Good trick, eh? 11 • 11• 11. Felt like any other, though good news arrived to brighten the short, dark, cold November days. My videopoem Bushwhack is an official selection of the International Literary Film Festival, Director Lee Bob Black, “excited to be screening it along with many other brilliant films.”
I still have not had an opportunity to write an account of our recent Visible Verse Festival, swamped with novel queries, hustling, but did take time to honour our war dead on Rememberance Day. My maternal grandfather Rifleman Reginald Haley of Matapédia, Quebec was a member of the Royal Rifles taken prisoner by the Japanese Christmas Eve 1941, dying of dysentery a few awful years later. My friend author Dennis E. Bolen said it was a damn shame how the outfit had been abandoned by Churchill, tortured for years by the Imperial Japanese. Though we both have many dear Japanese friends, agree that their government’s refusal to apologize is deplorable. He recommended a book on the subject, War Without Mercy, which “attempts to explain the racism wherein the Japs considered North American Caucasians to be effete and we considered Asians to be sub-human. Bad combination.”Indeed. I recently read Michael Crummy’s The Wreckage, which vividly depicted the brutality of a Japanese POW camp and some people, usually Americans, claim that the Kamikaze ideology is what got them nuked. And there’s my hapless big Mick grandfather Reggie caught in the crossfire. Sadly the soldiers that survived received no hero’s welcome either. I regret never having had the privilege of knowing him, sounds like we would have got on. Hell, my mother could barely remember him, only eight years old when he died, leaving her, my grandmother Genora and four brothers and sisters bereft and impoverished. I can honestly say the tremendous loss of my grandfather has impacted our family to this day.
Rest in peace Reginald.