Misty Hollow Carving. You are welcome to visit Misty Hollow and see all of my carvings.
My Web Site is a like a Gallery – please drop in for a stroll through.

To help me promote my Web Site please copy this URL address and email to someone today  

 (Photo by Clifford Skarstedt, Peterborough Examiner )
Tom Jackson touched my life again – and I don’t really deserve it
It is a simple report this morning – all about Tom Jackson, the Trent University Chancellor.

Last evening my wife and I along with our friends Bob and Marion joined a crowd as we sat down at the Little Lake Music Festival to listen to one amazing man, Tom Jackson.

Tom talked, told stories and sang a variety of songs, some that he wrote and others that had great meaning.  Throughout the concert Tom wove some of his life and background into what he presented. It was like watching someone working on a loom – something good was coming though not yet done… then suddenly the finished product is there for the whole world to see.

Tom Jackson blew me away – again. He is nothing short of amazing as he demonstrated how one man can make a difference.  One man on stage can touch the life of even me.

We have sat in the park and listened to different performers over these past years. They were all good at what they did and each one moved me in different ways.  Each was very professional in their presentation and each had a persona that they could sell.

Ton Jackson is very different from all of them. I think he is the most unassuming person that I have every listened to… and he makes no airs about being important or about the amazing things that he has done in the past or is doing now. He is just Tom and that Tom is humble.

I have followed Tom over the past years as he has been in a number of roles on TV and in the movies.  I have listened to Tom as he sang and played with his different musical talents. His voice alone stops you and invites you to listen to the message of the song.

He is a Métis – born to his Cree mother Rose and his English father Marshall. He came into the world on the One Arrow Reserve near Batoche, Saskatchewan.  He lived in Calgary from seven years old until he was 14. The next place he lived was Winnipeg, Manitoba where he dropped out of school at 15 years old and then began living on the back streets – and alleyways.

In Winnipeg today a 15 year old will very likely get into very serious trouble as a Métis or Aboriginal Youth.  Today the toughest part of that City is the powerful gangs of Métis or Aboriginal men.  In fact, in Western Canada, the highest percentage of Jailed and Imprisoned Men are from the Métis or Aboriginal.  Most of these men have very little education and had struggled to stay alive on the streets of Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Brandon, Calgary and Edmonton(and other places) – all Western Canadian cities that have high Métis or Aboriginal populations.  Most of these men today will find help and encouragement if they get involved in the Gang – whichever one it might be.

How do I know this?  My dad worked as a welding instructor at the Regina Jail where a very high percentage were Métis or Aboriginal.

I do not know if Tom was ever recruited by Gangs. He certainly would have if he lived in any of those places today.

For seven years Tom lived in and witnessed the struggles of the not so nice areas of Winnipeg.  For seven years Tom knew what hunger and the struggle to get another meal was all about.  These seven years influenced his life today where he is one of the top fund raisers for Food Banks and groups that help “street people”. No doubt his early years set the tone for what he sings and plays today.

Last evening as we listened to the amazing talent and the man Tom Jackson – we were witnessing the Chancellor of Trent University, the highest position at our School, be an ordinary down to earth guy simply do what he likes to most.

Tom has honorary degrees from a number of Universities across Canada.  He has received these special honors for having done amazing things in his life time.

I know that if Tom reads this he might wonder where I get my facts and definitely question my facts… sorry Tom if I am a little off.

I am from that Province you were born in – Saskatchewan. I grew up with Métis or Aboriginal kids and teens all around me. I saw guys like Tom in Winnipeg when I attended school at the University of Manitoba.  I was in school that first year when Tom started wondering the street of Winnipeg.  I saw guys like Tom struggling to stay alive in that very cold and very windy city – when I was there.

Tom and his friends struggled and I went on with my life.  It was not until many years later when I witnessed Tom rise to where he is that I started to actually see what the Métis or Aboriginal guys my age had gone through.

I was a typical white, wrapped up in my own little world and not caring for any of my Métis or Aboriginal brothers.

It has not been until my more recent years where the blinders have come off my own eyes and I started feeling the deep remorse for what happened to my friends that have struggled so hard.

Last night as I reflected on all of my past… Tom’s life… and the lives of all the other Métis or Aboriginal that have struggled with very few of my kind giving a ding dong what happened to them… I cried – inside and out. It is a good thing that it was dark outside – tears don’t show in the dark.

Last evening I wanted so badly to run up on the stage in front of everyone and give Tom a big hug – and simply tell him that as a Canadian brother – I am PROUD of HIM.  If I had done that – Tom would have likely hugged me back because that is just the way he is.

This simple Blog Post today is to say, “Thank you Tom Jackson for being who you are and for coming to share your life with me!”
 (Photo by Clifford Skarstedt, Peterborough Examiner )
~ Murray Lincoln ~

Some Reference material for you to look over

No comments: