My Terry Fox Fantasy

June 1980

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René Lévèsque loses big on the référendum.
Does it calm the divisions in Canada?

Wed 11 Jun  F
My itinerary took a huge turn today.  I was walking to Andréville when I came across two guys who simply couldn't communicate in French.  Both are Canadians, yet neither knew much of the other official language.  Darrell and Doug asked me to come along as an interpreter.  I figured I could save some money by doing so, so I agreed.
Only when I went back to their van did I realize the magnitude of my commitment.  They are part of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope.  I met Terry at the van, and we struck up a converstion.  Rather than asking a slew of questions, I chose to observe for a few days and let Darrell and Doug be my guides.
Watching Terry run on a prosthesis alone is impressive enough, but he handles himself well in his passionate speaking about the need to promote research on childhood cancer.  As I write this, I have the feeling I am part of history, ironic because I just graduated with a degree in that subject, albeit American history.
The guys are retiring early, so I guess I'm going early as well.  Fortunately, I tend to get up early and work well in the morning, so I should fit in.
Sat 14 Jun  HF
Just watching Terry run every day remains fascinating.  I've become used to his hop skip along the highway, although I cannot fathom why he runs on the right side of the road.  The people seem quite ignorant of what he's doing, even after I explain the Marathon de l'Espoir to them!
Mon 16 Jun  HF
I look forward to visiting Québec City.  The three times I visited Montréal in successive Aprils never provided a chance to see Québec City.
Wed 18 Jun 
The backroads Terry runs are so dangerous.  The vehicles whiz past within a meter.  We must find a safer place for him to run.
Sun 22 Jun
Terry ran through quiet streets as I returned to Montréal today.  Izzy Sharp provided the guys with a luxury suite at ther Four Seasons Hotel, so I'm stuck sleeping in the van alone.  Bill Vigars, the coordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society, arranged to delay Terry a day, so he could arrive in Ottawa on Dominion Day.  It just means I'll be with the guys a little longer.
The provincial police really gave Terry problems with the run along the highways.  Despite my help, there seems to be barriers of publicity in addition to language.
I did some sightseeing this week.  While in Québec City, I went to see the Plains of Abraham.  It was much more than learning about the French and Indian War (or the Seven Years' War in Europe) in seventh grade a decade ago.
While we were stopped yesterday some of the native females approached Terry for autographs.  One of them had a newpaper with the headline "Unijambiste Terry Fox fait le combat de sa vie".  I translated some of the article for Terry, then I left him with his admirers.  I figured they needed no more translation!
Mon 23 Jun
I slept in the van while Terry, Doug, and Darrell slept in a suite at the Four Seasons Hotel.  When I went to tell them I was going to sightsee because Terry was taking the day off, I had a lapse.  Two maids wanted to know if we needed anything.  Darrell told me that they needed towels, and they needed an hour before the maids could come back to freshen the room.
So I began in French, for the maids refused to speak English, "Nous avons besoin de..."  I could not remember the word for towel, because it is the same for napkin.  Finally one said "serviette", and I remembered and agreed.  At least I did say, "après une heure" correctly translated.
Tue 24 Jun
Terry left the luxury of Montréal and headed out of town.  We're scheduled to leave Québec around Saturday.  Whiel I was touring Montréal, I went to see "The Empire Strikes Back".  There was not yet a version française.  I was so occupied that I forgot that my hometown went underwater eight years ago. 
Sat 28 Jun
I still feel overwhelmed from witnessing the triumphant entry into Ontario.  Terry's fans lined up all along the bridge over the Ottawa River.  Once we were over I had a queer sensation as I looked back at Québec.  I was wondering whether I would step back into the province again.
It was a little sad as well, for the challenge of speaking two languages seemed to evaporate.  My use to the Marathon of Hope faded as well.  Terry wanted me to follow into Ontario in case we ran into monolinguistic French speakers.  I've already traded Dominion Day for Independence Day because I've never been to Ottawa.  When Doug heard that I've never been to Toronto, he invited me to stay with them until they reached there.  Terry's schedule placed him at Nathan Phillips Square on my birthday.
I agreed to follow to Toronto simply because I knew that the guys would certainly no longer need me, and that Ontario would prove a very long stretch.  I figured Terry wouldn't reach his native province of Manitoba until late September.  I wanted to leave my new friends on a climax.  Besides, I had to return to Pennsylvania by mid-July just to check on my application for a graduate teaching assistantship. 

My quick draws of Terry at various positions
He's one guy who should be drawn!


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How I'd have expected to "run" into Terry Fox in June 1980

If we didn't have dreams, we'd have only reality.  -- Porkypine, from the comic "Pogo"