I'd like to a say a few words about a friend of mine, a guy named Peter. I have to warn you folks, before we go any further, that everything I tell you about this man is true, and is free of hyperbole.
Peter is one of the most amazing guys I know. His nickname is Bear, and he deserves it. He's one of those big, tall, powerful guys who - despite his amazing girth and physical presence - exudes an aura of calm strength. He's a peaceful and caring man, not given to violence. He never uses his height as an intimidation tool, which a lot of tall guys do.
He's probably the single most amazing person I have ever met when it comes to just plain knowing shit. The guy knows something about almost everthing. He's an engineer, and teaches at a local university, so he's got the book smarts. He can do incredible things: add an addition to a house, plumbing, wiring, and more.
He knows cars. I just recently had a problem with my car, and he figured out what was wrong with it in about 20 minutes - in the dark. I went from having to pay about $200.00 to get my car repaired to a mere $60.00.
He is an avid science buff, and is well read in areas such as quantum physics, solar energy research, and more. I've never encountered a topic on which he cannot converse intelligently. He's also a whiz with computers, and knows how to buy them, build them, and repair them.
Pete owns a cottage, and every year he invites 40 or so of his closest friends (most of them improvisors) out to his place for the Labour Day weekend. We throw tents up in the big back yard, and sleep, eat, drink (a lot), laugh, and have an amazing time. The Labour Day weekend is my favourite weekend of the year, and we wouldn't have it if it wasn't for Peter.
I've watched him with his children, and he is a fucking awesome dad. He has been supportive and caring, and his children know how much he loves them. He nurtures without coddling, and challenges them without abandoning them to their own devices. If I had been allowed to pick my own father in this life, I would have chosen Peter.
So Peter, thanks for all your help, for your humour, for your friendship.