Good Omens: old friends and new, and laughter

Our arrival here, in Chester and on Tancook, seemed sprinkled with good omens, in that we happened to run into Gary as he was coming off the 1:30 ferry that would turn around and take us to Tancook at 3:40, and then I had already called Carolyn and arranged for Lee to pick us and our luggage up at the wharf, so he was the first person I saw when the ferry steamed into northwest cove,  and a very welcome sight he was, looking exactly the same as I remembered.

Before we even had a chance to load up all our gear, I heard a young voice with the broad accent of the island (that Roger and Helene’ later said is actually old Canadian) bemoaning the fact that someone who had sent him an empty box on the earlier ferry this time had sent him the part (for something on his fishing boat) but obviously a used part, “old enough to be an antique,” he said. He could probably sell it as such, he said, on the local version of ebay or craigslist and get more than the part they should have sent him was worth.

What was so delightful to me was that as soon as I heard him speak I knew who he was, or rather I knew whose kid he was ~Lee and Carolyn’s, our friends on Tancook that we met on our first visit seven years ago. I looked toward the voice and sure enough ~ he has her coloring and (at the time) acerbic tone of voice combined with Lee’s build and industrious nature.

His name is Leslie but, with the exception of his accent, which I find incredibly appealing, he looks and acts like a young Adam Sandler. The same kind of mixture of smartass and subtle humor that sneaks up on you.

For instance, after we’d taken our gear up to the cottage and got settled in, Lee came back and picked us up and we went to Caroline’s for dinner. After we’d eaten, Leslie came in and sat down still grousing about the part that had first been nonexistent and then antique. Carolyn chided him for his language, but with a look that was clearly loving, and indulgent at Leslie’s quiet response that he’d a right to curse a bit, after the day he’d had.

One of the topics of conversation before he came in had been about how best to get this cast off my arm. James and Roger already said that they would cut it off with tin snips, comes the day, and I had joked with them before we ever got to the island that if that didn’t work Lee would figure out some way to get the silly thing off (I’ve yet to see a practical problem he won’t tackle and very few that he fails to solve, one way or another). And sure enough, upon hearing when it was meant to come off (and that I didn’t want to have to go to the mainland and clear into Halifax or Bridgewater to get it taken off) he suggested slipping a thin piece of metal underneath the cast and then using a grinder of some sort to cut through it and take it off. Leslie could do it, he said.

So when Leslie came in and sat down, ready for a supper (of whatever was easiest, he said), Lee asked him about it ~ couldn’t he just slip a thin piece of metal into the cast and then cut through it with the grinder?

Leslie said, in that delightful broad accent of his, “you wouldn’t even need the metal. The cast is purple, and what’s under is white. All you need to do is cut through the purple and stop when you get to the white.”

And Roger (who is also a funny fellow) said to him, laughing, “and what about if you get to the red?”

Leslie snapped right back with, “well, if you get to the red, you have to keep going another 3 inches and see where you come out!”

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