August 28, 2013

Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily

By Steve Locke

Well sorry to say, folks, but it's soon to be the last weekend of summer. It's fortunate that the weather in Winnipeg isn't taking notice, but that won't stop the spinning of school bus tires, or groaning at student services when tuition payments do or don't go through. And if you haven't yet been chained to a desk, and have already made plans to procrastinate with studying this weekend, then there is still the potential for adventure. Or at least, adventures to aspire to.

Take, for example, those of Ontario writer Charles Wilkins, whose work has been shortlisted for multiple literary awards. When you consider that his books are true-to-life, OMG-inspiring stories, one has to wonder if the adventures themselves earned the nominations, or his writing. Because, as far as I know, they don't give out plaques for paddling 12, 000 miles to the Amazon River (with Don Starkell), or rowing across the Atlantic with 16 others on an unassisted vessel, at the age of 61.

5 letters down - Charlie Wilkins: ____ of steel.

Just give him the awards already! Never mind literary devices, word counts, editing.....I mean.....dude.

The latter adventure was the basis for Little Ship of Fools, which Thin Air audience will be privy to at a "Big Ideas" event on September 25, as well as at an "On the Road" event on the following day. There, Wilkins will surely join the ranks of Thor Heyerdahl and Neil Armstrong in the club for "guys who have one hell of a story to tell".

Myself dreaming of being an astronaut: realism as well as delusion.

And if you've ever wondered just what goes into preparing the mind and body for such a trek (including convincing people that you're not crazy so they'll fund your expedition), Wilkins' training was filmed and presented in a documentary called Life is But a Dream. Consider it some conditioning for what's in store at Thin Air.

Warning to students: after watching the video at the above link, you may feel that your life choices in attending university were a horrible, horrible mistake. You may also feel the urge to take your tuition money and spend its entirety at Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Sorry about that. But have fun at the lake, eh? 

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